Tag Archives: chicago cyclocross cup

Fail Moab

16 Nov

I missed Fail Moab Fall Moab this year for no good reason.  I so wanted to get back to the desert and ride with the team but I’m old, kids are busy, dug, Rick and Rick bailed.  Not to mention a Chicrosscup double header weekend for crying out loud. Wait, those are all good reasons.

Oh, and the debut of the CR skinsuit, front row!

Day 1 was awesome because the family came out to heckle and take pictures.  Kendra captured my favorite moment of the entire series – Cassidy running along side me heckling, “You suck, is that how you ride a bike? Can’t you pass me?”  The daughter heckle rules!

Day 2 was awesome because I finally got to zip on a superhero suit, I left it on all day – ask Tasha.  Thanks for the pic Duane!

Maybe it was the new superhero suit, maybe not.  All I know is I was riding out of my head, hanging with dudes I have no right to be hanging with. Finished 6th on the day, tying my best finish at a Chicrosscup.

ChiCrossCup Double Header Weekend

18 Oct

My car battery died at the coffee shop on the way to Wauconda Saturday. At first I was bummed that I would miss my 8:45 start, which I did, but the prospect of lining up in a totally different race category quickly got me over my bummedoutedness.

Race start would now be 11:45, plenty of time for AAA to rescue me and still make it to the race.  I’ve never had so much time to set-up, get ready and warm-up – loved it.   Maybe a permanent category change is in order.

Being new to a category has at least one disadvantage – lining up DFL.  Game face time!

Photo by Amy Velogrrl.

Game face worked pretty well for me, moved up from DFL to finish 16th. Or, maybe it was the new bike.

Next stop: Carpentersville.  Jeff and the gang from Main Street Bicycles  and North Branch Cycling put on a fantastic day-long race alongside Carpentersville’s Oktoberfest.  Polka music, brats, brews, mud, cross = damn fine day.

Muddy woop-de-doos through cornfields are like straw bales, they should be mandatory course features.

I dug as deep as I could and managed to pull out an 8th place finish.  Two days in a row of cross racing hurts.  Bad.  New CX goal for the year (down from podium finish) crack the top 5.

Double Feature: ChiCrossCup #1 And US Gran Prix #1

27 Sep

Cyclocross season has been underway here in Chicagoland for a month now.  3 races already under my belt and it’s still Sept; Relaycross, Chicago Cyclocross Cup #1 at Jackson Park and even one U.S Gran Prix race in Wisconsin.

living in the center of the cyclocross universe in North America has its benefits, where else can you race a ChiCrossCup one weekend then drive 2 hrs the next weekend and race a  U.S. Gran Prix? Nowhere. And it just gets better every week.

CCC #1 at Jackson Park marked the start of the series and the start of the chase for call-ups and standings. I’m pretty sure last weekend set a record for # of racers at a CX race in North America, 680!

We had about 70 racers start in the Masters 40+ (most classes sold out at 100) No lucky call up for me this year, I just put my head down and pedaled.

Pics by Nick Gajewski

I ended up finishing 7th, exactly the same placing as last year at Jackson Park.

As much fun as it was racing, the most fun of the day was had cheering and heckling Cassidy.  She raced the Junior race and did awesome, finished 4th out of the girls.  She came to the race wanting and expecting to get heckled and heckled she got.  I don’t know who the megaphone girl was but we got her to chase Cassidy along the course shouting, “Hey, Cassidy Utah, you suck!” Cass was laughing so hard she could barely get back on her bike.

Fast forward 1 week and U.S. Gran Prix #1 in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin served up exquisite CX conditions.

I’ve always said I’m a fair weather racer and would shake my head in disbelief when other crossers prayed for rain and mud.  I get it now. Mud rules! Ended up getting 4th in the SS class.

ChiCrossCup #2 is on Sunday in DeKalb and the Masters classes need some hecklers.  Come out early to heckle and and I’ll reward you with coffee.  I’m bringing 5-gallons of coffee and 20 gallons of CarboRocket. last week the coffee was gone by 10:30 and the CarboRocket was gone by Noon.  The early bird gets the worm.


Single Speeds Are Stupid

2 Nov

I could be jumping to conclusions here but after 7 consecutive cross races this season on my SS and just 2 races with gears (both yesterday) I’ve decided that single speeds are stupid.  To be more specific, single speeds are stupid for cyclocross.

On the SS just when you get wound up to speed you lose it all in a tight corner, chicanes or an uphill.  A constant battle of winding up to only be unwound again moments later.  The thing is, I had no idea this is what was happening until I jumped on a geared bike.

It was a revelation.  I didn’t feel like I was battling the bike, the bike felt great, I felt great.  Traction was better not having to stand and mash on the pedals constantly.  I could stay seated through the slow stuff keeping the rear tire digging. I had my 2nd best finish of the year, moving up a few spots from the last couple races.

In keeping my geared experiment as scientific as possible here are the results so far:

7th, 9th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 11th, 8th (italics for geared races)

I realize its only one race into my experiment but I’m sold. To all you SS’ers out there, join the hoi polloi and give it a go.

Chicago Cyclocross Cup #3,4,5,6 and 7

26 Oct

Officially there have only been 6 Chicross Cup’s but at race #6 I decided to nut up and do back to back races. More on that later.

There have been so many races in such a short time span that I am starting to forget the names of all the venues.

One of the things not helping my memory is the consistency of the race series and one of the many constants at the Chicrosscup races is the sheer number of racers every weekend.  I think it speaks volumes to the high level of organization, great promoters and growing popularity that the women’s 4 class is one of the 3 biggest fields week after week with 60+ racers.

Here they are on the run up at stop #3 Dan Ryan Woods.

And coming back down. Down.

The first double race weekend of the series started at Wauconda for race #4.  I have no idea who this guy is but must admit I have a little thigh envy.

Speaking of envy, the following picture will cause no small amount of flyover envy.  Replete with a faux slate roof.  If you want vert in Flatlandia you have to build it.

Day 2 of the double cx weekend had us out in Carpentersville for race #5 of the series.  They had live polka music, dancers, food court, beer garden and dirt rollers.

The rollers caused more than their fair share of problems across all categories. A flawlessly executed superman endo if I’ve ever seen one.

Race #6 at Bartlett with another sellout category, the 4b’s.  Every single week the 4a’s and 4b’s reach their max field limit of 75 per class-150 total cat 4 men!

I’m constantly learning new CX tips and tricks from my fellow racers.  Here’s the HTSP (head tube seat post) carry which I’m going to practice on Wednesday.

Spaghetti and marinara hand-up or is it mouth-up? Gross. And I think I see Darth Vader in the crowd. Cool.

I started the series out strong and thought I’d just get stronger but every week I seem to finish one spot lower than the week before.

With the season half over I thought I better step up the training so I did 2 races back to back on Sunday focusing on the 40+ race since it goes off first and using the 30+ race for a good work out.

Having never placed higher than 7th in any race I got the 6th place call-up. Just showing up every week has its rewards, I get to line up with the fast guys and watch them pull away.

My 2nd race of the day had me lining up with the 30+ crowd and with no call-up and no expectations I sorted myself towards the back.  It was a lot more fun picking people off than being picked off and not nearly as hard as I expected it to be, definitely doing it again next week.

Starting next week I plan on mixing things up a bit while conducting an experiment.  I’m dusting off the geared bike for the last half of the CX season to confirm my hypothesis that is doesn’t matter whether you have multiple gears or just 1 gear.  I predict similar results for the last half of the season.

My results so far, notice the trend, 7th, 9th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 11th.  I’m not keeping track of my “b” races.

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