Craig Etheridge improved upon his third place last year to take the win in the singlespeed race. © Cathy Fegan-Kim

Craig Etheridge improved upon his third place last year to take the win in the singlespeed race. © Cathy Fegan-Kim

In the singlespeed category of last week’s Midsummer Night Cross Race, Raleigh’s own Craig Etheridge had an easy ride to capture the title, but not until Ritte’s Alan Danger Zinniker broke his seatpost to fall out of contention and finish third behind Bob Pitkin (White Pine Touring). “It was like, a classic single speed mountain bike versus a ’cross bike, who will prevail?!” Etheridge enthused, adding, “But then his seatpost broke…”

Post-race, we caught up with Etheridge, talking about his race, his singlespeed rig, and what’s in store for the lone singlespeeder on the Raleigh-Clement team for this year. “I feel like it’s a good time for us to get on the right track, and if there’s a track to be on, it’s the winning track,” he said happily. “And if there’s a bike to be on, it’s a Raleigh!”

But it’s not all about a race in mid-July. Cyclocrossers everywhere are working out their fall schedules, and Etheridge says, “It’s a full schedule this season.”

“Since there technically isn’t a USGP national series but all the races are still there, that’s what will be important for us too,” he explained. “It’s important for us to show up if the other teams are going to be there. Sun Prairie, Bend, Fort Collins, Louisville, CXLA…”

His goals are simple: “I’m going to try to get another point in a UCI race. Wouldn’t it be great if I got two this year? Double my points this year!”

While he’ll chase that UCI point all season, the important question is: Will we see him head out to Boulder to contest the singlespeed National Championship? “It’s a tough one. It’s getting harder and harder but it’s not like I won’t try.”

Will we see Etheridge switch anything on his bike for this season? Since TRP released their Hylex hydraulic disc brakes for singlespeeders, we were curious if Etheridge would be switching anytime soon. He didn’t have them ready for the race last week, but said, “We’re building the bike up tonight. We’ll see it for sure at Starcrossed and the rest of the season. We’re pushing that bike for sure, especially the singlespeed model.”

But he won’t be switching tires, or gear ratios, anytime soon. “I like the PDX. It’s consistent and I’ve gotten used to it. Like the gear on my singlespeed. Right now it’s 39/17. I keep the mystery that I’m going to change it but realistically, I’m not.” Speaking of mysteries, we asked him about what pressure he runs in his PDX tires, and it turns out, it’s not only a mystery to us, it’s one to him too. “I have my mechanic put secret pressure in every race. Which means I don’t know. It’s a mystery to me,” he laughed.

Watch the full Craig Etheridge interview here: