cyclocross for beginners

A Broken Guide to Cyclocross Part One : Myself and the Bike

Welcome to the Broken Guide of Cyclocross. It is here that I will share my journey through my first season of racing in Portland Oregon. canby_15-147

Photo : Yung Pine Photography / I grew up riding BMX and continued with it all the way into my mid twenties. Racing, trails, street, ramps, the whole deal. When I moved to New York City I picked up my first Road Bike. I used it as a way to get into shape but it quickly became more than that. Fast forward to present day. I am 30 years old living and working in Portland Oregon. Riding single track is hands down my favorite. I guess I’d consider myself a trail rider? Since Portland doesn’t have local single track I spend my mornings before work in Mt Tabor exploring the roads and trails on my Cyclocross bikes. I am on the bike seven days a week and I’ve been like this since I was six years old.


Photo : Stephan Hawk

So now you know a little about me and next up I want to talk about the bike I will be racing on. A racing bike is a workhorse, something that can be thrashed around and crashed on. So that is why I will be racing my All City Macho Man. Arguably one of the best affordable bikes or frame sets on the market. I purchased the frame on Ebay and has since been built up in many different ways. From group rides to the Oregon Outback the Macho Man has proved itself to be one hell of a bike.

In preparation for cross I’ve made a few changes thanks to the suggestions of Ten Speed Hero / Leave it on the Road Cat 1 racer Jake Szymanski. If your not already following this guy on Instagram you definitely should. Back to the bike! I ditched the heavy steel fork for carbon which has lightened the bike up significantly. To cut some more weight and reduce the chance of mechanicals I’ve converted the drive train to a 1x10. To bring it all together and keep it rubber side down I’ve gone with 33c Maxis Mudslinger tires. They’re a little narrow for my taste but the aggressive tread pattern really digs into the dirt. I’ve already taken this set up on a backpacking trip to Rainer Oregon and never needed the big ring once. So while this rig will be for racing it will still function for any bikepacking trips I’ll be taking! The bike feels really nimble and is built to take a hit.


Moving over to the vanity side of cycling I am a bit particular in the sort of kit I wear. Traditionally cyclists wear skin suits in cyclocross but that kind of attire is generally reserved for people that are on teams. My personal kit I’ve chosen to use this season is the following:

- Search and State S1A jersey in the now retired Green color way. I’ve had this jersey for a couple years now and cherish every rip and missing thread that it has. Made in the USA, Search and State is a brand I’ve been behind since day one. - Team Dream Compressor bibs made in Los Angeles, California. - The Athletic socks. One sock is blue and the other is pink. I wear the pink one on my right foot because my right leg is a hammer. - Defeet base layer. - Giro Code shoes. The Vibram soles are super grippy. - Giro Atmos helmet. I am from the Bay Area so I got to represent.

Check back soon for Part Two of this long over due guide to Cyclocross.