Tag Archives: chicago cross cup

ChiCrossCup Wrap Up

16 Dec

Chicago Cross Cup is over. I did 16 races in the series, more CX racing in one season than all previous years CX races combined.  I learned a few things about CX and Chicago CX in particular.

  • Just because it’s Chicago doesn’t mean you’ll have cross weather.  9 of the 10 weekends were pretty warm and dry, only the final race could be considered cross worthy weather.
  • Heckling is a respected and honorable activity.
  • 9a.m. is not too early to start drinking, it’s 5p.m. somewhere.
  • You want run-ups? You gotta build ’em and no expense is spared.
  • No matter how hard you are pedaling it’s not hard enough.
  • Full body contact is expected and encouraged.
  • I still can’t re-mount with grace, someday.
  • Cyclocross was taylor made for single speed bikes.
  • My legs are still sore the Thursday after doing back to back races on same day, I can only do that a couple times a season.
  • You really can race the entire season on the exact same tires, maybe not smart but doable.
  • Ghetto tubeless (zero burps) works better than Stan’s rim strips.
  • Some days 45 minutes is actually 55 minutes and other days 45 minutes is actually 35 minutes.
  • Bib shorts snag, skinsuits do not.
  • A few pounds of tire pressure in the wrong direction and you are screwed.
  • I have the biggest POS cross bike in the Masters class.

Cross has been so much fun I’m thinking of treating the mountain bike race season as CX training next year.  As much fun as it was it would never have been possible without the great people and promoters at the Chicago Cyclocross Cup.  Huge props to ring leader Jason Knauff and all the other promoters, how they manage to make the magic happen week after week and still race is beyond me. Also big thanks to fellow racers, especially my Masters group, hecklers, volunteers and new friends its been a great season of racing.  The biggest thanks goes to Tasha for helping me out the door every weekend and cheering me on.  Thank you!

Finished 8th overall in the series.

7th, 9th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 11th, 8th, 16th, 23rd, 13th, 10th, 10th (bold italics are geared races)

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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.

Chicago Cross Cup #2

5 Oct

Not really a race report, more of a, “why isn’t everyone at the cross race?” kind of report.  This could apply to any cyclocross race anywhere but it’s abundantly clear in Chicago.

Flyovers rock!    The flyover did not disappoint anyone – unlike the new UCI rules –  multiple pile ups across all classes provided constant entertainment.  I hereby cast the first vote for the UCI to enforce a flyover obstacle at every race venue instead of their silly new rules.

Racing CX is exquisite, painful fun where spectating CX is just exquisite fun.  I mean, where else are you going to see a bacon stuffing pepper?

Or a man in leopard tights or an aero helmet? Oh wait, triathlons.

Just because you happen to be a big time CX star doesn’t mean you have immunity to the heckling.  If anything you may be subjected to more heckling, at least in Chicago.

Of course, the real reason to take the whole family to the CX races – faceplants!

Get the kids up, pack a lunch, skip church and head out to your local cyclocross race.  Good times guaranteed.

My race, the Master’s 40+ class, goes off bright and early at 8:45 every week before any one else.  The crowds haven’t shown up yet, only a few people are drunk and not too many hecklers.  If you were to watch my race and leave and then come back for the last race of the day at 3, the 4B’s, you’d swear you came back to the wrong venue; crazy crowds, drunken hecklers, tampon & twinkie hand-ups.  Yeah, I want to race 4B’s.

No hole-shot for me this week.  Luckily, I preserved my call-up for next week.  I had actually resigned myself to finishing outside the top 10 after battling what I thought for sure was a tapeworm for most of last week.  That’s all I’m saying about that.

Next up: Elvis Cross, sure to be a barn burner, better clear your calendar.

Chicago Cross Cup #1

21 Sep

Sunday started early for me.  7:00 a.m. at Caribou Coffee picking up 5 gallons of coffee for the race, I drank my share and gave away the rest.

Did I mention that Carborocket is sponsoring the Chicago Cross Cup? As if there weren’t reason enough to stop by the CarboRocket tent on race day I present one more, live ukulele music.  Oh, and coffee from Caribou.  Make that 2 reasons.

having heard tales of the professional heckling at cross races in Chicago I expected hecklers for the later racers but Adam was up at the crack of dawn setting up his heckling station and didn’t disappoint.  The Masters 40+ is the first race of the day at 8:45 a.m.  and it’s never too early to heckle in Chicago.  I actually looked forward to his derisive comments each lap and got a much needed morale boost, akin to boot camp I guess.

After my race I thought I’d try my hand at heckling.  I suck at it.  Do not put a microphone in front of me and expect anything but words of encouragement.

Pulling off the spectacle that is the Chicago Cross Cup is no easy feat and requires many people and many hours.  I’m glad I’m not married to Jason, the director, that’s him with the megaphone.  I bet his wife hates him.  Thanks for pulling off a kick-ass season opener though! Oh, and he races in the Cat 1,2,3’s as well. Sounds like someone else I know.

What is the best way to judge the local cross scene or any cycling scene for that matter, the women’s race.  Here are 50+ racers in the Women’s 4’s. Awesome!

Back to the most important race of the day, the Masters 40+.  I paid close attention to J-Pow and it paid off, I got the hole shot on 70+ racers. Yeah. Really.

OK, it might have been the skinsuit from Stupidbike.  I loved how that thing slides off and on the seat so effortlessly.  I’m still wearing it as a matter of fact. Or it might have been the luck of the call-up draw, either way I’ve made to the call-ups for race #2 and that’s what matters.

I may have gone out a wee bit hard as I started to fade a bit on the last lap, ended up 7th. Very pleased with the result and can’t wait to go after team Verdigris that swept the podium.  Speaking of ChiCross, it’s a pretty big deal out here in Flatlandia, next race is 2 weeks out and already over 300 pre-registered with several classes sold out.

Utahhh!

20 Sep

It’s been just over 2 weeks now and I’ve finally cone to grips with the fact that I pedaled the PCP2P 2 hours slower than last year. 2 freaking hours!  Yeah it was hard but last year was even harder.  Enough about the race you already know it’s a bitch.

On to the PCP2P ride.  The first 3 hours were complete single track bliss.  I spent the whole time riding with Dave Harris and Fatty.  Just tooling along having a good time singing songs and possibly irritating fellow racers.  What could be better than Utah single track with friends for 3 hours? Pretty much nothing and certainly not the next 7 hours.

This is what I do in a feed zone, get on my bike and ride.

This is what Elden does, looks for sympathy.  For what? His hands hurt. Whatever, sac up!

I really wish I would have felt better at the finish so I could mingle and schmooze with everyone that I haven’t seen for several months but I was too busy curled up in a ball trying to recover.  It took me almost 10 and one half hours to finish.  I’ve become a soft and pale city boy.  It is what it is.

The weekend came and went too fast.  I did manage to squeeze in some Corner Canyon dirt, Bayou and a visit to the lab.

Mountain bike racing is OVER! I am pretty excited about that since no matter how hard I look there just aren’t any mountains to be found in Chicago.  I am hereby declaring my official new cycling discipline to be cyclocross.  I even have the first race of the Chicago Cross Cup under my belt and I couldn’t be more pleased.  More on that tomorrow.