We’ve been doing this long enough to notice a few annual traditions in cyclocross.
Each August, some racers complain about the hot, dry, dusty, cross-cough inducing start of the season, especially in locales like California, while lamenting the fact that most racing ends before “true ’cross conditions” kick in. Cancel August and September cyclocross, and add January and February, some diehard cyclocross racers argue.
There are also the annual complaints about the cost of racing, especially in Northern California, one of the most expensive places in the country to live. Fifty dollars ($40 plus a $10 one-day license) for 40 minutes of racing isn’t cheap. Yes, that’s cheaper than a day spent at most downhill ski resorts, a competing form of recreation this time of year, but cyclocross probably shouldn’t use a declining, weather-dependent sport as a benchmark to keep its numbers healthy, even if fans, petition-signing racers and anyone born on April 1 have dreams of Olympic glory.
A third annual tradition we’ve noticed is the genuine surprise, and then confusion, when people get wind that cyclocross racing continues in the greater Bay Area through February. Where? When? How do I pre-register? What’s the average USA Cycling race quality score?
So here comes our annual announcement that cyclocross racing continues in Norcal. From now through the end of February, it’s Throwback Thursday every Sunday at Solano Community College. Promoter and Rockville Bike owner John Silva lays out his cones, sets up the barriers, adds some course tape and readies for a few dozen dedicated cyclocross racers to play in the mud, all for just $20.
His short course offers one short technical descent and climb, a fun, twisty jaunt through a eucalyptus forest, a Mother Nature-built jungle cross barrier, and a pavement finale for your finishing kick.
You won’t see a single trainer, team tent or safety pin. Numbers are mounted on your handlebars, and warm-ups? There’s a huge vacant parking lot and as long as you don’t interfere with the current race, you can check out the course.
Show up for the final race, and Silva and his wife Esther will assign you to a relay team and then feed you with a season-ending barbeque. Where else does that happen?
What better chance to show off the Nationals form you worked so hard to build? Or perhaps shed the few pounds you picked up after most racing stopped and the holiday celebrations kicked in?
Where’s the Website?
We’ve called Rockville Cyclocross the unintentional Fight Club, and Silva certainly doesn’t make discovery of his race series very easy. He doesn’t even have an official website.
There is a public Facebook page for the series, and he often posts updates and photos via his personal Facebook account.
Navigate through those looking for the details on racing and you’ll end up with this image:
Here it is in text form:
When: Every Sunday through February 25, 2018
Solano Community College
4000 Suisun Valley Road
Fairfield, CA 94534
9:00 a.m.: Juniors, C men and women
10:00 a.m.: A & B men and women
$20 gets you one race, $10 for a second race.
2018 brings computer-tabulated results this year, but don’t expect them to end up on crossresults.com or USA Cycling’s rankings. Colin Reuter’s army hasn’t yet discovered the small series, and the racing does not happen under USA Cycling’s umbrella or fees.
If you’ve ever complained about the early start of cyclocross season, the hot and dry conditions, or the cost of racing, Silva has heard your complaints and offers up a solution every Sunday through February.
Will you take the leap and give it a try?
Silva hopes so, and is ready to capture your ride as he doubles as official race photographer and readily shares his photos without charge. You might even see newly-crowned National Champion John Elgart showing off his new jersey in the B race while taking advantage of racing close to home.
’Cross isn’t coming. It’s still here.
See you there.
More info: Rockville Bike Cyclocross Facebook page