La vie de vélo

Adventures in cycling and life

The inaugural backcountry cyclocross ride

I’ve been thinking about it for a while but I finally made the leap and bought a cyclocross bike a couple weeks ago. I had to get cables, bar tape, a front derailleur top-pull pulley, and a new cassette for it so the inaugural ride was delayed a bit.

I got a killer ebay deal on a used Bianchi Cross Concept 2004.


Just like my Mamasita, its got a scandium frame with carbon stays. I like the combo of stiffness and compliance. Its outfitted with full Dura Ace and so far I’ve been super happy with it.

I got a cross bike for two reasons. First, I want to race cross later this year, ’nuff said. Secondly, I wanted a bike for epic long rides that was equally at home on pavement as it was on dirt roads and light trails.

Today’s ride was the test of reason #2. It passed with flying colors.

I rode out to Montecito (1 hour on pavement), climbed Romero (45 min on technical fireroad), traversed camino cielo (30 min pavement), descended Angostura and rode out at red rocks (1 hour on fireroad) and rode out Paradise road, up Stagecoach and down San Marcos (1.25 hours on pavement). 63 miles, 7000+ vertical ft of climbing in 4.5 hours with a good mixture of dirt and pavement.


Routes like this would simply not be possible on a road bike and would be tedious on a mountain bike. The cross bike just opens up SO many options around here: Refugio, West Camino Cielo, Murrietta, Romero, all these dirt roads that link up great sections of road riding are now available.

The best part is looking like a roadie with the skinsuit and drop bars, hammering past some roadies on a climb covered in mud. Or likewise flying past a mountain biker wondering how the hell a road bike just made it up the trail.

I think I’m gonna really enjoy this …..


February 9, 2009 - Posted by | Cyclocross, ride_report


  1. Sweet new ride!

    Comment by Sarah | February 9, 2009 | Reply

  2. Yeah, nice ride fancy pants!

    Comment by John Comunale | February 10, 2009 | Reply

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