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.
Much love to all my brothers on C6Racing, thank you for ripping my legs off on those training rides, love ya! All of our sponsors, The Gutter Bar LIC, Engine11, Rudy Project, Bonx, LIC Beer Project, XX2I, Primal Kitchen and Bicycle Habitat.
That’s all I got, see ya at the next race!