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Honing skills at a cyclocross clinic

Posted by on September 28th, 2006 at 9:18 am

Alpenrose Cross Clinic

Yesterday I finally made it out to one of the Alpenrose Cross Clinics put on by Team S&M and Sellwood Cycle Repair. I’ve heard the clinics have been very popular since they started earlier this month and this one (the final one) was no exception. There were at least 100 participants all looking to hone their skills and learn from the masters.

The season begins this Sunday so everyone was eager to polish their technique and ask nagging, last-minute questions. On hand to demonstrate those skills and answer those questions were old pros like Rhonda Mazza, Erik Tonkin, Brad Ross, and a host of others.

Alpenrose Cross Clinic

[You’d be happy too if you
just won a bike!]

Before the clinic began, Erik Tonkin and Brad Ross (the man behind the Cross Crusade) held a drawing for a new Kona cyclocross bike and 10 free race entry tokens. Unfortunately I won one of the free entry passes, which means I have one less excuse for not showing up and racing!

Last night we also got our first look at this year’s hilarious Cross Crusade poster (PDF here). The poster depicts a who’s-who of the local cross scene in a rendition of Da Vinci’s famous Last Supper painting. Thanks to Brad Ross, I’ve been able to identify everyone pictured (click to enlarge the image).

[From L to R: Rene Myers, Shannon Skerritt, Jon Myers, John Walrod, Rich Slingsby, Rick Potestio, Rhonda Mazza, Candi Murray, Erik Tonkin (center), Biran Witty, Lyn Slingsby, Russ Humberston, Donovan Grabowski, Brad Ross, Jim Anderson.]
Alpenrose Cross Clinic

[Kevin Hulick and his
new Vanilla]

Before breaking off into groups to begin the clinic, I bumped into an old friend, Kevin Hulick. As reported back in April, Kevin is the newest addition to the Vanilla Bicycles Cross Team and tonight was the first ride on his fine new rig (hence the smile).

Once we finally got started, I joined a group led by Erik Tonkin. We focused on making smooth remounts and it was great to learn from such a skilled rider. Erik has been riding cross for 14 years so he’s got a ton of knowledge to share. Other groups focused on dismounts and how to smoothly clear barricades.

Alpenrose Cross Clinic

[Rhonda Mazza in
teaching mode]

By this time I had put away my camera so I could focus on riding. At the end of class we all rode around a mini race loop to practice what we’d learned. I got in some much-needed practice and focused mostly on how to carry my bike on my shoulder during run-ups…and I have the bruises to prove it.

Whether you come out to race or just soak in the vibe, make your way to Alpenrose Dairy this Sunday to see what the nation’s biggest and best cross series looks, feels, and smells like (sounds like fun doesn’t it?!).

[Big thanks to Erik Tonkin and Sellwood Cycle Repair for lending me a bike for the clinic…thanks guys!]

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Paolo
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Paolo

Good to see you and many others out there.
It was my first cross experience and it was lots of fun. Will be there on Sunday to try it out. I wish they would do more clinics! Lots to learn.
Ciao
Paolo

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Nice hand gesture Witty. 2 in the pink, one in the stink. AKA, the shocker.

Cross Crusade, there’s nothing else like it.

Javen
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Javen

I had decided to go only a couple hours before the clinic would start. I got on my bike and showed up for a fun, crazy, bikey experience. This is my first time every trying out cyclocross, and it was awesome!