For readers unfamiliar with the DFL Cross Dress series, here's the description from our 2010 SF Weekly "Best of San Francisco" edition.
To innocent passersby, the annual DFL Cross-Dress Cyclocross series
defies explanation: Without warning, 150 bicycle-mounted men and women,
mostly in drag, emerge from a thicket in full sprint, leap from their
cycles like acrobats, and then throw them over their shoulders and
sprint up dirt embankments. This is a two-decades-old subterranean
version of a century-old off-road sport called cyclocross. The San
Francisco version, however, is even more anarchic. Events, which are
held during September and October, are announced by word of mouth mere
days before each event; entry fees are waived for cross-dressers, while
people in gender-appropriate attire pay $5. Typical fields of 100-plus
riders include national and world-class athletes. Courses are set up,
raced upon, and abandoned without government permission in the spirit of
anarchy that participants believe guides their sport.
The city's legions of fixed-gear riders, meanwhile, occasionally compete in so-called alleycat races, in which competitors will traverse a pre-planned route on city streets. Because these fixie riders don't have brakes or gears, they can't go fast, and their events thus only loosely qualify as races.
Cyclocross racing, however, definitely qualifies, and has been the wintertime sport for bicycle road racers for about a century now. Here's how SF Weekly described the sport in a 2004 article about the DFL series.
Cyclocross is an off-road bicycle-racing sport involving slightly modified, skinny-tired, multispeed bikes that preceded the Marin CountyWith park rangers now on the prowl for scofflaw cyclocrossers, could this mean the death of off-road bicycle brigrandry? Not as long as there still exist undisclosed locations in this city, ripe for use as race courses at a time known only to a few.
mountain-bike fad by three-quarters of a century. (The first cyclocross
world championships were held in 1902.) Riders do laps on an off-road
course of a mile or so, periodically dismounting with a balletic
two-step as they hurdle foot-high artificial barriers or clamber up
The U.S. version of cyclocross got started in the 1970s, when a group of
campus and mapped loops taking them over logs, up cliffs, and through
rivers. They slogged over the courses carrying their bikes one-third of
the way, then collapsed on the ground after they had clocked an hour.
Whoever was ahead after 60 minutes would win.