Welcome to the SCCCC Race Team - Team Santa Cruz

SCCCC Race Team

Team Santa Cruz is the racing branch of the Santa Cruz County Cycling Cub. The primary objective of Team Santa Cruz is to help SCCCC members achieve their racing goals.

Santa Cruz County Cycling Club

SCCCC members participate in a wide variety of bicycle pursuits. SCCCC promotes the Santa Cruz Classic Criterium, Peak Season Cyclocross race, Swanton Road Time Trial series and the Santa Cruz Mountains Challenge.

Sep 2, 2013

2013 CCCX Cross Country Final - Series medals for David Crum and Andrew Murray

To say the CCCX promoters stretch out the cross country season is an understatement.

The 2013 series that began back in January finally wrapped up on August 24 at Fort Ord. The August heat, dry air and loose, sandy climbs made for a challenging race.

The course lap was a clockwise direction 5 mile/500 feet climbing blend of the day camp trails - the 4 lap race was approximately 20 miles and 2,000 feet of climbing total.

SCCCC Race Team riders David Crum (CAT-2 single speed) and Andrew Murray (CAT-2 clydesdale) went off in the same start group.


Andrew's 'thumbs up' start turned into agonizing first lap when his rear wheel began leaking air. Andrew attempted a series of on-course measures to fill his tire but couldn't get enough pressure to maintain the sidewall during turns. Eventually he came into the start/finish to grab a tube, fix the wheel and begin chasing. Andrew made up a lot of time but in the end needed a longer race to bridge the last 3 minutes to the leader. Andrew finished in 2nd place at 1:39:18.

On August 11, two weeks before the final and still recovering from a serious leg injury, David was beaten by his series points rival William Tovar of DC-10 Race Team. Looking fully recovered at the final, David pushed the pace early. 

By the third lap Tovar was having difficulty keeping David's wheel (see below) and finished second despite a decent kick on the last lap. David finished the CAT-2 single speed race in first place at 1:38:18.

David Crum (blue) and William Tovar
David Crum (green) and William Tovar

David also earned first place in the series, the coveted CCCX champion jersey and a category upgrade for next season.

Congratulations to Andrew and David.


Jun 23, 2013

Race Report: Big Double - SoNoMas and Central Coast - David Crum

David Crum - Race Report:
Events: SoNoMas and CCCX XC #5
Date:  June 1-2, 2013

My plan for the first weekend in June was to compete in two singlespeed mountain bike races, one in Sonoma on Saturday and another in Monterey on Sunday. I left work in Watsonville at 6:00 Friday night, jumped into typical bay area weekend traffic with a tent, some food, and my single speed mountain bike in the car. Made the drive up to Lake Sonoma more quickly than I expected to and it was just dark when I rolled up to the park where the SoNoMas race would commence the following morning. Even at 9 pm, it was still 24C (think metric!) there which is much warmer than a fog dweller like me is accustomed to. Got my tent set up, ate a bit of food and took a quick walk around to see who else had shown up for the race. There were the Bike Monkey people who had been there since Thursday to set up the start finish area and mark the course and maybe 20 other racers. Not the huge turnout I was expecting. I tried to get some sleep but the wind picked up during the night and threatened to take the tent away. Luckily I’d remembered to anchor the tent down when setting it up. The wind persisted the entire night so I didn’t sleep as much as I’d hoped to.

In the morning, there were a few more racers camped near me who must have arrived in the wee hours. Since I don’t recall hearing them pull in and set up, I must have actually slept. As I got up and made some coffee and muesli, a steady stream of cars and trucks with bike racks started pulling into the lot. Maybe they’d have a big turnout after all.

The race was scheduled to start at 8:00 sharp and it was already starting to warm up by 7:00. I had just shorts and a jersey and didn’t feel too cold. Drinking some extra water and smearing a thick layer of sunscreen on seemed like the best pre-race prep. When we all queued up at the starting line, the race director announced that there were over 300 racers who had checked in – way more than I expected the night before – but only 21 signed up to race singlespeed. We were mocked.

The start was a “neutral” roll out following a pace car onto the highway for about 2 or 3 km (metric people!), then he pulled off and we hit the dirt. The long course – which was the only one available for anyone foolish enough to race a singlespeed here – started climbing immediately. And since the racers were all still in a big bunch, most everyone walked for bit until the trail widened to fire road.

SoNoMas races counterclockwise around Lake Sonoma on the rocky single track which follows each finger of the reservoir. Even though there are no single climbs which last more than 15 minutes, you are either climbing or descending, often on very steep, loose tracks which took nearly as much effort to descend safely as to climb. After nearly an hour of this, I arrived at the first water station. Usually I drink maybe one bottle per hour, but the heat was high enough that I needed to refill both bottles already. There were four more water stops and I repeated the process at each station. For the fast racers, they probably didn’t need nearly as much water, but my goal for the day was to finish with enough energy to drive home that afternoon and race again on Sunday.

Somewhere during hour three, I came upon a racer with his bike upside-down. Jerry was struggling to get a broken spoke out of the cassette on his bike. He’d been forced to either walk or pedal as if he was riding a fixie for the last 30 minutes and was ready to give up. I always carry too many tools, so I handed him some folding pliers and he had the offending spoke out in a minute. I appreciated the excuse to stop walking/pushing up the hills for a few minutes, so we were all happy. We rode together for the next hour and made it to the last water stop together. This one, and the one previous, were far enough from all roads that the volunteers had brought the water, ice (!) and beer out by boat on Friday. Jerry and I celebrated being nearly done with a lukewarm Dixie cup of Coors and a handful of ice dumped into our helmets by one of the volunteers. As we pulled away, one of the station workers told us the remaining trails “trended downhill”. This sounds appealing, but the trend did not seem downhill at all as the temperature was now hovering around 38C.

I finally crossed the finish line with a near DFL time of 4:49:27 – the winning singlespeed finished at 3:26:36 – one more SS finished at 5:40 and one DNF’d, so it could have been much worse. I proved to myself I’m not very fast in the heat, but was able to complete the race with my sense of humour still intact even though it was now 40C.

The drive back to Santa Cruz wasn’t too bad as I elected to drive down Hwy 1 in hopes the coast was a bit cooler than inland. By the time I got to Pacifica, I was back into the fog and more humane temperatures.
Sunday was race #5 in the CCCX XC series. I’ve been leading the points in Cat 2 SS and felt obligated to defend my lead. The race had been scheduled for 22 June, but they rescheduled with only a weeks’ notice to 2 June. Luckily, I happened to notice the announcement on their website, but even luckier for my points quest, only 2 other SS racers showed up at Ft Ord on the 2nd. My relief was short lived as they announced the course would be slightly longer than a typical CCCX race at 39 kms.

As usual, the Cat 2 SS group started with the juniors and 19-34 guys. I was able to draft some geared riders during the road start and turned onto the dirt ahead of the two other SS racers. I was able to hold position for about two laps until the effort of Saturday caught up with me and I watched the juniors and eventual SS winner ride away from me. At this point, I just rode tempo and finished the race – still in second place – with a time of 1:54:44. Enough to earn 47 more points for the series.

Photo: Keith Defiebre

Jun 22, 2013

SCCCC Road Racing - David Allen

...another catch up post with a lot of racing to cover.

David Allen has been focused on the road during the last couple of months and has posted some very good results. 

David's most notable finishes include a 1st place in the Master 35 CAT-1/2/3 at the Central Coast Road Series, Seaside event. 

Perhaps even more impressive was David's 5th place finish in the same category at the highly competitive Santa Cruz Classic Criterium.

Racing action from the Cat's Hill Classic Criterium where David finished 7th in the Master 35 CAT-1/2/3 race.

Photo Paul Doran

David's race at the Nevada City Bicycle Classic Criterium on June 16. David finished one place in front of the video camera worn by John Fairbanks. David holds his position 3:34 into the race video

Jun 21, 2013

SCCCC at the Boggs Enduro

Long time since the last race team post so this report goes all the way back to May when the annual Boggs 8-hour endurance race was held in Cobb, CA. The race was expanded this year to include a Friday hill climb and Sunday downhill dubbed the Boggs Enduro. Four riders competed in the enduro for SCCCC - David Crum, Andrew Murray, April Herring and John Bono.

Kitsbow Wear's excellent race report with photos is here and Andrew Murray's report on local riders for the Santa Cruz Sentinel is here

Andrew Murray placed third in the CAT-3 Enduro, April Herring finished third place, CAT-2 8-Hour and second place CAT-2 Enduro. David Crum finished fifth in the Open Singlespeed Enduro. John Bono finished seventh in the same category and always looked fresh.

In addition to their podium finishes, Andrew and April earned some of good karma for driving racer Mallory Richards home to Santa Cruz after she finished with a broken clavicle from crashing earlier in the race. Ride a bike with a broken collarbone but don't try to drive a vehicle with a stick shift.

Brian Johnston racing for Tread Bikes finished the Open Singlespeed Enduro in fourth place. 

Lo-fi 8-hour results:

Hi-fi enduro math but honestly the only thing I can make out of it is that there was a lot of dust coughed up over three days of riding.

As you watch the mass start of the Boggs 8-hour (below) imagine the group funneling into the first section of singletrack. Video: Hans Kellner

SCCCC occupied a prime camping spot during the weekend.

Our friends at the Spokesman Bicycle Shop had a big crew at Boggs including Wade Hall, Richard Sartor, Will Deich, Sean Sullivan, Sean Morrisey, Peter Thomsen, Bianca Schmidt, Joanna Ahlum and Jonathan Ahlum.

Apr 1, 2013

2 Race Reports 1 Post

I waited until April 1 to report on races 3 and 4 of the CCCX-XC series so you can read into that what you will. Those of you who stay until the end will be rewarded with a proven secret post ride recovery technique.

March 23, 2013  CCCX-XC No. 3
Starting with the CAT-1 riders going 5 laps David Allen finished the Expert 35-44 race in 7th position at 1:40:25.

Andrew Murray starting in his third CCCX event and demonstrating serious pre-race focus finished the 4 lap CAT-2 45-54 race in 1:40:58.

Series leader David Crum earned another podium in the CAT-2 single speed race finishing at 1:29:52

Road and track specialist and 2012 CAT-2 single speed series champion Mateo Ortega made his first CCCX event of the year in the Pro/Expert single speed class finishing third and doing the extra distance in 2:00:37. 

March 30, 2013 CCCX-XC No. 4
The 11:00 CAT-1/CAT-2 race began with overcast and slight drizzle and finished +15 degrees under the sun.

Michael Mann happened to be out on ride in Fort Ord and decided to drop-in on the CAT-1 expert 45-54 race finishing in 1:55:36.
Photo by Steven Woo

Photo by Steven Woo

Another SCCCC hero, Ron Riley, finished where he so often does ...on the podium this time in the CAT-1 65+ group.

David Allen finished in 4th place in the expert class 35-44 completing 5 laps in 1:43:03.
Photo by Rick Rasmussen

Photo by Rick Rasmussen

David Crum also finished 4th place in his CAT-2 single speed category completing 4 laps in 1:36:55.
Photo by Rick Rasmussen

You can see from the above pictures that David A. and David C. are experienced racers because they are both following closely behind the leading rider saving energy, looking composed and setting up their moves. Less experienced racers do something else...

John Bono leading out from the middle of the pack on lap 1 of the CAT-2 single speed where he finished in a blistering 1:48:14.
Photo by Steven Woo

If you're wondering what you have to do to lead out the first lap of a bike race I'll tell you that you must get serious about your training and recovery.

What you eat straight after riding is as important as what you eat before ...that's why you order two.

Feb 19, 2013

Podium Time at CCCX-XC No. 2

While February 16 might seem early for cross country events the warm, dry weather for CCCX XC Race No. 2 made it feel like summer racing. Saturday's course was a familiar mix of the Fort Ord day camp trails totaling approximately 5 miles and 500 feet of climbing. 5 laps for CAT-1 racers and 4 laps for the CAT-2 group. The morning ground moisture made the course tacky and fast for the early race however traction was reduced as things dried out contributing to the crowd in the medical tent following the last race. SCCCC had four riders in the expert/sport races; David Allen in CAT-1 masters and David Crum, Andrew Murray and John Bono in their respective CAT-2 groups.

Riding for Specialized Bicycles and SCCCC David Allen raced in the highly competitive CAT-1 Men 35-44 category finishing less than two minutes behind the silver medalist at 1:51:56. David rides a carbon Specialized S-Works Epic 29 and factory Roval wheelset.

Photo by Steven Woo

Racing in his second Central Coast event of the season Andrew Murray finished at 1:51:37 in the CAT-2 Men 45-54. Andrew races on a Santa Cruz Bicycles Tallboy 29er carbon.

Photo by Steven Woo

SCCCC racer John Bono lost his chain on the first lap of the CAT-2 single speed race but was lucky enough to have it happen in front of the juniors tent where David Giannini helped get him back on course and on the way to finish in 1:55:27. John rides a bike by Santa Cruz builder Paul Sadoff of Rock Lobster Cycles.

Photo by Steven Woo

Riding for Fox and SCCCC David Crum finished second in the CAT-2 single speed race at 1:46:00 despite being forced off his bike by the course conditions and losing (then finding) his race computer. David races on a single speed from Santa Cruz builder Rick Hunter of Hunter Cycles

Photo by Steven Woo

CAT-2 Single Speed Podium

David Crum

SCCCC single speed specialist and trail volunteer Michael Mann detoured through Fort Ord on his way to work on the trails at Toro Park. 
Michael Mann

David Giannini's SCCCC affiliated Santa Cruz Junior Composite Racing Team was out in force with 17 juniors competing in all categories.

Santa Cruz Junior Cycling Composite camp

SCJCC Director David Giannini

Andrew Murray and fellow Leadville 100 finisher April Herring. 
April finished the CAT-2 Women 35-44 race in 2:08:31.

A few race rigs were pro...

...and one was super pro.

Feb 12, 2013

Race Report - Central Coast Cross Country

Andrew Murray - Race Report:
Event:  CCCX XC #1
Date:  1/26/2013

Saturday, January 26th, was the first XC Mountain Bike race of the 2013 season for the popular CCCX Cross County season. Myself, Dave Crum, Dave Allen and Barnaby Lee are all planning to race full seasons there sporting the kits of the SCCCC Race Team.  After strong seasons in the beginner category and a first place season in Clydesdale Sport for 2011, this year I plan to race the 45-55 Mens Sport category.  

Dave Crum, who is running Sport Single Speed this year, and I showed up at around 9:30am, 90 minutes before our start time.  It was around 55 degrees while I was taking a practice preview lap but it had warmed up nicely by the 11am start.  The course was in great condition, with virtually no dust and practically no mud, traction was great in the climbs and corners.

The 45-55 Men's/Sport age group and category seems to get bigger and more competitive each year, and for the season opener on this Saturday I was joined by at least 20 other riders on the starting grid, that all looked significantly more fit and younger than I. Not surprisingly, hardtail 29ers where the most popular bike in the class, but I did see a few full suspension rigs as well.

Our 11am start was on time, and on the whistle, the 20+ riders in my group went out fast and strong, and at the first turn atleast 10 riders were still fighting for a pole position to single track transition.  I was well back in roughly 15th place as the group hit the single track and snaked it's way to the first climb.  The course was a 5.05 mile loop that was repeated 4 times with about 350 feet of climbing per lap.  

The group strung out quite a bit, and I was left in the second half battling most of the race with several other racers that finished with in about 1 minute of my time but somewhere in the bottom half of the racers.  Early in the second lap I caught some of the 35-45 year olds that had started 1 minute ahead of us, and I swapped places with a couple of them including Kris Pederson. I also swapped places a couple times with Coach Robin, from the SC Jr Composite High School Team.  Ultimately I finished 15th out of roughly 21 starters. I definitely have room for improvement, but since it's a long season that won't end until August, I guess I have some time.

If you haven't raced Mountain Bikes before and are considering it, or just looking for Cross Country style racing besides the big events like Sea Otter, Boggs, and others...check out the CCCX Cross Country Series providing competition at all levels including both Male and Female Beginner, Sport, Expert/Pro, Single Speed, Clydesdale and age groupings from Junior through 55+.  All races are held at Fort Ord or at nearby Toro Park.

Andrew Murray

Jan 29, 2013

There Will Be Mud

The annual party and cyclocross race known as the Peak Season Santa Cruz County Cyclocross Championships went down on Sunday, January 27 at Harbor High School in Santa Cruz.

If you don't have snow, rain or graupel to ride cyclocross bikes over, the next best thing is to compete under sunny skies which is what racers had on Saturday.

The Peak Season command center. "Dude that truck needs a name."

The 2013 Harbor High loop designed by Mike Evans and David Gill and constructed by a small but dedicated group of volunteers measured 1.4 miles and 120 feet of climbing. Perfect conditions made for fast lap times. Results are here. Men's Category A winner Tobin Ortenblad, racing for Cal Giant/Specialized, completed an impressive 9 laps in 0:56:27.

David Gill (below) prepares for the start of the Men's Category C race. C racers tested the course edges and limits of a traffic cone line.

Hunter Cycles rider Mark Acker racing in the Master Men 35+ A category finished 9 laps in 1:00:42 and seemed composed around the traffic cones.

When he wasn't scoring races SCCCC Race Team rider David Crum was racing and finished 5th in the Master Men 45+ B category - 6 laps in 0:46:45. Whatever David was looking at during this remount safe to say it was not a traffic cone.

This guide dog in training and registration volunteer knows what to do with a traffic cone.

[photo removed to protect the dog's identity]

Fear the cellos.