One month down, two/three to go
People have been saying #crossiscoming and #crossishere - Sure, there’s no debate that the cyclocross race season is in full swing; regionally, nationally, worldwide. That sentiment, however, can imply that ‘cross is not a year-round ordeal. If racing is your only interest, then ok! Train August, race Sept., or whatever one month lead-out you need before your local calendar kicks off. But let’s get one thing straight - #crossneverleft - er - #crossneversleeps or what have you. Yes, this author races every season, but my cross bike is one of the most versatile machines I own and my go-to for the kind of riding I do in the off-season. Obviously in-season sports get more attention that when they’re dormant. That’s just how things work; ebb and flow. If racing isn’t your thing then cross ought to be all around you, omnipresent, etc. For some, this time of the year happens to have a special focus on racing.
(photo courtesy of Jeff Namba)
A couple of us at Box Dog have the competitive bug. For one the season began early in West Sacramento. With our purchaser going to InterBike the following week as well as competing in Cross Vegas, the WSCXGP was a perfect warm-up: get all the jitters out, gauge one’s fitness, begin to settle back in the intense groove that cyclocross demands. And warm it was! Too warm. Hot even! Super f’ing hot! Among the other tents there was fully a stand-alone canopy dedicated as a cool-off station with misters surrounding the perimeter and soft-blasting those who stood underneath. The folks who put on this race designed a great East Coast-style grass course, with twisty turns, speed-robbing ups-and-downs, and a tiny taste of dirt and pavement. Set on the banks of a river delta in a port town, it even felt like Boston or somewhere out there.
(photo credit Tim Westmore)
Pictured above are our buddies Brad and Fred, racing for Fresh Air/Hunter. The sun was out in full-force all day. Someone not rolling around on their bike was naturally encouraged to find any shade left behind. That has been the theme so far of just about every race. Granted the BASP Grand Prix Clark Natwick was alright. But Cross Vegas, Vallejo Cougar, the first of the Santa Rosa Cup - one might say unbearably hot. I’ve heard a lot of complaints about the weather these days. But it’s true - you might be called crazy if you’re wearing a cap underneath your helmet. Jaws will drop if you’re in a long-sleeve skinsuit.
(photo credit Manny Acosta)
Above, our own #airbud Eric navigates through a cluster of the 100+ racers that lined up for the first Bay Area Super Prestige event.
Here is our homeboy Eric Stocker atop the Super Pro podium with another buddy Ryan Gallagher (photo courtesy TCB Courier's instaspam).
And then that other Eric took third in Windsor at Bike Monkey/CX Nation’s first race.
So far, so good. Still have a drought on our hands, right? There may be no rain in sight but that’s somewhat typical of the Northern California scene. We like the hard pack. We’re used to sand. Dry climate, dusty lungs, sweaty brows. That’s all part of the show.
Check out our buddies down at Boyz on the Hoods and their report back from our camp trip to Coyote Hills last weekend!!
Did you know that every October is National Co-op Month?
Here in The Bay we have a pretty tight network and affinity with other cooperatives.
This community shares financial resources, organizational tools, and helps start NEW cooperatives.
We’re partnering up with Rainbow Grocery, one of The Bay Area’s oldest worker-owned cooperatives, to celebrate the beauty that is a non-hierarchical democratic workplace!
Rainbow has long offered a great deal of 15% off your purchase during weekdays the entire month of October with a receipt of a $10 or more purchase from one of the over 35 Bay Area worker owned cooperatives. This year they will also host a co-op fair (October 30th 6-9pm) with a sampling of some of the wares and services of the areas co-ops as well as classes. Box Dog will be hosting a FREE fix a flat class at Rainbow Grocery (date will be announced next week!)
If you’ve ever been curious about worker owned cooperatives now is the time to check out what is offered locally!
Happy National Co-op Month!!!
A rumination on cyclocross tires
If I had to choose any one bicycle component I like more than anything else it’d be tires. Disregard the reasons - I don’t know why - but I must have an affinity for the things. As purchaser, I spend time selecting quality rubber from the basic replacement, to the decent upgrade, and the benchmark. I take pride in what we stock at Box Dog Bikes. We don’t have everything but what’s here surveys the gamut for all-terrains.
Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about cyclocross tires. Race season began early last month so naturally I had to do some shuffling around of this and that on my bike. Off go the fast-rolling, super lightweight, extra fine file-treads that I use many months out of the year and in come the tubeless all-purpose workhorses. Aside from participating in our meeting this morning and eating lunch I’ve been a one-track mind, fixated on ‘cross tires.
But this is not just about me! For the month of October we decided to mark all 700 ‘cross tires on sale. Yeah, that’s right. Don’t want to pay MSRP on Schwalbe’s top-of-the-line racing clincher? Don’t have to. Been thinking if the gum sidewalls on your coveted Challenges are going to last another season? We’ve got Grifos to help calm your nerves, improve traction, and enhance ride quality. And if you love deep discounts, mud-specific tires are fetching for an even better 25% off normal price. For example, with Vittoria phasing out the Cross XM Pro, now would be a good time to pick them up before they’re truly gone. There’s a couple others too that A) Box Dog stocks but B) don’t make the most sense for Bay Area conditions. Therein lies the sale; After All Hallow’s Eve, sale ceases to exist. Go get ‘em!
(Pictured left to right: Vittoria XG Pro TNT, Challenge Grifo, WTB Cross Wolf TCS)
A firm bundle from Heine can only mean one thing. New Bicycle Quarterly in stock!!!
For a while now people have been wondering when Surly would come out with a disc version of their very popular Cross-Check. Surly has answered with the Straggler. Although a few features distinguish it from the Cross-Check, the Straggler is ready to get you where you want to go. Aside from the obvious addition of disc brakes, Surly has also made the dropouts 135mm wide so as to open up the options for disc brake wheels. Like the Cross-Check the Straggler’s dropouts are still horizontal, for those who want to ride it as a single speed, and the frame comes with all of the braze-ons for fenders, racks, bottle cages, and whatever else you wanna screw into your bike on your next adventure, and of course, its still steel.
I got to ride one of our Surly Stragglers this morning on our Wednesday morning group ride. I’ve been admiring the bike ever since its flashy coloring caught my eye in the window of another bike shop several months ago. In true Surly form the bike comes in a sparkly purple pink glitter color that they call Glitter Dreams, as well as a more subdued Closet Black.
I was really impressed by the combination of the Shimano CX-70 front derailleur CX-50 cranks which shifted super smooth under load. The 36/46 chainrings felt like a great size as well, small enough to climb comfortably and big enough to crank a bit too, and with a ten speed cassette with an 11-32 range in the back the bike definitely comes ready for a variety of terrains.
I’m really happy I got to check this bike out and you should too! True to Surly form, this bike is purposeful, functional, and fun. If you live close come by the shop for a test ride!
Thanks to Swallow Bicycle Works in Ohio for some of their photos
#whatsinthestand #boxdogbikes ❤️s @bilenkycycleworks
A little GIF of our last Mission High School Bicycle Club benefit when we tackled the pinata!!!
Stay tuned for our next benefit featuring KARAOKE!!!
You may RSVP for our camping trip at the link provided. It’s this Sat.!!!
Bring your dog by the shop today (9/20) for 10% off your purchase (excluding labor and bicycles!) when you mention this post!!!