A 40-year-old U.S. cyclocross series? Fixed gear cyclocross racing? Costume race? A guitar-playing frame builder? Free Women’s C race? And cyclocross team fundraiser? It’s all happening this Sunday in Santa Cruz County. See the below for details on the 40th anniversary Halloween celebration of the Surf City Cyclocross Series.
Back in 1978, before most people had even thought about riding bicycles on dirt, a small group of folks from Santa Cruz got together for a grassroots race they called Jungle Cross. Courses featured river crossings, giant fallen redwood trees, mud bogs and hellishly long run-ups.
Four decades later, the tradition continues and what came to be called Surf City Cyclocross is celebrating its 40th season this weekend, making it the oldest continuously-running cyclocross series in the Western Hemisphere.
The October 28th race will be held 2500 feet above the Pacific Ocean at the CalFire training facility in Bonny Doon, high up in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
The only large mammals nearby are inhabitants of a low-security prison and the mountain lions, making this venue the perfectly spooky setting for the Halloween race.
What does Rock Lobster have to do with it? The team has been promoting its own race since 2015 called the Rock Lobster Cup. “There’s a lot of crossover between the folks putting on our race and Surf City,” says Rock Lobster Cup race mis-director Brendan Lehman.
The Lobster crew joined forces with returning Surf City directors Josie Jacques Maynes and Sarah Jordan.
Lehman said the dream team has big shoes to fill. “Jeff Clark, who has been the backbone of the series for several decades decided to officially retire this year. We saw this as an opportunity to contribute to the sport that has already taken so much from us.”
What to expect? The event will feature the best of both Surf City and the Rock Lobster Cup this Sunday: categories for all skill levels and ages, a kids’ race, custom jerseys by Voler for each category winner, prizes for all podium spots, cash payout for Elite racers, music, food vendors, expo booths, neutral support offered by The Spokesman and the national anthem played on electric guitar by Mr. Paul Sadoff himself.
Bring your costume, pack your picnic supplies, come early and plan to stay late to watch the new “Tracklocross” fixed-gear category and big-air flyover competition at 2 pm.