Cyclocross was back in SoCal last weekend with races 2 & 3 of the SoCal Prestige Series. Racing took place at Lake Casitas Campground in Ventura. A beautiful venue and a great excuse to go camping and escape the city for the weekend. Diana, Susie, and Arin raced both days and gave us a little insight on the weekend.
What were your favorite parts of this weekend’s courses?
Diana: On Saturday I really liked the uphill section with the row of hills. By lap 4 and 5 though it was also one of the hardest parts of the course. Those hills seemed to get steeper with each lap! My favorite part on Sunday was the little downhill section into the sand. The fishtailing gets my adrenaline pumping and that gets me moving!
Susie: Lake Casitas is my new favorite race venue, the courses both days were awesome! It was nice to not have any grass or deep sand sections for once. I loved the "whoop dee doo" corner and it's hecklers.
Arin: It's smoothness and scenery.
What was the hardest part of the course?
Diana: The fact that it was such a technical course. I’ve been focused on working on my technical skills since last season but still have a long way to go.
Susie: The extreme heat during Saturdays races made a hard course even harder. It zapped my energy and I started bonking really hard during the 4th lap. I ran out of water and almost threw up a few times.
Arin: Sundays reversed course with some of the steeper uphill jaunts.
How long have you been riding dirt and racing CX?
Diana: Started really riding dirt last season when I began racing cx. I have what feels like a 50lb mountain bike that I bought at Sports Chalet around 11 years ago that would occasionally take out just to change things up, but I am the furthest thing from being a mountain biker. I bought my cx bike September 2015, raced my first race October 2015 and was instantly hooked.
Susie: This is only my second season racing, but I’ve been riding CX bikes for around 4 years. I’m racing B’s and Single Speed.
Arin: Haven't been riding dirt long. Got a steel Nashbar cross bike last May in hopes of racing this season. My dirt experiences have been limited to some trails in Elysian park and dirt mulholland. This is my first season.
Do you have any season goals?
Diana: I started off the season with the goal of trying to at least podium some of the races since I was upgrading to B’s. After winning the first race my new season goal is to hold onto the Leader’s Jersey for the entire season.
Susie: I came into the season not as prepared as I would have liked to so my first goal is to get my fitness back to where it was last season. My second goal is to race consistently and finish on the podium for the series in both my races, maybe with a win in there somewhere.
Arin: My goal is to be faster and gain better handling skills by the end of the season.
What was your weekend highlight?
Diana: Podium Wolves in Podium Onesies was pretty rad!
Susie: Camping! It was so cool to wake up right next to the course and be able to watch the morning races while making breakfast and then party with everyone after the races.
What would you tell someone who had never raced before and was thinking about signing up for a cx race?
Diana: Just do it! It’s hard but definitely one of the best experiences on a bike you’ll ever have!
Susie: Do it, CX is the best! It’s super beginner friendly and will make you a better bike handler plus you'll meet cool people and HANDUPS.
Arin: Get out there and get a feel for the terrain. You don't have to win, just finish!
What was it like winning the season opener?
Diana: I was so at a loss for words. I felt like it wasn’t real… I never even won a C’s race and all I was hoping for was to at least get into the top 5 for a podium spot. Definitely need to work on that whole self-confidence thing.
How do you feel about cx after a few more races under your belt this weekend?
Arin: After this weekend my nerves have greatly calmed since my first race in Whittier. I felt excited about the three races I did over the weekend and look forward to spooky cross.
Our DIRTFOOS hit the road again this weekend for Spooky Cross at Irvine Lake