San Francisco Spring Classic Series Opens with Epic Conditions

Race Coverage

SF Spring Classic – The South Full Length Video by Zen Turtle

One of the best trends in cycling equipment right now is the growth of the ‘adventure road bike’ or ‘fat tired road bike’.  Big tires, disc brakes on normal road bike geometry seem like good ingredients for what many cyclists want to do today.  Ride everywhere and race everywhere is a new mantra that we’ll hear more of in the future. Why ride a century ride on rough pavement with 23c tires at 130 psi when you can be running 28c at 90 psi? Why turn around at the end of the road just because there’s 2 miles of dirt road up ahead when you can punch through and keep exploring?

One of the new events in the SF Bay area is called Spring Classics. This is a point to point adventure ride that features pavement and trail with big mileage and elevation. This first event from San Francisco to Santa Cruz happened to fall on a rare day of non-stop wind and rain. 140 showed up in the miserable conditions and 20 finished the long course of 100+ miles and 10,000 feet.

Read about their adventure here.

SF Spring Classic – South – The video Trailer by Zen Turtle

SF Spring Classic South Recap by Mtbr forum member “ratpick”

Here it is, in 3D, taste-the-grit detail! My camera is waterproof but once my gloves, jersey, shorts – well, everything – was muddy, there was no way to wipe it clean, so photos aren’t the cleanest!


The story begins with Zen Turtle posting about the ride and looking for fellow sufferers. I had just completed the Coe Monstercross with ElHombre and Modbog so was eager for more big “monstercross” rides. I paid my $75 immediately and counted down the days!

One of the funny comments in the leadup was a Quadzilla racer who said, ‘I’m going to do a dirt ride rather than a boring road century” – we “laughed” about that often during the ride!

Start your engines!

I’m very used to riding with the route in my Garmin, disliking having to pull out maps and figure out the next turn. But I did enjoy the mystery this time, especially since I was familiar with everything south of Linda Mar.

As usual in cold weather, I was very unsure what to wear. Go too warm, and I suffer with heavy clothes and overheating, but too light and my fingers and toes suffer. With a forecast of 100% chance of rain all day and temps barely touching 50º maximum, I decided my warmest jersey was the right choice (and it was!). Long leg warmers (can’t believe how many wore knee warmers only, or nothing on their legs) and a cap under my helmet to keep my head warm and rain off my glasses. I also added some toe covers, figuring it might help prevent my toes freezing on the fast Hwy 1 segment.

I took very little food. ZT also commented on this at the start – we both are used to taking (nearly) all the food we’ll need on a century ride so it felt weird to ride out with nothing. Since the first refueling spot was 33 miles away, I did take some food for that stretch.

On the drive up to San Francisco, I spotted a familiar bike so sat in behind Marco, as I expected to do for much of the ride!

I had cleaned and prepared my bike and somehow contaminated the brake rotors so the brakes were loudly squealing. I went for a ride around in the rain and found out that the squealing stopped once the pads were warm. I hoped it would stop altogether eventually!

At around 8:50am, with the rain very constant, Murphy rounded us up and gave a very funny speech and directions about the tricky parts of the route. There was, as there always is, much excitement. It was obvious that this was a particularly strong pack of riders!

At checkin we received a well-produced route sheet with all turns and a map. I studied it for a bit, but figured I’d follow the pack on the start so didn’t bother to try to memorize it. I had a course loaded in my Garmin but it had the wrong route up until Montara Mtn.

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About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.

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