The Resurrection of CBR

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Just about every major city and state has a local race series. These are the backbone of grassroots competitive cycling. Just about every professional cyclist today has had their trajectory rooted in local, consistent competitive cycling.

Southern California has been hit hard with a lot of USAC races being cancelled. There have been alternatives such as HUNKR, Spndx Stampede, Gravel events like BWR and Gran Fondos. There is still a small light that shines brightly on SoCal racing. California Bicycle Racing or CBR is experiencing a renaissance of sorts where other races are failing. It is a simple format. Two courses with four corners in an industrial park. Although the course, format and race has not changed, there has been a big change when it comes to attracting more people.

Jeff Prinz is charged with revitalizing the series and his participation numbers have been blowing up. A former racer himself, he impressively shot up from a Cat 5 to a Cat 1 in one season. He sees the value of competitive racing and he is working hard in addition to his full time job as a teacher to bring the experience of a family friendly atmosphere to Southern California Racing.

In earlier CBR races before Jeff, there were fights in the parking lot, people being way too aggressive after races and angry and overworked race promoters. It left much to be desired for people who spend more time in their cars than the actual racing often risking severe injury all while having to go to a job on Monday. Jeff has acknowledged all of these things take away from people wanting to spend a day at the races. He’s changed a lot including, food trucks, barriers, an inflatable banner and most importantly an introductory program that fosters beginner racers. The results show that the Cat 5 and beginner racing programs are selling out mid week, more people are showing up to the races including spouses, children and making it more of a fun atmosphere.

Jeff has worked hard to bring in more sponsors, more prize money all while keeping the entry fee’s the same for almost twenty years. While he acknowledges racing is facing an uphill battle with an overall decline in racing, he is defying the odds by making the race experience as fun and exciting as possible.

Over the years, the CBR series has seen thousands of racers some of whom now make a living racing a bicycle. They owe a lot of their skills and success to the CBR series and it is the most competitive criterium series in the country. If you’ve ever done this series before, you might relate to some of the topics discussed. If you’ve never raced a criterium there is no better way to get into it. Check out the CBR race series and pin a number on. This is a staple of Southern California and Jeff and his perspective breathes new light into bike racing. Do not miss this episode!

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