Fifteen years after Dani Dance and Rich Maile first conceived of the idea of the Singlespeed Cyclocross World Championships (SSCXWC) and hosted the event outside Portland, Oregon, the event continues on, returning to Northern California this November for the 2023 edition.
In our video and photo-filled report of the epic 2011 SSCXWC edition in San Francisco, we ended it with:
"Where will SSCXWC 2012 be held? Cyclocross Magazine's sources say it’s going to be in Santa Cruz, home of the original jungle cross."
While that iteration was eventually relocated to Los Angles, 11 years later, the singlespeed and Golden Speedo dream is finally coming true for the jungle crossers of Santa Cruz. The infamous one-gear cyclocross race is finally happening in the town called Surf City.
The promotion team, led by Surf City Cyclocross' Brendan Lehman, has been hard at work planning all the festivities, and reveal all the carefully-planned details of the event in its video below:
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Excited by all those details and ready to commit? Registration opens at 5pm Pacific time on Monday, May 15, 2023 on BikeReg.
Clear as mud? We've got more details of the event, straight from the promoter Lehman:
"We're excited to bring back is the Feats of Strength qualifier ride on Saturday. This is the part where you get to go for a big ride, and we're stoked to show people around town and then take them up into the woods. That night we'll have a blowout pre-race party just to make sure nobody is well rested before the big showdown."
Cyclocross in Santa Cruz is known for being rowdy. Our Surf City series was originally called jungle cross back in the 70s for a reason, and that's how we like it. This whole weekend may be a giant shit show, but the race is gonna be a race even if it pushes the boundaries of what cyclocross means for some people.
The team also has some official pre-reg details to help you decide if dedicating your weekend for one-gear riding is right for you:
After over a decade of anticipation, this event is going down in Santa Cruz, California on the weekend of November 10-12th. That may feel like a long time from now, but life is short and it'll be over before you know it.
What we can promise you is a weekend of rides, parties, and yes, ultimately a two-wheeled (and one-speeded) competition for the most coveted tattoo in cycling. On Saturday, you will be taken on a ride around Santa Cruz, taking a tour of the beaches and local sights and then head into the mountains to ride trails through our redwood forest. Along the way, you will compete in feats of cyclocross strength. These challenges will test your ability on the bike, and decide who qualifies to line up for the championship race on Sunday.
Don't worry if you don't qualify for the big show, you will still have a chance to compete during the everybody-is-a-winner lifestyle parade. There will be parties with live music and activities around town all three nights, testing your endurance off the bike. Whether you're a seasoned pro, or a first-time racer, we can guarantee there will be something to make you unhappy.
Registration will open on May 15th at www.bikereg.com/sscxwc23sc. Mark your calendars because there are a limited number of spots and this event will sell out quicker than a Taylor Swift concert.
This will be a three-day event starting with a pre-party on Friday, qualifying rounds on Saturday, and in the prestigious tradition of Single Speed World Championships, final showdown is on Sunday. It is guaranteed to be an unforgettable weekend, unless you drink too much, which is almost guaranteed.
Here is a basic breakdown of events, but stay tuned for details:
FRIDAY Nov 10
Arrive midday on Friday for a group ride in Santa Cruz led by Team Rock Lobster. This will be followed by the packet pickup party.
SATURDAY Nov 11 - QUALIFIERS
(EXACT TIMING & LOCATION DETAILS STILL PENDING)
AM: Riders will be sent in groups on a ride around Santa Cruz to compete in feats of strength that ultimately determine who qualifies for the championship race. The ride will be around 30 miles and a mix of city and forest dirt riding with stops for sightseeing, and other fun activities. The feats of cyclocross strength will be challenges that test a rider's riding skill and physical ability on and off the bike.
PM: We'll be throwing a party at the classiest joint in town to make sure everyone is not well rested for the race. That's where we'll announce who qualifies for the championship race and hand out number plates.
SUNDAY Nov 12 - THE WORLD CHAMPS
The championship race course is at a top-secret location deep in the Santa Cruz mountains. There will be a meetup for people who want to ride there (~12 miles uphill). For those who still have something left in the tank, the awards ceremony will be back down in town where the winners get their tattoos and next year's host city is announced. Come to this expecting a full weekend of riding and evening activities.
Note that all of the evening activities, and qualifier ride will start/end in the city of Santa Cruz. There is an abundance of hotels and vacation rental houses within riding distance of downtown. Or call up that old college roommate who you haven't talked to in 20 years to crash on their couch.
Lehman said, "It's really friggin' hard to put on a bike race in the Bay Area since land is such a premium. But the team has been laying the groundwork for years and people are gonna lose their shit when they arrive at the race course on Sunday."
Can't decide if this event is for you? Have a look through some past SSCXWC memories in the slideshow below, or get started building your singlespeed cyclocross rig now.
See the SSCXWC 2023 Official Website here: sscxwc23sc.com and jump on the email list.
Featured photo: F. Bartoli Avveduti