Tag Archives: Chicrosscup

Norge & TEDTA

22 Nov

Otherwise known as, Norge Ski Jump CX  & Ted’s Excellent Double Track Adventure CX.

Norge was a last minute call Saturday and it turned out to be the best last minute decision I’ve made in a long, long time.  If you missed it, well, you missed it.

The pics by Ali Engin do justice to the course, it was as awesome as it looks.

Looks like a game of bike polo where everyone has their own ball.

Super technical with lots of off-camber, up-hill 180′s, logs, drops and super steep, loose climbs.  Which is to say, I loved it. Funnest course of the year. The venue at Norge is tailor made for a cross race,  hopefully, it will become a regular stop.

Sunday I dragged the girls to Volo, IL for Stop #11 of the ChiCrossCup, TEDTA.  I didn’t do as well as I did on Saturday but loved the course.  It had the best sand and run-up of the year and gets my nod as toughest of the year.

It’s a little blurry but if you look closely you can see that everyone on the front row, (10 racers wide) is racing Zipp 303′s except me.  I wish I could say that’s why they all beat me.  303′s would be so rad on a steel single speed.

Bonebell!

I ended up 2nd at Norge in the SS class and 11th at TEDTA in the 40+.  Next up Jinglecross on Friday and Saturday.

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.

My Plan For OUILSSSCXC

29 Sep

Sound it out…ewls-kuck-sk. Or, Official Unofficial Illinois State Single Speed Cyclo Cross Championship. Ewlskucksk is easier to say.  This is a big deal. What is on the line? Check out the prize list here. Yes, you read right, not just the OUILSSSCXC on the line but an entry into the SSCXWC…scuks-wic, (Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships) in San Francisco along with round-trip airfare! Damn!

I’m all over it. Problem is, so are a lot of faster dudes and dudettes in the Chicago area. OK, so I don’t really have a plan, more like lots of hopes.  I hope a certain person rolls a tubular.  I hope another certain person doesn’t show up on their SS SuperX.  And I hope someone else  keeps trying to race cross on a SS mountain bike. Lastly, I hope it snows because that would be rad.

That’s what I’ve got – hopes. Oh, and I have this:

After getting my Cannondale CAAD9X stolen last month I cobbled this together from stuff on my back porch.  I think out-of-pocket I’m into it about $100, which may be too much for a dirt bag single speed bike.  See you in DeKalb for ChiCrossCup #2 and the OUILSSSCXC!

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.


Chicago Cyclocross Cup #9 and 10

16 Nov

Mondays are hard enough by themselves but following a weekend of cyclocross in Chicago makes them almost unbearable.  A weekend of CX is like a caffeinated sugar infused adrenalin rush that can’t possible be sustained, poor Monday doesn’t stand a chance.

I don’t know how they do it but it every weekend Chicrosscup is more fun and crazy than the week before.  People are lining up for the rush, just between the 4A’s and 4B’s there were 200 racers!

Speaking of lining up, spectating at CX never disappoints.  Supergirl via Velogrrl:

After having my absolute worst result of the year last week (16th) on the geared bike I was hell-bent on kicking some ass Saturday at day 1 of a 2 day weekend of cross racing.

I did everything right during the week; nutrition was in check, rest days observed, sleep was priority #1.   I lived and breathed my training to a “T” (what does “T” mean anyway?) There was no stopping me.  I lined up Saturday knowing I was going to get a top 5 for sure.  Tasha and girls even came out to cheer me on, nothing motivates like family hootin’ and hollerin’ for you.

The conditions for a stellar race couldn’t have been better, yet, I sucked worse than I could have imagined. I got 23rd which, barring a Leadville placing, may be the worst placing I’ve ever had.  I seriously thought about bailing on the rest of the series.

But I don’t always listen to reason which was shouting at me to “rest, take a race off, a week off.  It’s been a long season Mr. B, You should be sucking.”  I lined up and did it again on Sunday but brought the single speed.  Same course, same competition, same, same everything but the bike.  Oh, and zero expectations.

It’s good to be home, moved from 23rd the day before up to 13th even with a flat tire on the last lap.  Results so far:

7th, 9th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 11th, 8th, 16th, 23rd, 13th (bold italics for geared races)

I’m all over the place on the geared bike, I know it’s only 3 races (I actually did 5 races with gears 2 of which were “B” races on the same day and placing in the high teens ) but I’m throwing out the geared bike in favor of the SS.  The consistency of results with the SS would be reason alone but the #1 reason I’m staying with the single speed, It’s more fun.

Gears Are Stupid

11 Nov

Or maybe I’m just stupid.  After extolling the virtues of gears last week I had my worst race of the year Sunday on the geared bike completely negating my positive experience with gears the previous week.  This supports my original hypothesis that it just doesn’t matter, you’ll do how you do based on your ability and fitness and not on your bike.  I mean, I already knew this from mountain biking having equal if not better results on a SS. I was hoping that maybe, just maybe, gears might make a difference in cyclocross.  Nope.

I was kinda pissed about it too.  After pre-riding the course at Woodstock I was sure I would clean up.  It was very mountain bikey with lots of dirt and climbs and rough sections, for sure I was going to be at an advantage.  Ended up 16th with nothing left over for the 30+ race that I had signed up for.  I whimpered away with my tail between my legs.

Was it the gears?  Am I not training hard enough?  Am I training too hard?  No warm-up?  Too many encased meat products consumed?  I can go on.

I’m not throwing in the towel just yet on gears, I’ll give them 1 more chance. This weekend is double cross weekend at Chicago Cyclocross Cup and I plan on riding the geared bike for both days.   Of course if I really stink it up on Saturday I’ll have no problem turning my back on the geared bike on Sunday, maybe forever.

7th, 9th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 11th, 8th, 16th (italics for geared races)

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