2015 is going to be a banner year for #TXCX, that is if new TXBRA Cyclocross Coordinator, Melanie Black, has anything to do with it.

Melanie Black, our new TXBRA CX Coordinator, on the beach. Photo provided by Mel, likely jacked from your social account.

Melanie Black, our new TXBRA CX Coordinator, on the beach. Photo provided by Mel, likely jacked from your social account.

Melanie has more than 15 years of experience running races as she and her husband, Will, were big parts of the Houston and Asheville, NC scenes. Plus, she’s a bad-ass Cat 1 Mountain Bike / Cat 2 Road / Cat 1 CX racer, and more importantly a proud mom and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA: she puts people to sleep for surgery).

The role of CX Coordinator for TXBRA is to help establish the schedule, to ensure the quality of our races and to act as a liaison between riders and promoters. As you can imagine, satisfaction for all groups is no easy task with so many people bringing their own needs, desires and agendas. And the role is all volunteer.

We sat down with Mel to ask her what’s in store for this upcoming season.

Thanks for taking the time for a few questions. Let’s start with the obvious change – Regional and Elite Races. Over the past few years we’ve toyed with the idea of regional events and we’ve seen they are viable. How do these two classifications work?

Looking at the numbers from last year’s races, we realized that many cross racers did not travel outside their geographical area to race. Having an official regional race series separate from the Elite race series is away to grow the sport from the roots. The idea for regional races is to have low key, fun regional events that cater to the first timer, beginner racer, or a family that races but can’t travel as much. Continue Reading…

Join Allen Krugoff and Meredith Miller for some skills and drills. Images purloined from @MMcyclist and @Krugoff on Instagram.

Join Allen Krugoff and Meredith Miller for some skills and drills. Images purloined from @MMcyclist and @Krugoff on Instagram.

If you’ve spent the summer thinking about how to rid yourself of that awful discount double hop, this is a bit of good news. Two of America’s best cyclocross professionals – Meredith Miller and Allen Krugoff – will be coming back to Texas to share a wealth of knowledge for riders of all ages and levels.

For FREE.

That’s right, it costs you nothing but sweat and a little love for the sponsors. .

Meredith and Allen both co-own, manage and race for the Noosa Professional Cyclocross Team, which is powered by FOCUS Bikes. Brian Leib, local fast guy and FOCUS Bikes rep for the Gulf Coast region, worked hard to set up this weekend, and we couldn’t be more happy and grateful.

Here are some early details (we will update as a flyer and other info becomes available):

DALLAS-FORT WORTH
Saturday, August 15th
Initial additional sponsors: Richardson Bike Mart, Mad Duck Cyclery and Texas Cross Syndicate.
Location, time and a potential third instructor are pending (save the date!)

AUSTIN
Sunday August 16TH

Richard Moya ParkEmbros BC
9-11am
Embros BC will provide support

Sign a waiver, bring plenty of water and get ready to get your clinic on. After all, #TXCXisComing.

More, soon.

108 days until the first race of the #TXCX season!

We.
Are.
Stoked.

If you caught the schedule, you’ll notice a couple firsts this year:
we start in San Antonio AND Houston;
plus we start one week ahead of years past (in September instead of October).

It’s going to be hot, like Africa hot.

So let’s get into this before the sweat hits the keyboard.

15. Nobody will be at the first race
OK, some people will go. But starting early means that those die-hard road racers will be vying for the coveted prize of best fast guy/gal in the state on skinny wheels that weekend at Ft. Hood. Unless, of course, they are ready for something new. And who isn’t ready for something new already.

I hope that TYC at least shucks the oysters before handing them up.

We hope that TYC at least shucks the oysters before handing them up.

14. Oyster handups from TYC
We’ve seen shrimp and whole pineapples out of the seafaring crew, and if Instagram is correct, we’re pretty sure they’re having a training camp at the Gulf of Mexico right now. It’s highly likely that all those fuzzy navels will lead to ill-conceived arrangements for risky oyster deliveries this fall.

DBW will find your podium. Oh yes they will.

DBW will find your podium. Oh yes they will.

13. Dallas Bike Works racers will be seen in other regions
This year it will be a rarity for most any team to travel outside of their region, but the current offerings in the North will have the fast girls and guys on the road for DBW. We can feel it. Maybe. Continue Reading…

Obviously, our favorite thing to do is race CX bikes. And that, my friends, is something we are still doing well into January in Texas.

Hell yes.

All this next week you’ll also be hanging out in bike shops and other venues, talking to similar CX nerds waxing poetic about an amazing race course. But if you somehow find yourself with time outside of cyclocross and drinking, we’ve made a list of some things you may want to do.

This might be how Barton Springs Pool looks in summer, but the water is the same temp all year long. Photo by Wally Gobetz.

This might be how Barton Springs Pool looks in summer, but the water is the same temp all year long. Photo by Wally Gobetz.

Be active:
Take a dip – Barton Springs Pool is on your right as you roll through the start finish. So it’s a bit close to the course. Inside the field house you’ll find showers (there’s a PRO tip right there) and access to a spring-fed pool that is 68º year round. Heck, I bet where you come from sometimes the lakes don’t even reach that temp. Jump in.

SUPPaddle around town on a board or in a canoe or kayak. Places to rent are all over the Town Lake (actually a river with lakes made between dams).

Ride a mountain bike – The trailhead for the best track in Austin is on the far southwest part of #CXNats. The Greenbelt Trails are fun, technical and right in the heart of the city. They are unmarked and intentionally un-mapped, so ask a local to be your guide (comment below and we can help you out), or just go explore. Bicycle Sport Shop and Mellow Johnny’s have your 29er ready to rent.

Continue Reading…

Welcome to Austin! Photo by Thomas Hawk.

Welcome to Austin! Photo by Thomas Hawk.

You didn’t come to Austin for Indian. Or for pizza. And no matter the locals may tell you about East Side Pies or Home Slice, your pie is much better in Chicago, or Philly even.

So stick to what the Capital City knows, and get your fill on the four basic food groups – BBQ, Tex Mex, Breakfast Tacos and Veggie.

Yes, veggie!

We’ve outlined some of our favorites, including basic information about drinks – from coffee to booze – at the end of this post. Dig in!

 

BBQ
Texas BBQ is all about low-temp, slow smoking over native Post Oak for natural flavor. IF you want sauce, it’s served on the side. The most these pit masters put on their brisket is salt and pepper, but never mind that – this meat candy is so damn good. PRO tip – don’t load up on the sides.

Closest to the race
Uncle Billy’s – You can’t miss this place as you ride from your Homeaway rental to the park. It’s on Barton Springs and has amazing beers. Plus the smokehouse chef has won a few awards.

Lamberts – Fancy BBQ. Seriously, you’ll probably find more pressed collars in here than any other joint, but it remains down-home Texan in the middle of the downtown. Highly recommended if your sponsor is footing the bill. Bike or walk.

Franklin BBQ is the best in town, but the wait will likely keep you away. Photo by Christopher Schmitt.

Franklin BBQ is the best in town, but the wait will likely keep you away. Photo by Christopher Schmitt.

Best in the city
Franklin – Every food show – heck, every entertainer who comes through town – ends up at Franklin. It is that good. Subsequently, you will wait in line for hours. Your call, pal. East 11th – walkable from downtown, bike or ride share (Uber or Lyft).

John Mueller Meat Co. – A personal favorite, John’s heritage in true Texas BBQ goes back a long long way. If you don’t want outrageous lines, this is your joint. East 6th – a decent ride by bike or ride share.

Mickelthwaite Craft Meats – Can you go wrong with a place that has “craft meats” in the name? An East Side favorite for good reason. A decent ride by bike or drive or ride share.

Stiles Switch – Quite a bit north in the Crestview neighborhood (located in the same shopping center where they filmed parts of Dazed and Confused). If you’re staying that way you cannot go wrong. Very juicy brisket. Car or ride share.

Continue Reading…

Before we get to #CXNats, we’ve got to go through States. So let’s strap it down and show the rest of the country how we do it at one of the gems of #TXCX – Resolution CX (formerly once also called The Most Awesome CX Race).

ResolutionCX_2015-4_Page_1This event is bigger than ever – hosting #TXCXStates and a USA Cycling PRO CX and UCI-sanctioned event. Jeff Lucido, fearless leader of the Texas Cross Syndicate, has worked hard for years to make this happen, and it’s finally here.

Jeff – tell us how the course will compare to last year’s hilly fun: 
This year we are taking a new approach to the course flow to prepare folks for Nationals in Austin the following week. We have a new UCI sand pit (look it up, it will be hard) and barriers section. We have a Belgian stair section planned too, but construction is dependent on Thursday’s weather forecast. We expanded the single track woods section with a few harder efforts we think racers will enjoy. We may or may not include the mulch pile run-up upon exit of the woods (if I can convince Ian it will be “fun” for the amateur events). The course is also longer and includes a new section in the upper field we haven’t used before. Finally, we will have a full 200m of road to the finish line this year. Continue Reading…

Racing starts at 10am both days.

Racing starts at 10am both days.

Just a few weekends left, and local promoter Rolando Roman wants you to keep your form. The final race of the ATXCXCup is upon us, as are the last opportunities to toe the line in 2014.

Let’s get into it.

Say, Ro, how would you describe the terrain at the Quest Park? 
This is a new venue; Quest ATX is a new cable assist water ski and wake board park in Austin TX. It is private property with ½ mile of the course covered with elevation change, a fast grass section, a twisty tree section, barriers, double pit and a fly-over. It’s a ~1.75 mile course. Continue Reading…