• NorCal and SoCal do Cyclocross Battle this Weekend

    by  • January 17, 2012 • cx

    Press release from Sam Ames, Team Action Sports

     

    With the shift in the US Cyclocross calendar comes a longer season and riders in California are no strangers to longer cycling seasons. This weekend in Bakersfield, the 2nd. Annual NorCal vs. SoCal State Cyclocross Championships will be held, in conjunction with the season finale for the SoCal Prestige Series. This end of season extravaganza, with beer tents, $6500 in prize money, Belgian Frites, and hot cross racing action, will provide an excellent opportunity for the two regions of the Golden State to mix it up and battle for bears and bragging rights. With NorCal taking numerous National and Masters World Championship titles, they are hungry to take the regional title. Last year NorCal won many races, but SoCal won with [more than] a few more riders. This year’s event will include individual titles as well as the for-fun regional title. The 1.6 mile course features a very European flair with a good balance of twists, turns, straight-aways, the ever popular “Lobster Launch Pad” flyover, and the “Lightspeed Leg Buster” run-up. With over 60 days of no rain, rain is in the forecast for both days…as with all ‘cross, it is welcome.

    Racing action takes place Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 4pm. There is no admission charge and race day entry is available for any and all. The official race flyer can be found at socalcross.org. An enormous thank you to the Prestige Series Sponsors and the local Bakersfield sponsors. Races run rain or shine!

     

     

    History and Story Behind the Event

    Cyclocross is a unique form of cycling that takes place mostly off road on bicycles that are hybrids of road and mountain bikes. The courses are about 1.5 miles in length and feature varied terrain and places where riders must dismount their bicycle to run over obstacles. It is very spectator friendly and fun form of racing for all. Most races last 45 minutes to an hour.

    Hart Memorial Park in Bakersfield has hosted cyclocross for over 20 years and is the venue for the NorCal versus SoCal face-off. This event is hosted by the Kern Wheelmen Bicycle Club and race director Sam Ames. His passion for ‘cross runs deep and  he came up with this idea over 20 years ago. “I was racing in Santa Cruz as much as I could back then, it was the only cyclocross racing there was really, until a few events sprung up in the LA area” said Ames. As SoCal cross grew, Ames knew with the depth of the road riders, MtB riders, and sheer volume of racers in SoCal, it was a matter of time before SoCal ‘cross took off. “I thought that a race for the whole state would be a blast…SoCal ‘cross was coming along, and why not have a big for-fun throw-down someday. Along with the races I did in Bakersfield, Brad House and Dorothy Wong started doing events in LA…it has exploded from there. The NorCal versus SoCal event is the fruition of ALL the promoters from California who host ‘cross events north and south. They have helped create the powerhouse that California is in cross.” As SoCal continues to grow and get stronger, NorCal has been one of the strongest regions in the country, winning national and world titles annually. On a local level, their races see attendance in the 400 range consistently.  “Last year, our first year, the response and feedback [to NorCal versus SoCal] was overwhelming….and that’s why I do it. Racers and fans came out and had a blast…we had over 200 riders and 1000 spectators. I know folks that raced a bunch were tired, some had traveled, and raced so much. I value their support but really this race is for them. This year looks to be even bigger. Many of the riders and fans went back home and told their friends “You DO NOT want to miss this race!” I just love the sport and I hope we get some of the newly crowned National and World Champs to come mix it up. We’ve put countless hours and 15K into this race….come eat, drink, race and enjoy.”

     

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    "Quod nomen mihi est?" Cranking the glass to capture photographs at bicycle races.