It’s been a while since I had been to a ‘cross race. Maybe even a few years. And it had been just as long since I stood in a considerable, torrential downpour for hours on end. The Surf City Cyclocross All Hallow’s Eve event was my reintroduction to the world of cyclocross racing and my introduction to monsoon season in California.
Huge props to the Santa Cruz Factory Team for racing fast and keeping things positive in spite of the conditions.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the Crusher in the Tushar, it’s a long road/gravel bike race with a “fair” amount of climbing (read: TONS).
It’s definitely one of those things to add to your roadie bucket list if you enjoy pain, high temperatures, and a party in the mountains. The race is held every year outside of Beaver, Utah.
A Memorial day field trip to watch super bikes rip at 180 mph? Sounds good to me.
Besides falling off the back of a moving golf cart and stuffing my knees, palms, and photo-bag into the asphalt I would call it a successful trip. Nothing like a little bit of centrifugal force to start your day off with a headache.
Unfortunately Seo’s buddy Matt got the short end of the stick on a sketchy pass and ended up sliding out of the race in one of the first corners after a couple laps. Ultimately he turned out to be ok and walked off the course with a pretty beat up bike.
I’ll admit this was my first attempt at shooting anything on a track, and more specifically, anything bike-related. Seo lent me a somewhat out-of-alignment 100-400mm 4-5.6 which produced an interesting array of somewhat focused shots. Not that I’m complaining, even with a sharp 300 or 400mm tele I would have been hard pressed not to skunk myself on the first attempt. Trying to mount my 1.4x converter on the said tele was like looking into a really up-close-and-personal-blackhole… I would not suggest this technique if you lack a long lens.
After comparing blurry photos, having some laughs, and downing a beer or two the three of us headed back to Salt Lake. Photo-dork outings never get old.
A few selections below, possibly more once I have a chance to do a thorough edit.