Words by Lynn
Jasmin from the SfiDARE Crit Team Japan invited me to race both in Korea for King of Track and to race the Crit in Japan his team organized called the SfiDARE Crit. This trip was my first time racing internationally. While in Japan I went to Nagoya, Gifu, & Tokyo.
The SfiDARE Crit team were super cool, friendly, and a lot of fun to spend time with. While on the trip one of their team members Pro Keirin racer Toshifumi Kodama set up a few fun and special activities for us to do. He arranged for us to train at the most beautiful track I have ever seen in Gifu.
The velodrome was surrounded by water and had a garden and bridge going over the water in the center of the velodrome. He also arranged for us to go to spectate a Pro Keirin race as special guests with VIP passes.
The SfiDARE Crit is a Fixed Crit series held in the countryside of Japan. The race I participated in was located at Kiso Sansen Park in Gifu. The race was to be held rain or shine and it was definitely raining that day! The park reminded me of a CX course, because the rest of the park was wet and muddy. And my road shoes and cleats were completely covered in thick sticky mud. It turns out a lot of the race volunteers are also part of Japan’s CX community. ️ The course was mostly on the paved narrow windy walkway of the park and also through a parking lot where they created a hairpin turn. The course was very wet and even had large puddles we raced through. The woman who placed first in the race is a pro road and track racer Yasue Nakahara, she was really pushing the pace. In this race my front tire lost traction on the hairpin turn with 3 laps to go. I ended up crashing on my left arm, hip, and head. The crash felt like I was in slow motion while hitting the ground and sliding. Nothing too bad just road rash and ripped skinsuit. As soon as I realized that I had not broken anything I got up to finish the 3 laps, but at this point completely lost the pack.
I ended up getting 4th place and accumulating points towards the Fixed Nations Cup. After these races moving up to 5th overall for US Women. Fixed Nations Cup is a fixed crit series that is being held in Dijon, France in 2019.
After podiums for the race I met Pro Keirin racer Theo Bos. This was his first time participating in a fixed crit! It was interesting to hear that participating in a fixed crit is out of his comfort level and that he wants to try to race more of them. He is a 5x World Champion and Silver Medalist for the 2004 Olympics.
The next few days after the race I went to Tokyo to hangout and stayed with Junpei Nakata, Japan’s Director of Tracklocross. He was an amazing host and rad guy.
The race trip was an experience that I will never forget. Looking forward to traveling more for races. Next destination Dijon, France
Words By Lynn
King of Track is a race that has been held in South Korea for the past 13 years. Most years it has been held on a velodrome. This year King of Track hosted a fixed crit in Goyang City for it’s 13th year. The race was organized very well. The King of Track vibe reminds me of Red Hook Crit. There were many racers and spectators and of course all the fun.
This year was special because it was the inauguration of a womens field for the race. I had the pleasure of racing with Kazuyo Kodama from SfiDARE Crit Japan team and with two friends from LA Evelyn Delgado (Engine 11) and Ginger Boyd (MFF). The rest of the womens field were racers from Korea that I did not know.
The race was short and fast. We only had 10 laps. I started out strong enough from the beginning to create a gap from the field with Kazuyo, Ginger, Evelyn, and a racer from Team Constantine.
Unfortunately I made a mistake thinking it was the last lap and sprinted past the racer from Team Constantine only to find out I had 1 lap to go.
When we came towards the finish line for the final sprint I did not have enough to sprint past her again. I ended up placing one spot away from the podium taking 4th place. Kazuyo took 1st, Evelyn 2nd, and the racer from Team Constantine placed 3rd. I was a little disappointed with the mistake I made, but I tried my best and was grateful for the opportunity to race in a foreign country.
WE ARE SO STOKED THAT CX SEASON IS FINALLY HERE! 2018 IS OUR 5TH YEAR RACING CYCLOCROSS AND WE ARE SHOOTING FOR A TOP 5 TEAM FINISH IN THE SOCAL CROSS PRESTIGE SERIES.
SHOUT OUT TO THOMAS FORSYTH BICYCLE ATTORNEY FOR SUPPORTING US THIS SEASON.
MEET THE 2018 SWAT CX TEAM!!!
THANK YOU AGAIN THOMAS FORSYTH BICYCLE ATTORNEY #SWATpbTFBA
COME RACE, SPECTATE, HECKLE AND HAND UP AT OUR SEASON OPENER OCTOBER 21ST
CALIMESA CX CLASSIC
We are so stoked that large brands like specialized are paying attention, to amazing small brands run by amazing womxn, like Machines for Freedom. Throwing it back to a fun photo shoot SWAT TRACK did with Machines at the Encino Velodrome.
Photos by the talented @tracylchandler
Words: Diana Sjol
When you come to a fork in the road, how many paths do you see? Some see two and may choose the path of least resistance while others will choose the path that will test their limits. Some will only see one path, the easy path. Then there are those that only see the hard line, the path that will test their strength, a lonely road where despair lurks but the outcome is glorious.
After a disappointing cyclocross season I knew it was time to face some fears and get on a mountain
bike, for me this was no longer a choice but something that had to be done. My problem? I was scared. Everything about mountain biking scared me. Steep, technical, rocky single track wasn’t for me.
In March I bought my first mountain bike, a 28 pound steel Kona. I hated it! It was heavy, it forced me
out of my happy place. I got in a couple of rides on familiar fire roads before signing up for my first
mountain bike race that same month. I went out and pre rode the course the day before the race and I was freaking out. The course took me through rocky and technical single track along some mountainside cliffs. I was sure I was going to die. After that ride I couldn’t imagine ever riding those trails on my cross bike and I wasn’t even sure I wanted to race the next day. It was an unfamiliar fear because I’ve mostly avoided trails like these and now they were hitting me smack in the face. That whole night I had to reassure myself that I could do it, I could ride the trails, and I would race.
The next morning I did just that. I raced three whole laps that tested my strengths, weaknesses, and
fears. Looking back, I know this race is where everything began to change for me. I went from someone who was afraid and didn’t even want to race mountain bikes, to racing three laps on a course I never would have imagined doing before.
Since that first race I have continued to test myself and have ridden trails and overcome fears I honestly didn’t think I ever would or could. Reflecting on all my accomplishments these past few months, I know they have stemmed from a desire to be a greater athlete than I was. Along the way, there have been plenty of frustrations, cuts, bruises, and setbacks, and I’m certain there will be many more in the future. But I’m okay with that.
Be relentless in your pursuit for greatness.
Photos: Kyla, Ana, and Susie
Over the past few years I've fallen in love with bike packing and try to explore new routes when ever I get the chance. There are so many great options just outside of the LA. I'd been promising to lead a beginner friendly camp out/intro to bike travel overnight for SWAT. I wanted to make it "mild" and not a total suffer fest, but also take folks somewhere they probably hadn't been before. Somewhere that you can only access by foot or by bike. Crystal Cove was the perfect destination.
Riders borrowed gear and made it work. Lynn carried all her stuff in her giant roadrunner backpack which Taylor nicknamed "the mini fridge". Jenn strapped a water melon to her rack. Rita aka Mary Poppins (another Taylor nickname) kept pulling everything and anything anyone asked for out of her magical panniers. Diana sewed her own frame bag following a DIY tutorial.
The Crystal Cove trail head leading to the back country campgrounds is only 25 miles south of Long Beach.
We stayed at Lower Moro. A three mile (not so mild but worth it) climb up from the coast on a well maintained gravel road offering 360 views.
This was the largest group of WTF folks I’ve ever camped with and the energy was contagious.I have Mad love for all of these riders. It was such an AMAZING group with nothing but good vibes. A mix of first time bike campers, bikepackers and tourers. Old friends and new ones.
Stay tuned for a lot more of this in the future!
Plan your own trip and take our route! Make sure to pack in water and pack out your trash.
Ride with GPS route ridewithgps.com/routes/28103312
Ride Zine with Cue sheets
Crystal Cove Back country site info http://www.crystalcovestatepark.org/camping-in-the-backcountry/
Our first CX NATS was tough, terrifying, freezing, intense, liberating, motivating and an all around amazing experience. The trip, the racing, and the CX community went above and beyond our wildest dreams. We are ready to continue to grow the LA CX scene and keep the stoke alive for the rest of 2018!!!