It was a muggy New York City night, and people were quickly filling every inch of a small church in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It was a sold out show with every seat occupied by the time the lights began to dim. BFF Founder and Organizer, Brendt Barbur was dressed in all white while fulfilling his duties as host, ensuring everyone felt welcome. Mandy was the first person I recognized walking into the church. For those that don’t know, Mandy is one of the driving forces behind the Bicycle Film Festival, like a pro she told me she is the first to arrive and the last to leave.
As I looked around more familiar faces started to appear. Shoutout to Crihs, James, Brean, Ashley, and the great Karen Overton. Short claimer I Jason owe everything I have done so far in the bike community to Karen and Ramelle Anderson at Recycle A Bike. Five years ago I walked into the shop in Queens with a women’s Peugeot road frame and was laughed at in a good way when I told them I wanted to turn it into a track bike. (Check out Cat6chismes podcast Jason and Gabe for more of this story)
It was show time as the Pace Brothers from the band, Blonde Redhead started to play. This was the third in a trilogy of Jorgen Leth films the brothers have re-scored for the festival. STARS AND WATERCARRIERS chronicles the 1973 Giro d’Italia. (Tour of Italy) http://cat6chismes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/img_2164.mov
This was my first time ever watching a live band provide the soundtrack to a film. What an experience, the band definitely set the tone and the movie gave you the visual pleasure. It was really cool to see these men from back in the day race on what would be entry level parts for us today. Wool jerseys, friction shifters, caged pedals, and not to mention no carbon at all.
This was definitely one of my favorite cycling events I have ever attended and can only thank the wonderful people involved at BFF. You have another chance to catch it tonight. Head over to 129 Russell street at 8pm and tell them Cat6 sent you!
The 2018 C6 Racing kit made it’s debut last night at Kissena’s Twilight Series. Dawgs, let me tell you, the boys not only looked sleek, they were also fast thanks to Champion System and some powerful legs. The new kits were definitely a fan favorite at the track yesterday as there was no shortage of compliments! Thank you, the support feels just as amazing as the new kits do!
It was a team outing as Jason and Lester were able to help Avery gain valuable points and experience. It’s extremely exciting for us to see our young gun join the ranks of the pro field at Kissena. With State Championships this weekend, look out for a strong presence from us! C6 Racing is more than a club, and more than a team, we are FAMILY!
Soft Drink here with a recap for the second and third tracklocross national races in the New York City. Sorry this took so long pero you know how it goes. Life gets in the way, so it can be hard to find free time to get behind the keyboard and scribble the happs.
It’s a Queens Ting Baby
As most of you know we at Cat 6 have close ties to Queens. Our podcast was born in Queens and is still recorded here to this day. So it was special to have all three races in the series go down in our backyard. My backyard in particular since I’m a Queens resident myself, as is race organizer James Macay. After the first race in Kissena Park, the second was at my personal “training ground” Cunningham Park, wrapping up at some uncharted territory in Forrest Park.
The conditions varied for each race as the series was held over the course of spring. We had a nor’easter right before the first one so there was snow, but race day ended up being pretty warm which made for a slush party in the mud. I think the weather played a huge role in the turnout for the second race. I knew I was going regardless but the forecast said rain all the way up to race day, then it ended up holding out and being perfect. The final race was on a super hot and humid day. It’s all a part of living in the city, you have to love it.
When I tell you that Cunningham is my “training ground” I mean, it’s my sanctuary, my dojo, my temple.
It’s where I go to exorcise my water element. Flowing through the single track taking in the sounds of nature at what feels like a million miles per second.
So you already know when I found out that was where the second race was going to be, I was hype.
I’ll keep it short, 6 people raced, 1 DNF and one DNP (Mario a sav for that lol) so technically only 4 people made it to the finish line.
By this time all my people we already gassing it extra so I had no choice but to put on. Mans freaked it and took the W.
Wound Up in the Final
I’ve been keeping an eye out for a 1-1/8″ canti Wound Up for mad long. It’s one of those timeless bicycle parts, like Profile Racing cranks or Chris King headsets. I’ve been racing my commuter which is a first gen Cinelli x Mash Work. The rake on the fork is less than ideal for cx racing to say the least. Young Lion had an Easton Ec70 that he shot me for the low, so I was swapping out my fork before races. Shit was pretty sketchy. You could see where the carbon was starting to separate from the aluminum at the crown.
Fast forward to a week before the race and mans pulls up and hands me the holy grail. Then mans said, “Go put that shit to work and roast these fools!” So that’s what I did.
It was a muggy day out in Forrest Park but the usual suspects pulled up ready to get it poppin’ on this gnarly course.
It had a long decent that was covered with loose tennis and golf ball sized rocks, which led you to a log you had to cross.
After crossing the log you basically had to dismount because the next decent was short, steep, and led straight into two sets of train tracks that you had to run across. Followed by a climb that was also not rideable. Eight laps of track bike boot camp.
The gas station from my people opened up again before race day. Which I guess at this point isn’t really gassing it if I swept the series right? Either way I was getting stressed. Once I seen the trophy that Dagga created for the series champion I was obsessed.
I just wanted the trophy, mission accomplished.
Savage in a bandage
Dominican Crihs pulled up after having suffered a nasty crash while racing in Greece. The race started with a le mans start and dude was out here hobbling around. It must have not been a big deal to him because in his words, “Not the best turn out, but I didn’t let @coreythecourier beat me. So that’s a win in my book.”
That shit had me dying. I always think that the old school race banter is hilarious, I mean, I produce a podcast called Cat 6 Chismes. I have to love it!
2018 Tracklocross NYC Champion
It’s a bandit race, and the title may not have any prestige right now but it will. The folks over at Resistance Racing have started something special, and with the rising popularity of gravel and off-road cycling I imagine this series will only grow. I heard something about an international championship next year!?
The whole Cat 6 Chismes crew has been waiting for Track or Die NYC to purchase my flight out to Minneapolis for the finals. Time keeps on ticking and the price keeps going up. If it doesn’t go down, at least I got this bad ass trophy and rad memories out of the whole thing. But if it does go down, just know that we’re pulling up, so you better have a Cat 6 Chismes story ready for us!
Yerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr its ya boiii my first time doing one of these wasn’t expecting it so soon[or at all]. Season started off a bit rocky but… HERE I AM. iight so May 2nd is Kissena Twilight Series which is track racing and I was feeling GREAT.
SO GREAT I GOT 1ST PLACE IN THE OMNIUM.
Podium lol; Me, Dan Spellman & Ben Noble ! Photo by Robert Lai !
BUT IM HERE TO TALK ABOUT ROAD SO…
Tres de Mayo, May the 3rd.
Floyd Bennett Thursday Night Series Sponsored by H+H Racing. First time i raced here was early April I got SPAT 2 laps in a move went and there were a good number of people in there i was off the back of the pack and issa windy course so blah…. But I’m digressing.
iight so BOOM. We line up for the race, I just got a bottle of water from Mr. Taylor (much thanks) a star track coach, we line up with the Mens 4/5 and older Juniors, they were deeeeep. I got some people I know from the racing scene near me yung Anthony, Babalola, Jimmy and Anton. Race goes off pretty uneventful an okay pace nothing too fast a bit slow for some but i felt good i was maybe mid pack, we hit the turn and its a bit windy so the pace slows further then the next turn i belive some guys go out front and they get some distance nothing crazy tho, im technically solo and i know this course can easilyyyyy spit me out so i’m chillin tryna conserve energy and all that smart shit so im chilling the pack tryna sit in and eat as little wind as possible, we get to the home stretch which is WAYYYYYY longer than it seems im somehow in the front and and I end up chasing in a tailwind so im doing 35+ not forced like just geared down and spinning it up theres a group of maybe 5 in the front a couple of strong dudes so i guess i was motivated to chase if not to bring it back to hop on and work if my legs let me. So im chasing at this point kinda solo but theres people behind me in like a line but not really drafting so as im about to catch the front group near the first turn i feel myself burning out so i move to the right and luckily the pack followed me in the tailwind and rev’d it up so they catch the front group in the turn, im swarmed by like 40 or so dudes i struggle a bit t get on the back and just recover luckily i did the work before the headwind section and the pack slows which is great for me I manage to latch on the back and “chill” , so as we get into turn 2 i realize theres a slight cross wind as well so i click it up and get to spinning which i excel at i notice a couple dudes i know are strong i see the Verazzano guys at the front or near the front controlling the pace, one of my original goals at the start was to get on the verazzano train and stick with them they’re all strong and they have biggest team presence besides the cuevas junior team, aiight so back to the race. Everytime we hit turn 4 into the finishing straight the pack sped up INSANELY im not used to surging like that, it went from 19-23 ish in the headwind to 35+ EVERYTIME but by this point i know i just have to stick on long enough for the pack to slow it down soon as we hit the turn so a bit before turn theres like this section filllllled with pebbles and i guarantee you them shits hurt like hell you can hear the clanking of the pebbles hitting carbon wheels and frames and people lmao. So we hit the turn and i take it on the inside so im like guarded against the winds. I was a bit nervous to be not only near the back of the pack i have roadbikephobia which is the fear of someone in front of me braking and taking me out so being near the back and on the inside didnt help this at all, but there i was at that point i had no choice but to get comfortable with riding in a pack so that I did.
So 20 minutes into the race (i looked at my garmin) i stopped feeling like i was dying but i also thought damn only 20 minutes??? Little did i know we only had 18 minutes left the rest is pretty routine I stayed pretty safe in the pack i drafted move up positions off the outside busted some bunnyhops over HORRIBLE FLOYD BENNETT CONCRETE….
Fast forward to the last lap bell goes off the pack is mostly together im not sure what was happening upfront but i felt really good i could feel myself getting antsy but i calmed it down im inside and midpack into turn 1 and turn 2 theres not too much shuffling fromt what i can remember it got a bit sketchy at turn 3 i barely got in on the inside theres this huge orange barricade i had to brake a bit nothing crazy tho. So were on the straigh before the final turn and i realize the pack slows the slightest bit its windy but not enough for them to slow down so im on the inside but theres more road to my right so i move over click it down twice and i go for it full effort
IM OFF THE F*CKING FRONT I DONT LOOK BACK OR ANYTHING I HAMMER THAT SHIT TAKE THE TURN ON THE INSIDE I WAS SOOOOOOOOO SCARED THAT ID SLIP OUT AND MESS EVERYONES RACE UP BUT I DONT SO IM ON THE FINAL STRAIGHT STILL NO ONE AHEAD OF ME AT THIS POINT MY LEGS TAKE OVER AND I STOP THINKING AND CHANNEL THE GOLDSPRINT MENTALITY INTO MYSELF SPIN TIL YOU WIN SO IM SPINNING THIS SHIT FULLLLLL GAS AND I SLOWLY START DYING THEN ANOTHER DUDE THAT I SAW OFF THE BACK EARLIER IN THE RACE GETS INFRONT OF ME, LIKE A SPLIT SECOND DECISION I GET UP OUT THE SADDLE AND HOP ON THE DRAFT TRAIN AT THIS POINT I DONT THINK IM BREATHING JUST PUSHING THE PEDALS WITH WILL POWER SO IM GETTING PULLED BUT STILL HAMMERING AND WE NEAR THE LINE AND ANOTHER DUDE GETS ME BY LIKE A WHEEL SO I GET 3RD
A GLORIOUS 3RD THO. FIRST TIME FINISHING A ROAD RACE WITH THE PACK AND I F*CKING PODIUMED !!
Track is back! This past Saturday saw the return of the annual track series called 6Days at Kissena, thrown by Jason G. owner of Affinity cycles and Host Title by Lucarelli and Castaldi. It was really great to see everyone back in skinsuits and on track bikes. Seeing the Zwift videos on ig were beginning to bore me. The program for the day was short and simple a bunch of scratch races to start the 1st day.
It was a cold, mostly cloudy day with a bit of wind to contend with. First up on the program for myself (Jason) and the rest of the 1,2,3 field was a 6 lap scratch. It was fun getting the legs going on the track again and everyone’s adrenaline was pumping. A lot of attacks happened early in the race but none stuck. I stood patient in the pack and waited for the bell lap to make my move. I was fortunate enough to take 1st.
From there we had a 5 lap scratch. Those who know me know it takes me sometime to pick up my speed so quick and short is not to my advantage. Especially with the spinners we have in the pro field at Kissena. Again I stood in the pack till the bell lap but this time found myself boxed in. I came away with 5th.
The last race was the best and most fun I have had racing with C6Racing. Lester, Shawn and I planned to surprise the field with two to go and make our break. Describing it would not do the justice and watching so here is the video:
We were told that it was some of the best team work every at kissena and we were damn proud! It was great to be back with my mates and back to competing. We were able to hold off the break and get 1,2,&3 respectively. What a proud moment!
Finally I was able to make the A feature which was a 16 lap points race. At this point everyone was on lactic legs and depleted, but I felt like I had just a lil more in the tank. It started fast right from the whistle and I let the field take the first bell lap. From there a breakaway consisting of Jeff (Pink Rhino), Parker (H&H) and myself formed. Now it was just us three left to battle out.
Again I was lucky to take the final 3 bell laps. That gave me 1st place in the Main Feature as well as 1st place overall for the day and series.
Thank you to miki who provided the video and some of the photos. Day 2 recap on the way!
The Tracklocross Nationals series kicked off yesterday and that shit was a blast! A bandit cross race being held in multiple cities around the country on the same day, followed by an actual championship race out in Minneapolis. Shout outs to the homies Resistance Racing out in the Bay Area (Yeeeee, I see you Jean) & Cobra Racing over in Portland!
James Macay is organizing/hosting the NYC series, and killing it thus far!
The flyer said 12PM start time pero we all know that means 2-2:30 in bike time. I arrived at twelve on the dot to find James and Mario finishing up the course markers. We had a lil nor’easter earlier in the week so you already know the conditions were PRIME for CX racing. The course was .74 miles of work multiplied by 5 laps. Literally 3.7 miles of brakeless, fixed, heckled, muddied, tracklocross manuvery. Yeah, I said it, manuvery.
We had a bunch of heavy hitters pull up and run the gauntlet. (Snowballs included) Fixed Gear Cyclocross World Champion, Corey the Courier came through fresh off the Biking Man Oman race. Bruh, you already know the competition was stacked! I’ll never forget the first time I went riding out at Cunningham park Corey, he pulled up on a fixed gear with no brakes. I’d heard of people riding fixed off road but had yet to see it, and here he was killing it. So I already knew this was going to be a legit battle if I wanted get anywhere in near the podium. My man Corey straight up told James he wasn’t going to wear a number because he’s the world champion. (He wore stripes)
Right before the race started James announced that Track or Die NYC would be flying the winner of the series out to Minneapolis for the finals. Stakes is high y’all. James gave us our final instructions and then hit us with the super casual-monotone, “You can start now.”
Quick le mans start and just like that, the race was underway. I’ve always been pretty quick on my feet and was out front with John and Ryan from Bad Luck Racing when we got to our bikes. I went for the cross mount and had a false start! I completely kicked the back of my bike and had to run it off for a second attempt. It was really bad, borderline embarrassing. In the video Lalo shot you can hear me say, “ohhh motha funker.”
Video by Lalo Reynoso
Second times a charm though. Approaching the first turn I opted for the wide line around the tree. I think I was the only one because you had to hop a curb into a section of grass covered in snow. From that point on I knew I just had to ride my ride and stick to my lines. Some of the log features were super hard to manuver, muddy root sections made for sketchy climbs and troublesome chicanes. After about the second or third lap, I stopped looking back. All the encouragement from the lively spectators kept me in the zone and I knew it was in the bag. Put my head down and kept working.
When I first started racing I think I was afraid to push myself. I felt like I needed to race with the pack and shoot for some kind of sprint finish? I don’t remember what I was thinking. Now I know that it’s okay to burn a couple matches to separate yourself and from the group and keep it moving. It’s cross, what, are they going to work together and catch you? Cross is a different animal. Handling and conditioning are everything. If you have both, you numero uno. I kept at it till the end and was fortunate enough to come away with the W.
Video by Lalo Reynoso
I’ve been playing this all by ear but I’m going to make an effort to hit up the whole series. I can’t overstate how dope this event is, come hang if you’re around! Check out www.TrackXNationals.com for dates and news in your city!
Post Race Ride
Spring has sprung and the people were out. After the race a big group of us rode over to Cunningham were things got a little out of hand. So many people sent it! Super fun to hang out and crush some beers in the woods while folks were getting LOOSE.
Never underestimate the power of family. My family back home in Gilroy has been going through a lot lately. While I was out there racing all I could think about is how strong my Mother an Sister have been through all of this. I’m dedicating this series to them, the real MVP’s. The people who made me who I am today by never letting me give up.