Soft Like Kitten

With all of the social rides, long road rides, and general shenanigans that the members of Soft Like Kitten have been up to in the past few months, it would be easy to forget that SLK was conceived as a cyclocross team.  While it’s still not really officially cyclocross season, we were lucky enough to get a little taste of what’s to come this fall, courtesy of a highly unorthodox summertime CX race put on by Raleigh.

The race was up in Roslyn, WA, on the other side of the Cascades from Seattle.  That fact, coupled with the fact that it was July instead of November, meant that the race was a much drier and dustier affair than your typical Seattle-style CX race.  In fact, after passing one particularly fitting road sign on the way back from the race, we dubbed it “The Big Dirty”:

After blowing dirt out of my nose for 2 days, I couldn't agree more.

Jason Dul kicked off SLK’s CX racing career by destroying the beginner men’s race and taking the win.  The race announcers were quick to pronounce Soft Like Kitten a team composed entirely of sandbaggers.

Jason Dul showing the beginners how it's done.

Seth Howard and Christopher Gay represented in the Cat 4 races (sorry guys, didn’t get any good pics!), with myself and Michael Mabale putting in solid efforts in the Cat 3s.  Hardly a race went by all day without a pink-clad heartthrob in it.  This team’s spectating/heckling/handup scene is going to be great this year, I can already tell.

Yours truly running up the Big Dirty

Just look at those quads!

John Whitenack, one of the fastest kittens around, put in a pretty stunning effort in the über-competitive Singlespeed race, coming in 11th in a field full of wicked-fast racers.  All this, despite eating shit a couple times going down the Big Dirty’s tricky descent.

John is singlespeedy

I think the general consensus amongst the team members at the end of the day was something along the lines of “holy shit, I forgot how hard cyclocross is……when can we do this again?”  It’s tantalizing to see what this fall is shaping up like, and having a kick-ass team to share racing and beers with is the icing on the proverbial cake.

All race and no relax makes Jack a dull boy

Big props to Raleigh and MFG Cyclocross for putting on a really fun race, and thanks to kitten Seth for all the pics.  You can see more of his shots here.

Now, if you don’t mind, I have to go blow some more dirt out of my nose.


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4 Responses to “Kittens race The Big Dirty”

  1. Ryan Says:

    Looks like it was a great time- hi fives to all the SLK hooligans that took part. I’m looking forward to being back in the lower 48 getting my race on with ya’ll.

    From the great white north,


  2. Wes Says:

    I feel like I did an extra special photobomb in that last photo, what with the matching pink jersey and all. :P

  3. Dylan Says:

    It was great to meet you Wes! You can bomb our photos any time.

  4. Mike (The Mabale) Says:

    Who dat kitten?!!!
    “…while others either charged big or threw in the towel and hiked it down. Note: only a handful actually walked it, and as a mountain biker by habit, hats off to these cyclocrossers who pinned this terrain on pseudo-road bikes. Respect.”

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