Pedal ’Cross Mullholland Grinder Kicks Off ’Cross Season; Nicole Duke Reveals New Marin Sponsorship

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Mullholland ’Cross kicking up some dust. © Philip Beckman / PB Creative

Mullholland ’Cross kicking up some dust. © Philip Beckman / PB Creative

by Philip Beckman / PB Creative

Promoter Dorothy Wong (profiled in CXM’s upcoming Issue 22) has a number of pre-season events going on now, one of which was the “Pedal ‘Cross Mulholland: 10-Speed Grinder” that took place last weekend. It staged in Calabasas at Pedalers Fork restaurant/bike shop, which serves 10-Speed Coffee: Nice place, under bike-friendly ownership, obviously.

About 60 riders of widely varying skill sets then rode a diversity of ’cross and mountain bikes up the long climb of famed Mulholland Highway. It’s a mix of pavement/city streets which turns to a dirt fire road in the barren Santa Monica Mountains dividing greater Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. It was an out-and-back, the turnaround being the Nike Tower at San Vicente Mountain Park. Great views, despite the smog. For those who made it all the way and home again, it was 32 miles with 2736 feet of elevation gain. The biggest challenge may have been the temperature. It was hot and even a little humid due to the remnants of Tropical Storm Ivo off the west coast of Mexico.

Most of the participants stuck around post-ride for a healthy lunch, raffle prizes, and an introduction to the 2013-14 SoCalCross Prestige Series season by Dorothy Wong, which starts September 29 at Los Angeles State Historic Park near downtown L.A.

The highlight of the day for many was being able to rub shoulders with ’cross stars Ben Berden and Nicole Duke. The event concluded with a question-and-answer session between the crowd and these two. Their respective bike sponsors, Raleigh and Marin, were set up in a small expo area and provided demo rides. Marin was using this shindig to announce Nicole’s signing for the upcoming season. She will be riding the new Cortina CX Pro (profiled at Sea Otter), which now features a carbon fiber frame, a tapered head tube, internal cable routing and disc brakes, among other amenities.

Duke looks highly fit and totally fired up, with the goal of representing the US at this year’s World Championships in Hoogerheide, Netherlands. It’s hard to believe this native of Boulder, Colorado, is now 39 years old and the mother of two.

Nicole Duke riding for Marin this season.© Philip Beckman / PB Creative

Nicole Duke riding for Marin this season.© Philip Beckman / PB Creative




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