Monthly Archives: October 2017

Erik Tonkin – My Kona

While Erik Tonkin doesn’t technically “work” for Kona, the guy is undoubtedly part of our family. He’s raced cross for us, he’s discovered and mentored some of our most legendary cross country and CX racers and he’s been heavily involved in the testing and development of our bikes. When you throw into the mix that his bike shop, Sellwood Cycles, is a Portland institution, and the fact that he’s still, racing, scouting and deeply involved in the Portland scene, we think that featuring him in our staff series of My Kona videos is perfectly fitting.

Corn Cross race footage provided by: Drew Coleman

Kerry Werner rolls out some Cincy Consistency

Doug and I spent a relaxing week in Winston Salem before arriving in Cincinnati for the Cincy CX weekend, kicking off at Devou Park.

We set up on Friday afternoon and I pedaled a lap, before heading out on the road. The course was set up exactly like it had been in years past. Because there was tons of grass, the promoters had just finished taping it, I headed out on the road to grab some pre-race vibes. The rain was going to come down overnight anyway and the course was going to be completely different so it seemed like a waste of time and energy to do a bunch of laps.

That evening we settled into our host house the Haubner’s, north of Cincy near Mason. They were extremely gracious so Doug and I had no problems fitting in and chatting with them and their eager son James, a Lion Hearts Team junior racer, about everything and anything bikes/racing.

Saturday we awoke to snow flurries on the ground, which quelled my suspicions of having the course dry out by our 5pm race time. I was very excited about finally getting rain but when I heard that it was only overnight I was skeptical that the mud would hang around until 5pm, it had been dry in the area. I turned out to be very wrong. When we arrived at the course and set out for pre-ride the entire course was layered with heavy peanut buttery mud and a hard slick foundation.

Watching the women’s race blow apart in the first lap got me excited to get our race underway. There was a tricky off-camber about 1min into the course off the start line and I knew that it would be good to be in the top five for that.

I managed to grab the holeshot and hung onto it until Stephen came around be ¼ of the way through the lap and decided to check out early.

I held on to the front of the race the best I could the first couple laps but was going backward finally fading to 8th.

The thick mud called for me to change my riding style, which I started to figure out halfway through the race and I found my groove. I am more used to wet slippery mud that allows you to ride fast and maintain a high cadence. The thick stuff calls for a slower, full body, effort with a lower more muscley cadence and it is something I struggle with.

I made up a few spots finishing in sixth, disappointed because I had higher expectations for that first mud race.

There was a shakeup in the US Cup CX standings as Tobin didn’t have a good day and Spencer Petrov had a great day. Stephen took over the lead, Tobin dropped to 2nd, and Spencer and I tied for 3rd only 9 points down from Tobin.

With a venue change for Sunday, we loaded up the trailer and headed to William Harbin Park 35min North of Devou. We dropped the trailer and picked up some good Thai takeout, which was promptly devoured as soon as we walked in the door.

Sunday was a magical morning like Saturday as we did not wake up to snow but we did get to watch Euro CX racing, which we didn’t on Saturday. That killed most of the morning until I went over to the course at around 1pm for pre-ride.

The cold overnight temps and overcast conditions kept a lot of the moisture on the ground so we were dealing with a mix of slick off cambers and tacky Velcro corners. I was very tempted to running the Donnelly file tread, LAS, but swapped out on the line for the MXP’s, which was a good call as pitting would have been a big disadvantage in the tight racing and the MXP’s gave me larger room for error when bleeding out of my eyes and going hypoxic.

I had a special motivation maker hidden under my zip off tights and when the UCI official called 3min to start I unveiled my Jakroo Galaxy tights, which match my kit like chicken goes with waffles. I also pinned my number on the wrong side so Doug had to do an impromptu repin…

I found the holeshot again and was feeling good. After the first few laps, things started to shuffle around. There was a long slog of a grass climb up to the finish stretch, which felt like riding on a wet sponge, complete power sap.

Stephen got to the front early and only Gage Hecht was able to match the effort. I managed to reel them in on that spongey climb just as they had formed their gap but promptly after I latched on to Gage’s wheel Stephen took one look back at my jaw dragging on the ground and dropped the hammer. I didn’t have the strength to even pretend to go with it. I sat up and waited for the shattered remains of the groups behind me to swallow me.

Curtis White, Jamey Driscoll, and Eric Brunner, a young gun out of Colorado, were among those that swallowed me alive. We grouped up and set a good tempo distancing those behind us and trying to dislodge each other.

Eric was punching way above his weight class and doing a great job. He hung in there until the end when he started to come unglued, which left Jamey, Curtis, and I to battle for the last podium spot. It came down to that last grass sloggy hill climb to the finish. Curtis and I sat on Jamey’s wheel and we all had the most awkward looking sprint coming up onto the pavement as we were all fighting our legs from seizing.

Curtis got the best of both of us but I slotted in at fourth. I was obviously bummed about missing out on the podium but so pumped because I knew I just moved into second in the US Cup CX overall. Tobin had another bad day and Spencer DNF’d. So Stephen solidified his top step, I moved into second and Curtis moved into third twenty points down from me.

We loaded the truck and trailer and got out of Harbin park before the cold saturated us to our bones. We arrived at the host house to Cincy famous La Rosas’ pizza and plowed through too many pieces. Again, the Haubners were great hosts. James ended up winning his U15 races both Saturday and Sunday and I am excited that they are coming to Louisville (said like you have a mouth full of trail mix) next weekend to catch more racing action.

Until then!

Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad, Helen Wyman nabs two more wins on the Super Jake

Meatloaf said (sung) it best on his Bat Out of Hell LP and Helen Wyman and her Super Jake lived it this last week, Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad. Check out Helen’s latest CX Diaries below as she recounts her two wins and her fifth pace in a what was a very memorable weekend.

Photos: Bart Hazen

“This week was a busy one with three races, two in Holland and one in Luxembourg. Starting in Holland in the small town of Woerden, I managed to finally take the win in their famous night race, after five podiums in the past. A win is always good, and ahead of strong riders, it helps show I’m really on track as the season progresses. Saturday was again in Holland, where I finished a frustrated 5th, but I put things right with a second win of the week in Luxembourg. A really tough course in Contern was excellent preparation for Koppenberg, which is the next challenge this week.” – Helen Wyman

L’experience de Ride Kona pour les enfants

Que diriez-vous si nous vous disions que vous pourriez perdre 3 livres (1,4 kg) sur le poids de votre vélo? Nous supposons que vous nous diriez “Avec plaisir!”. Maintenant, imaginez que c’est le vélo de votre enfant. Et que nous l’avons fait. Et c’est la réalité, pour 2018 le Hula et le Makena ont tous les deux perdus plus de 3 livres (1,4 kg), et ce n’est qu’une histoire parmis d’autres à propos de notre gamme de  vélos pour enfants de cette année.


Hula et Makena

Le Hula et le Makena sont nos petits vélos qui envoient, fiables et amusants. Cette année, nous avons procédé à quelques changements et ils se sont tous les deux allégés de 1,4kg (3 livres). Nous avons remplacé la fourche à suspension par une fourche Project Two légère en aluminium, et les deux vélos affichent désormais une transmission monoplateau, une caractéristique que vous retrouverez sur toute notre gamme de vélos pour enfants en 2018.

Le Hula et le Makena sont tous les deux disponibles en deux coloris en 2018:

Makena en Noir Mat & Gris

Makena en Rose Brillant & Bleu Clair

Hula en Vert Olive Mat

Hula en Magenta & Bleu

Shred 20 et Shred 24

En continuant dans la gamme pour enfants, nos Shred 20 et Shred 24 se sont aussi allégés cette année grâce au passage à une fourche à suspension à air réglable. La fourche Spinner Grind Air qui équipe ces deux merveilles vous permet de régler exactement la pression du ressort pneumatique pour votre vélo, ce qui les rend adaptable à tous les enfants, qu’importe leur taille et leur poids. Enfin, comme pour toute notre gamme de vélos pour enfants, le Shred est équipé d’une transmission monoplateau, permettant tous les passages de vitesses d’une seule main, pour une utilisation facile.

Shred 20 en Bleu Mat avec des décors Noirs

Shred 24 en Orange Mat avec des décors Noirs

Stinky 24

La cerise sur le gâteau apportée à notre gamme de vélos pour enfants cette année est le Stinky 24, avec son système de double suspension et ses équipements qui permettent au jeune pilote de relever de plus grands défis sur les pistes. Le Stinky 24 est aussi équipé d’un système de suspension à air réglable à l’avant comme à l’arrière, avec une transmission Shimano Deore monoplateau avec la technologie Clutch qui permet d’éviter les sauts de chaîne. Avec des pneus Maxxis High Roller et des freins hydrauliques Shimano, le Stinky 24 est votre meilleur atout sur les pistes.

Stinky 24 en Vert Mat avec des décors Noirs et Verts

Retrouvez plus d’infos techniques sur notre gamme de vélo pour enfants sur la page Innovation pour enfants, et allez jeter un oeil à tous nos modèles sur

Introducing Everyday E-Bikes from Kona, the Splice-E and Dew-E

Kona’s Everyday E-Bikes

The Splice-E and Dew-E are based on our popular and stable handling Splice and Dew models, but with the added bonus of Bosch electric assist. These capable transportation bikes will take you further with each pedal stroke, making quick work of your commute, grocery run, or weekend adventure.


Every pedal stroke gets you a little bit further with the Dew-E. With its Bosch Performance Line electric-assist motor with 500w battery and Intuvia display, the Dew-E gives you a boost whenever you’re turning the pedals. For all-conditions riding the Dew-E comes standard with full fenders, powerful Busch & Müller front and rear lights, and an Abus Plus battery lock. And with a reliable Shimano drivetrain, hydraulic disc brakes, and Schwalbe Energizer Plus tires, the Dew-E could be your one ride no matter where you’ve got to go.


Get there quickly, with a little help from the Splice-E. At the heart of the Splice-E is a Bosch Performance Line electric-assist motor with 500w battery and Intuvia display. A Shimano drivetrain and hydraulic disc brakes provide reliable performance both stopping and going, while the built-in Busch & Müller headlight and taillight system, fenders, and rear rack make the Splice-E a versatile everyday ride.

Dependable Bosch Electric Assist

Both the Splice-E and the Dew-E feature Bosch’s Performance Line motor, Purion display, high capacity 500w Power Pack, and re-keyable Abus Plus battery lock. They’re also equipped with Busch & Müller lights wired directly to the main battery, full fenders, and a kickstand. The Splice-E also comes with a SR Suntour suspension fork and a rear rack.

For more information on the Splice-E, Dew-E, and their fat-tired sibling the Remote, head over to

Kona’s Kids’ Bikes Get Big Updates for 2018

The Kona Ride for Kids

What would you say if we told you that you could drop 3 pounds off the weight of your bike? We assume you’d say “yes please!” Now, imagine it’s your kid’s bike. And that we’ve done it. That’s right, for 2018, the Hula and Makena have both dropped more than three pounds, and that’s just one of the great stories for this year’s Kona Kids’ bikes.

Hula and Makena

The Hula and Makena are our reliable and fun little rippers. This year we’ve made some changes and both of these bikes are now a whopping 1.4kg (3 pounds) lighter. We replaced suspension forks with lightweight aluminum Project Two forks – and both bikes also now feature single ring drivetrains, a theme you’ll find on all of our Kids’ bikes for 2018.

Both Hula and Makena are available in two colorways for 2018:

Makena in Matt Black & Grey

Makena in Gloss Pink & Light Blue

Hula in Matt Olive

Hula in Gloss Magenta & Blue

Shred 20 and Shred 24

Moving along in the Kids’ lineup, our Shred 20 and Shred 24 have also lost weight this year, thanks to the move to an air-adjustable suspension fork. The Spinner Grind Air fork found on both of these bikes lets you dial in the spring rate just for your little ripper, making them adaptable to riders of all sizes and weights. As with all of our other other Kids’ bikes, the Shred make use of a single ring drivetrain, putting all the shifting in one hand for ease of use.

Shred 20 in Matt Blue w/ Black Decals

Shred 24 in Matt Orange w/ Black Decals

Stinky 24

The culmination of these ideals incorporated into our Kids’ bikes this year is the Stinky 24, with dual suspension and a parts kit that lets younger riders take on bigger challenges on the trail. The Stinky 24 also gets adjustable air suspension front and rear, and a wide range Shimano Deore clutched 1x drivetrain. With Maxxis High Roller tires and Shimano hydraulic brakes, the Stinky 24 is the gateway to life on the trails.

Stinky 24 in Matt Green w/ Black & Green Decals

Get the full scoop on our 2018 Kids’ bikes on the Kids’ Innovation page, and check out all the models on

“This is a bike for the majority: comfy, fast, light and efficient.” Mountain Flyer reviews the Kona Hei Hei DL

“With a longer travel bike, the fun factor is high, but the Hei Hei reminded me there is more to riding than going downhill. This is a bike for the majority: comfy, fast, light and efficient.” – Chad Cheeney

Mountain Flyer writer and Kona Super Grassroots rider Chad Cheeney put on two hats recently when he reviewed his personal Kona Hei Hei DL for the latest issue of Mountain Flyer Magazine. Click here for his surprisingly objective review or click on the image below.

Cory Wallace’s Indian Adventures at the MTB Himalaya

After one of the strongest kickoffs to a season ever, the summer racing season hit a large speed bump fighting through a long period of high fever and lethargy. After some blood tests it showed up positive that I had contracted two rare Mosquito born viruses (Jamestown Canyon & Snowshoe Hair) in early July. Taking five weeks pretty much off the bike at the end of August the body turned around and although out of shape I felt blessed to be healthy again. It was tempting to call off the rest of the season but the opportunity to head over to India and Nepal for a couple of late season races was too good to pass up. I put together a six day training block to try and salvage some fitness and started packing the bags!

It was a bit of a gong show getting ready for the trip with a couple hospital trips to make sure I was virus free, a thief stealing all my race supplies out of my van and re-supplies not showing up in time. It was nothing money couldn’t fix, so after a shopping spree to replace all the lost goods and some help from Kona the journey began.

Eventually, I ended up at the Vancouver airport after an eight-hour drive from Jasper, 75 minutes before my flight but somehow overshooting the baggage allowance of 2 x 23 kg bags by over double with 85-90 kg. The charges would’ve been astronomical, so the check-in lady gave me 10 minutes to reorganize my bags in which I loaded up the bike box to 40kg+, jammed the carry on up to 25 kg, downsized the duffel to 23kg and then crossed my fingers they wouldn’t weigh the bike box again. Going to India for eight days of racing would’ve been easy to pack for, but adding in one extra month of training and 11 days of racing in Nepal made it interesting. Running to the gate I realized my yearly travel insurance was expired so it was on the phone getting a new plan set up. To top it off the airport security found the C02’s in my bike box so they called my name on the intercom to give me a bit of shit but in the end, I made it on a jet plane to India!

The MTB Himalaya in India is one of my favorite races as Ashish Sood and the other organizers have created an adventurous bike race across the foothills of the Himalayas. The family atmosphere is great amongst the 90+ racers and 90 + Indian support staff as we create a giant moving circus across one of the craziest countries in the World. The whole race we’re laughing and joking with each other as the Indian way of life is a little different then what we are accustomed to in the Western World. They make fun of us for taking life so seriously while we get our kicks out of their loose way of living and disregard for time. When you have 1.3 billion people in your country it creates a level of chaos and confusion which is second to none and a really unique cultural experience.

The Race:

Knowing the fitness wasn’t solid I opted to bluff everyone on Stage 1 and be the first into the sketchy single track out of the start gate. The Norwegian freight train Thomas Engelsgjerd latched onto my wheel as we’d open up a small gap before being joined by a couple fast Spaniards on the first climb. The three Euros would put the hammer down as I’d chase 45 seconds behind them for the next two hours before flatting and losing a pile of time hand pumping the tire since the airlines took all my gas canisters, eventually coming in fourth, nearly 12 minutes down. The camp this night was rad, set up in a small alpine meadow surrounded by thick forests. It’s impressive how fast the Indians can put up a camp, complete with endless Indian food, annoying loudspeakers, warm showers, sketchy toilets and lots of places to lounge in the shade. The camp life is a highlight of the week, there’s loads of time to get to know each other and entertain ourselves in the surrounding communities.

Stage two was another sufferfest as I opted to attack into the first sketchy singletrack to put some pressure on the Euros. The singletrack in India is legit, built for walkers and pretty gnarly as you never know what’s around the next corner. Going way to fast I came around a corner onto a wet concrete patch, trying to turn away from the oncoming ditch for nearly 20 ft before ejecting off the bike into the bushes. After this close call, it was best to tone it down a notch as the next 1500 M vertical descent was nearly 30 minutes long and called the death enduro due to its nature of being full of unexpected holes, steep staircases and tall grass which you can’t see under. Passing two Spaniards fixing flat tires halfway down was a morale booster before hitting the hell climb, a blistering hot 800 meter ascent. It was a good battle the last 1 hr with four of us coming within 2.5 minutes of each other for the stage win with my buddy Thomas Turner taking it out.

Stage three over Jaloria pass is a 45 km ascent to 10 000 ft before a sketchy road descent dodging the crazy Indian traffic to the valley below. The Indian traffic is worth a blog post by itself as the roads here are obstacle courses full of everything and anything that moves. The drivers although skilled, don’t stick to their side of the road and would rather blow their horn at something than try and steer around it. Feeling good off the start I rode like I was in mid-season form up the climb for the first 1.5 hours, dropping everyone except race leader Thomas Engelsgjerd and Portuguese pro roadie Micael Isidoro. Having visions of riding myself back into the race, I instead rode my body into self-destruction as it was not happy with the effort. From here it was a long cross eyed ride to the finish line losing a huge chunk of time and falling out of contention of defending my title from 2014.

The next three stages were all pretty similar racing hard, dodging Indian chaos, and enjoying the adult boy/girl scout campouts. Stage seven was marked in my head as it contained a 5km stretch of donkey trail that my Kona Hei Hei full suspension and I could hopefully put the hurt on the Euro climbing machines. Going to bed early for a good rest, the Indian X-factor hit hard with loud music across the town blasting out of blown out speakers until 2:30 am. Next up were random trucks starting up at 3am with sputtering engines and then after 1 hour of silence, the local church turned its blown-out loudspeaker on to preach their story. All in all it equated to under two hours of sleep. It was rather amusing to see all the tired faces in the morning as it looked like we had all been to a rock show and drank way too many beers!

This probably played into my hands as you are way more messed up at the tail end of a 24 Hour solo race so I stuck to my tactics and hit the donkey trail first after a pretty gentle 15km road climb to start the day. After dodging a couple grass people, I came around the first corner into a herd of three donkeys, three other riders caught up to the traffic jam as we had a standoff before one donkey sprinted past, catching Michaels bike with his pack hauling it a few feet before luckily not destroying it. Here I squeezed past the other two donkeys, rode Canadian style over the next few km of trail and soon had a substantial 5-minute lead. It was a long solo 70 km ride to the finish but the lead would stretch out to over 8 minutes. It was pretty rad to have a good ride again after such a long struggle this summer!

The final stage finished off with a sweet 45km through the Indian countryside before a hard climb up to a paraglide launch where we had a fabulous view of the Kangra valley below and the Dhauladhar Range behind. We must’ve stayed up there for over 4 hours, eating lunch and enjoying having completed one hell of a fun and tough race adventure across the southern ranges of the Himalayas. Next up the organizers had set up an unexpected 12km treasure hunt to the race hotel. My team, with Yak Attack organizer Phil Evans, and Eve Conyers from Australia ended up riding close to 20 km and came in near dead last as we made the mistake of asking the roadside Indians for directions, in which they made shit up and pointed us all over the countryside. The post-race party turned into a bit of a gongshow as the hotel apparently knew nothing about hotel management or feeding a bunch of hungry bike racers. Seeing the chaos of 90 hungry bike racers trying to deal with the confused Indian hotel staff made an amusing spectacle. A few of us grabbed some ciders from a nearby liquor hut and sat back to enjoy the show.

The next morning six of us decided to get the hell out of Hotel Shitshow and headed up to the mountains to the hippie town of Dharmkot. After sweet three day hike and a bonfire in the mountains, everyone changed their tickets for a couple weeks later and we created the Himalayan “A” Team Adventure Squad. Since then it’s been nearly two weeks of proper Indian adventures, climbing 4400m passes, camping in the mountains, a few hippie rest days eating good food, some solid training days and a really good crash course on the cultural way of life up in the Indian mountains.

We have another week up here before the others will head back to their homes in Norway and Australia while I’ll head off to Nepal to take on the World’s Highest Mountain Bike race, The Yak Attack! Hopefully living and training up here at Altitude all these weeks will pay off.

Connor Fearon and his Carbon Process take Silver at the Aussie Enduro Champs

Words: Connor Fearon Photos: Kane Narrat

I was really excited for the Australian Gravity Enduro National Champs this year, it was being held at Fox Creek MTB trails which happen to be my local riding spot. I’ve ridden at this location since I was 10 years old and know the trails like the back of my hand. I usually race about two-three Enduro’s every year but unfortunately This year I had to miss out on Whistler EWS because of an injury. This would be the first time I got to race the new carbon process as well, which was exciting.

The format this year was eight stages spread over two days of racing. The first day was really hard because all four tracks were so physically demanding. The first stage had about a minute of all out sprinting at the bottom which toasted me for the whole day. It was mandatory to pedal up every liaison, which wasn’t actually to bad because the hill is only about 120 meters in elevation. That being said the liaison time frame was pretty tight so most of the racers where still exhausted from the stage before when they dropped in. The first day was good for me, I got two stage wins and two second places. I was sitting in the lead by four seconds coming into day two.

Unfortunately for me the guy in second place was none other than Troy Brosnan, who also lives locally and is probably one of the only guys to know the trails as well as I do. I knew he would be doing all he could on day two to bring back the time.

My four stages on the second day where all solid, there was a lot less pedalling and it was actually quite a bit more enjoyable. Troy ended up having a really good day and edged me out by just under three seconds after 17 minutes of racing. Third place was about 35 seconds back, which just shows how much it helped to know the trails like Troy and I.

Even though I didn’t win I was still happy with my result. I didn’t have to touch a single bolt on the Process all week and I’ve only just started feeling normal on my bike again after my hand injury which has been dragging on for months. Im looking forward to the Cannonball Festival in December at Thredbo and to race my downhill bike again, oh and to hitting some more EWS races next year!

Local Adelaide ripper Shelly Flood was also representing Kona, she rode her Process 134 onto the podium, finishing up in third after the two days of racing.

Check out Helen Wyman’s latest CX Diaries

Kona Cyclocross racer Helen Wyman had another great pair of races this weekend. Unfortunately, she was unable to repeat her winning performance from last weekend. She is showing very clearly that she is indeed back, and that her collarbone injury is in the past. Check out her two latest video diaries below.

“The first European World Cup is always a big event, and this year especially so as it was in Koksijde.  The series didn’t get off to the best start for me over in America this year, but with every week I’m feeling better and my racing is improving.  Sand races aren’t my forte but it’s certainly an opportunity for fitness to show through.  I had a good start, actually grabbing the early lead before hitting a plastic pipe buried in the sand.  After picking myself up from the deck and changing bikes I was left to fight back, eventually finishing 7th.  It leaves me in 11th overall in the World Cup, and more excited than ever about next months World Cup races in Denmark and Germany.” –Helen Wyman


Last week Helen was also featured on the BBC Radio show, Bespoke. You can check that out here, Helen arrives at around the 45min mark.

Kerry Werner Doubles Up at DCCX

After a weekend off, which I spent training and rebooting mentally I was looking forward to getting back between the tape. I was especially looking forward to the weekend because I convinced Kerry Shields, Emily’s dad, to drive his RV up (Henceforth I will refer to Kerry Shields as Kerm). Bill and Taylor the DCCX promoters allowed us to stay in the RV at the venue last year and it worked out well so I was looking forward to the same thing this year.

Doug flew in from Seattle on Thursday and we all convened at the venue on Friday afternoon. Kerm and I got out for a bike path spin through Rock Creek Park, into Potomac park, past the National Monument, the Capital, and the White House. That was my first time in and around the Pennsylvania Ave section and it was nice to check up on the things we gracious taxpayers afford the politicians of the great US of A.

A friend of Kerry’s, and DC local, invited us over for dinner, which was nice because we were already bored of venue life within the first couple hours. I managed to walk through his screen door and knock it off the tracks, broke a wine glass in the process, and clobbered another unsuspecting guest with the screen door in the process. After thoroughly making an ass out of myself we all gathered by a patio fire eating dinner and I sat there hoping that was not an indication of my luck for the racing ahead.

RV life is great. It is almost like making every race a home race, they do say “home is where you park it.” I got on course for some practice laps and tire selection on the dusty course. I tried the Donnelly LAS and the MXP, which I ran at higher and lower pressure. I settled on the Donnelly MXP at 29 rear and 26 front. The dust was deep in some sections and while the file tread was adequate I wanted to have some tread on top to give some extra protection against blind roots and small rocks. Also, the tread was biting in on some of the steep power sections and making me feel more confident in terms of grip.

My plan was to get off the line quick and put the pace at full gas for the first few laps to make the selection. I managed to grab the holeshot and put my plan into action. A group of four riders, Tristan Cowie, Justin Lindine, Anthony Clark, and I, formed at the front and we grew our gap to 25 sections.

For the entire second half of the race, five laps to go, I kept waiting for the pace to lull and I was going to launch but Anthony Clark took to pulling us around until one lap to go. The pace finally lulled after a few shuffles in position. This allowed me to go and put the hammer down. I stretched a 10-second gap and was able to roll across the line. I was followed by a sprint finish for 2nd by Anthony and Tristan Cowie, which is precisely what I wanted to avoid.

In traditional DCCX fashion we had to get our bikes up on the podium…

That evening we went out on the town to celebrate my Dad’s bday, which was Monday. We set out for brick oven pizza but the Saturday night crowd deferred us to plan b, which was tacos! My Dad made a cake for himself and brought it along and we were more than happy to help him put a dent in it.

Sunday was the exact same schedule. I got on course around 2pm and went with the same setup as yesterday. The course was slightly different, running the majority of the sections in reverse and also the addition of some more flowy corners and longer pedaling straights.

My game plan going into day two was to get off the line quick and really push it to try and get away early.

I managed to get the holeshot again and gradually get a gap. By lap three I had 10 seconds and with five laps to go I had 25 seconds or so. Feeling comfortable I sat in for the long haul until I crossed a broken road on the course and caught a sharp edge. I immediately punctured and had to ride the most twisty half of the course with a front flat.

Just as I was approaching the pit entrance the chasing three of Tristan, Justin, and Anthony caught me. I popped in to say hi to Doug, grabbed a fresh Super Jake and latched on to the back of the three.

After settling in for a few laps I was looking for another opportunity to get away. With two laps to go Anthony was setting the pace again but I didn’t want to go to the line in a sprint. I was riding this one steep down hairpin steep up section, which was dusty and not especially grippy. The other boys were running. By riding I wasn’t faster but I didn’t have to run. The barrier section followed this steep uphill and thus I attacked after the barriers hoping their legs were feeling the effects of running up the hill.

I slowly put a little time in and by the time I came through on bell lap I had a comfortable lead. Enough so that I had to give the people what they wanted and I rode the stairs at the end of the lap, which resulted in loud cheers that put I smile on my face. I love Cyclocross!

This wasn’t during the race but just to give you an idea it looked something like this…

Two races and two wins is definitely a boost of confidence going into the last two rounds of the US Cup of CX. I am sitting in 3rd in the overall and I have my sights set on  that top step.


Cincy CX is up next weekend and the Day 1 course suits me well, even without rain. I am looking forward to getting back to Harbin Park on Halloween for a few tricks and treats.