Rarely are cyclocross conditions in Northern California/Northern Nevada true to the more traditional European bent of wet and muddy racing. Particularly during those seasons that see California's summer extend well into October, two words frequently describe course milieu...brown and dusty. Yet, regional 'crossers still strive to race the conditions that become loose, sandy, and more suitable to the broader tyres on mountain bikes. The soft terrain adds an extra dimension to the racing and does so equally to images of cyclocross-racing.
A trail of dust behind Katie 'Jay' Melena, above, adds a sense that the Rock Lobster cyclocross racer did indeed move, albeit shortly before capture of the photograph. Even though it is a still image, motion is implied by the dry conditions.
One of the more sandier courses in the Monterey - Santa Cruz Bay Area is on the campus of CSU Monterey Bay. Light bursting between the trees and through the dust (above) reinforces the dry conditions for Mark Howland (Rock Lobster). An outcome of such conditions is the oft seen sheen of dust masking the faces of racers, as below with Chris Kelly (Evergreen Racing).
More challenges for racers come from simultaneous sandy and windy conditions. Cut and now dry grass lift up in the wind to join the dust and the dirt (above). Eating everyone else's dust is a drawback for racers off the back (below). These dusty courses disappear, for the most part, after the first rains of the season.