Gary Fisher and Clark Natwick side by side at the logs with Fritz Leidl in the distance, Golden Gate Park, 1975.
racing cyclocross, future U.S. National Champion (both Junior and then Senior Men) Clark Natwick rode a Raleigh road frame with brazed-on cantilever brakes. Laurence Malone's first bike was a Girardengo, named after Constante Girardengo, an Italian racer who had won over 30 stages in the Giro. Malone recalls that the bikes were manufactured in an Italian prison. Nall himself also had to look overseas for a 'cross-specific bike, selecting a Swiss bike by Mondia. But with the expansion of cyclocross, the equipment began to
catch up. During the mid-1970s in Oakland, established frame builder Albert Eisentraut was holding workshops on 'cross frame building, and across the country in 1972, Richard Sachs started building. Back at the University of Santa Cruz, a young student named Keith Bontrager would try frame building by building a copy of Nall's Mondia cyclocross frame.
Bontrager went on to build his first road frame in 1979, followed by his first mountain bike frame the year after that. Some shops began to import cyclocross-specific frames, and, after a year and a half of racing, Natwick was able to get his hands on a British cyclocross frame purchased from a shop in San Francisco. Not only did the United States at first lack bikes, but finding clothing
and other accessories that accommodated the running, mounting and dismounting was difficult as well. Malone and Allan preferred Adidas soccer shoes with the front cleats shaved off to fit into the toe clips. After racing in the World Championships for a couple of years, Malone received a custom pair of cyclocross shoes from Herger, a Swiss cobbler who made shoes for the Swiss national cyclocross team. Malone describes the shoes as "tough, little ballet slippers with plenty of flex to run."17
Mary Ann Allan beats Linda Searl and Clara Teyssier for the first USCF Women's title; Jim Gentes bests Clark Natwick and Rick Moale for the Junior title; Competitors tackle a Golden Gate Park run-up.
22 CYCLOCROSS MAGAZINE - ISSUE 6 - 2009