Rainey Park CX

Rainey Park CX, Queens NYC

Yerrrrrr, yesterday was race day here in Queens, New York thanks to Keith Garrison as well as King Kog/Sun&Air. I’ve only raced a handful of CX races over the past couple of years, but from what I understand there hasn’t been cross racing in the city since Hurricane Sandy. Yo, that sucks b. When I think of sports and their accessibility it always makes me shed a single thug tear. In order for folks to develop their skills they need to be provided with facilities that accommodate their goals. Cyclocross is easily my favorite kind of cycling at this stage in my life, but I’ve always been a BMX’er. Part of riding bmx when I was growing up was recognizing the limits of your locale. Not having a car meant you couldn’t develop outside of your immediate city or town. To be a cylocross rider in NYC means virtually the same thing. Not having a car severely reduces your odds of racing should you live in NYC. Now of course I know about the one or two races a year you can take the bus to, but the only problem is when you’re a beginner like myself, your race is often the first of the day. Talk about a rough start! So to get back on track, no cx in the city since Sandy, along comes local bad ass, Keith Garrison, who I’m pretty sure worked with Austin Horse on the inaugural Rainey Park race last year on New Years Eve. I’ll never forget it, I was on the island of Coron out in the Philippines when it all went down. Enough about last year, I know why you’re here.

Makin Mama proud.

Race Predictor

Yo I love the race predictor! If this is how we determine call ups, I’m with the shits. After yesterday I only need one more CX race and I can voluntarily move to the 4’s. I actually applied for an upgrade prior to this race because I wanted to race both single speed and a standard category. Since I’ve only done 2 races there’s no way they would upgrade me. This meant I’d be racing a 40 minute race at 9:30 with the single speed group and a 30 minute race with the category 5 group at 10:15. I wanted to race the ss because I knew I’d be in there with guys who race on the pro level, but I wanted to race wit the 5’s so I could have a chance of getting on the podium. Well, I got everything I asked for. And the muthafuckin’ race predictor got both races right. I’m starting to think there’s some brujeria going on over there.

Single Speed

As I mentioned the single speed race was set to begin at 9:30AM. I linked up with Young Pedro around 8AM and we rode over to Sal, Chris & Charlie’s in Astoria for that good jelly & cream cheese roll n a coffee. When we got to the park the course was already taped off and a couple of brave souls were having at the frozen snow covered path. Totally manageable but surprisingly difficult. Regardless, by the time 9:30 rolled around there was a clear line. The defined line was 18″ wide max, meaning any sort off passing was going to be done out in the unforgiving snow. What a game of tactics, I always forget about the casual contact in cross racing, especially during the beginning of the race. When you don’t expect it you might feel like you got the puck in a game of hockey. All things aside, I knew I was in a race with some savages. I stayed in the top three for the first two laps then slowly fell off. I was kind of over dressed but I refused to wear less clothes in that kind of cold. The barriers were right after a quick u-turn and insanely difficult to ride. I don’t know if anyone else tried or succeeded in riding them but it wasn’t happening for me. I rolled the dice on maybe the second lap and tried to ride them. I made it over the first successfully but had to stop and dismount before the second. The section on the backside was a true test; after the barriers there were two off camber climbs, followed by a stair climb, then a gnarly curb at the bottom of a decent which led you into a long climb with Belgian barriers. Sheeeeeesh, that shit was tiring bruh! Long story long, race predictor was correct, I took 6th place.

Came to the party way overdressed. Photo by Cesar Macay

Category 5

Photo by Shawn Foley

I had big hopes for this race to say the least. Everyone likes to put on for they squad. I know that my team went super hard at Kissena this season and did they thing so I just wanted to do right by them and their efforts. Before the decision to split the 4/5 field into two separate races, I was on the waitlist for that race and registered for the single speed. Knowing I was going to be racing this race, I think I held back in the SS a little. Not like that would have changed the result, but it made the SS a warm up for the 5 race, n boy was I warm. Came out of the prologue in the 2 position and never looked back. By the time we got to the back end of the course I was already in a fluid rhythm with the course. I knew how fast to take certain turns and where to conserve energy. As soon as we made that first left and started the climb towards the Belgain barriers, I knew that was my feasting ground and I was going to eat up all the seconds right there. I finessed those barriers so clean spectators started calling me a sandbagger.

Photo by Cesar Macay

Dude, thanks for the compliment! Honestly, I think that’s beautiful, someone thinks so highly of you they believe you should be in a higher category than you are. As I mentioned, I applied for an upgrade before the race and was declined because I’ve only raced twice prior to Sunday. So there I was, way off the front and relentlessly pushing myself to see what I was made of. I got some great advice from my teammate Gio, “Give a hundred two times… Show Cisco what Cisco’s made of.”

Photo by Cesar Macay

It’s amazing what the human body is capable of. In the single speed race all the homies and my teammates were cheering me on but in the 5 race, the sideline was pretty silent, I guess they didn’t think I needed any help with that one, haha. I ended up finishing with a 55 second gap.

Photo by Jason Colón

By the last two laps I was the guy lapping people getting the wave by from other competitors. That shit felt amazing, you know, hard work and focus paying off. Shouts to the race predictor for holding me down yet again.

Screen grab from Mitch Rittmer

 

Much love to the lil homie Young Pedro for racing the SS race as well as winning the junior race! Mans never raced cross and did two races back to back on a Brooklyn Machine Works, running long reach road calipers. Keep your eyes on the next generation people.

Pic by me

Which brings me to my final note, do it for the kids y’all. I hope more kids like Pedro become involved in racing and more racing is organized in metropolitan areas like New York City. The more we get these kids outside and connected the better communities we’ll build. If you don’t take the time to teach them something good, someone will take the time to teach them something bad. Each one teach one, let’s build!

Peace!

Photo by Shawn Foley

 

 

 

Race Report: NYC Jungle Cross

Jungle Cross

Yerrrrrrrr!

Yesterday was the NYC Jungle Cross race in Forest Park, right on the border of Queens and Brooklyn. The park is pretty big and has a bunch of main arteries running through it, as well as a bunch of hiking trails.

Shouts to @Gabe_Electronica & @BikeStopAstoria for the new brake pads as well as the hardware install.

Now that I think about it, I didn’t even check if bicycles were allowed on the trails we were racing. There were a handful of dog walkers and bird watchers out that added an additional element. I mean, it’s called bandit cross for a reason. Anyway, when I showed up around one o’clock we were still taping off the course. With how short the days have become we all knew this would quickly become a race against the sunset. Huge shouts to Shawn from King Kog man, Andrew was leading a group of us out on a viewing lap and I ended up getting dropped by circumstance. (Shouts to young James Macay for doing that branch grooming one time.) When Shawn completed the viewing lap he asked a couple of us to help him mark the course since Andrew was helping people find the starting line/spectating/chillin area.

Behind the scenes.

This was a great chance to take it super slow and try to identify as many of those little variables called rocks! I’m telling you, with all the leafs on the ground it was beautifully deceiving. I’m out here racing on clinchers so I have to be extra cautious to avoid pinch flats.

The course is marked and we’re about to hit our lil 20′ le mans. By this time, the sun is seemingly on it’s decent and I remember thinking, wish I had a dope head light right now. Pero it’s whatever, we’re about to get it poppin.

Photo by Devin Cummings
First person shooter.

“GO!”

Photo by Devin Cummings

Oh snap, I forgot to mention everyone went on a practice lap together except for John Shack & “Mario” aka Mtb dude. So we’re out, I grab my bike and dip wide to get a clean line on the immediate climb coming up. Everything goes great, I pretty much got the hole shot, with John, again who’s never rode the course, and I let him have it since the first turn of the race becomes a single track decent and it was on his side of our path. But I knew that was a bad idea, after my experience in the viewing lap all I could think was, “we’re going to make a wrong turn.”

Well that shit didn’t take long! Almost as soon as we start getting to business I just hear a ton of yelling behind me, “Wrong way!!!”

Traveling right to left of course.

I look back and everyone is taking a left where I just followed John right. No matter how competitive you are, you can’t help but laugh at yourself when something like this happens. If you look at my strava you can see how ridiculous the route I took to get back on course was. I basically rode through a bunch of bushes. Shit was clean though, and no flats, so we good money.

I just went from second place to like tenth or something. Such a gnarly mistake! It’s chill though, I just knew I’d have to put in that work. One of the folks I passed was Young James, I hit him with the, “On your left!” Not realizing he had headphones in, he definitely went left. I lucked out and simply rode through some more bushes, haha. Yo shouts to fellow C6 racer Gio Ramirez and James for racing fixed! Ya beasted fosho.

Maybe halfway through the first lap I was back up in the third position behind Mario the Mtb dude and Shawn was leading us through the course. The starting and finish lines were both on road and that’s obviously were all the spectators were. So as we finished our first lap I pulled a sick hand off and got rid of my wind breaker. CLUTCH. So we made our way up that starting hill again and end up back in the same configuration, Shawn, Mario, and then myself. I knew I was going to pick someone off. I wasn’t sure when or how, but I def knew it would happen. There was a tight section where the course went out on to a road for about 15′ and then hit a pretty steep climb. That climb was the end of Mr Mtb dude. He started to slow and let Shawn create space, that’s going to be a hard, “No” from me fam. I didn’t do all this work to watch somebody skate with the dub unchallenged. So I chase and catch Shawn thinking this is it. Just us two, and he knows the course way better. So I tried to stay as close as possible in hopes that he might be the one to make a mistake. Yeah, right, that shit didn’t happen. My last chance to sneak a win was to jump a log, coming out of the ugly climb, right before the final sprint.

So I went for it, I almost went down as a result of Shawn and I aiming for the same slim exit. There it was, we were both now on the street and had maybe 100m left to put it on the line. A full on sprint ensued. I pushed that 40×18 to it’s fucking limit fam. All I could hear were his gears shifting and kept thinking fuck, Fuck, FUCK!

Like that it was over, so I look up from the sprint with Shawn on my left only to realize there’s a couple walking their dogs on the street right in front of us. I moved to my right as fast as I could but when I turned around all I seen was Shawn’s front wheel wash out and him sliding on his side. No dogs or dog walkers were harmed in the entire process. Turns out he caught a pinch flat somewhere, and as soon as he started braking the front tire lost traction on the asphalt. Sheesh, he was a soldier though. Shawn and I ended up calling it a tie, while the Mtb dude pulled 3rd. Big ups to Young James for first fixed, shredding the gnar.

Podium pic courtesy of @Cmacay

 

TLOP

After the race, the C6 crew headed over to Bowlero to record the newest episode of @cat6Chismes. If you haven’t already peeped Young Pablo’s podcast, got get that here. We recorded this episode last night with him after he just raced his first CX race, NYC Jungle Cross, good times.

Peace

 

-Cisco

ps. Part 2 of my PNW trip is up on my personal website if you haven’t read enough about my life after that recap.

PNW Pt.1 – MFG Cross

MFG Cross Moves

As much as I love Nyc, sometimes it’s nice to get out of the city. That’s exactly what I did this last week while out in the PNW for the Chrome Industries managers meeting.

Listo
Packing game on point.

Every year the Chrome store managers from all over the country come together for the annual managers meeting. We had a rad schedule set up starting with a night in Seattle. I seen this as a great chance to reconnect with some of my homies who have relocated to the PNW. I flew into Seattle a couple of days early and scoped the race schedule. Upon realizing the MFG CX Series would be holding their Magnuson Park race while I was in town, I had to do it. So I packed up my single speed and signed myself up for some of the most competitive cyclocross racing in the country. Seriously, the northwest SSCX races are the “main event,” bruh.

Commuter/Race machine
Homies laundry room is fucking tight.

Off to the races!

Soul train.
Pinned

I got called up in the last row and lined up against 64 other races all rocking single speeds. During my one practice run, I rode the barriers perfect! Going into the race, I decided I wasn’t getting off my bike for the barriers on any lap. On the first lap, I cleared both but came landed the second one a little sketchy and unclipped during my landing. Regardless, super confident in riding the barriers. Made lots of moves in the first lap and got myself into a decent position. I’d say I was somewhere between 10th-15th which is great going into the second lap.

Landing the second barrier. Photo by Woodinville Bicycles
Gettem on the inside. Photo by Woodinville Bicycles

I figured if I could at least stay with the lead pack, I’d be able to pick a couple of racers off every time we got to the barriers. This would have been completely true had I not stacked the second barrier on my second lap!

Sheesh, went over the bars, lost my water bottle and to top it off my stem became crooked in the crash. So there I am trying to straighten my stem only to realize everyone is about to stomp on my water bottle which is laying in the dirt right after the second barrier. Fuck it, get your shit together and get back on the horse!

Photo by Woodinville Bicycles

That’s exactly what I did, but only after losing a ton of spots and about 30-40 seconds. My strategy with cx races is to remain steady while racing. Keep the legs moving at a consistent pace. if you can achieve this, by the time you get to the 30 minute mark, you’ll usually start picking people off pretty quick. Combine that mentality with the ability to ride barriers and I’m getting a bunch of those spots back.

Magnuson park is hella pretty

I did my best and rode the barriers flawlessly for the remainder of the race. Every time we got to the barrier section I would end up passing no less that two people. I remember one lap in particular, I passed 6 or 7 people on the stretch right after the barriers.

Tape and light

MFG @ Magnuson park was hella fun! Sheesh, so happy I brought my bike on this trip. I ended up finishing 22nd out of 65. Good enough for me, of course I could have done better but I’m not going to beat myself up over a little crash. Huge shout out to the homie Deemer for blessing my ride and hooking me up with the dope Seattle experience.

Thurfbort

Riding across Seattle with a stuffed Warsaw and a bike box aka wind sail on my back.

Downtown arrival

I’ll leave you with this, the cycling community in Seattle is thriving and extremely fun, don’t sleep fam. -Cisco

 

PS stay tuned for my recap of my time in Portland, shao!

 

Master King

For episode 2 of season two we had to take our show to the Times Square office of Fernando Rivera “iLL~Kid” aka Master King, to get an interview with the legend himself. This man has been in the game longer than most of you “butterflies” as he likes to call the rookies, have been alive. Take a listen and so up some OG game one time. 

Black Friday Crit

Just finished a whole bunch (about 100) buttons for the racers tonight! Hope to see you all there! 

Big ups to @ontheblockwithsoho for this quick run down and all his help getting the word out!  

“Get an early start burning those calories With a 22 mile crit, 15 laps, each lap averaging 1.5 miles. 

Meet up at The Central Park Bandshell

Registration: $10 at 6pm

Wheels down at 7pm

There’s also a 50/50 pot split for first & First Lady with a $200 bonus for the the first woman as well.”

Good vibes only please! We’re trying to build not destroy/seclude/alienate/discriminate.