The morning was young after a run in with some blood and serious lack of sleep, though these things were insignificant to the vast happenings of the day that lie ahead. A phone call from Jeff Perkins informed me of his presence as a fellow south loop inhabitant and I was out the door with some haste en route to his residing place to destine ourselves to Adam Clark’s Garage. Upon arrival, the excitement was high between the Crewers. Finally we had all gathered as a team and friends that would be joining the caravan. I found myself in the Mazda Zipcar that Mike Morell had prepared for the trek north to Beloit. It was a small, crammed car but, according to Brynn, at least it wasn’t as bad as the van that was packed with bikes, baggage, a couch and people. The van was ready for quite the trip, the second longest trek the it has ever made. Off we were, I sensed Brynn was very antsy about the whole situation as we were on the road an hour behind schedule and the idea of getting to South Beloit under two hours seemed like a stretch. After about an hour or so of driving on the expressway, we received a call informing us that the van had met its match and pulled off at the Hilton Garden Inn. Haste was in the air. Out of seemingly nowhere, Val came to the rescue with her truck and after some yelling from Andrew the females and Mens 5 racers were back on their way to the race without the van, leaving whomever could not fit into the cars with the van. The rest of the ride was fairly smooth, though a slight detour was in order with the help of Val’s Blackberry.
The track was not quite what I was expecting, with its farmland location and country feel. We raced to the parking lot to catch the Women’s 4/5 start. By the time we were parked, the ladies had taken off and were racing without our Cuttin’ Crew babes. First on the agenda was ensuring that Brynn, Molly, and Julia were able to compete in another race. In which they found a place in the Women’s 1/2/3 race seeing as how with them the race consisted of a mere 8 women.
The feeling I got from the area was relaxed. The Cuttin’ Crew was preparing for a day of racing. Daryl, Jeff, Ben, Max, Stanley, and I were sporting the Cuttin’ Crew colors as we lined up for the Men’s 5 race. The race was going so smoothly, with Cuttin’ Crew riders scattered comfortably in the peloton. The corners were slow and the straightaways were fast, Daryl clocked us at a max of 34. I felt antsy as a newcomer to the field and my anxiety overcame me. Splitting to gather a lead I thought a breakaway was in order for me. Looking back at my teammates, as I was thirty yards ahead of the pack, I felt I could get some input on what my next move should be. Without direction I held a short lead for a lap, falling back into the pack realizing the Mother’s force. The end lap came and Jeff pulled through the inside edge nearing the final turn. Following suit, I stuck to his wheel. Passing Stanley, Jeff called out “Snip Snip.” Stanley fell behind my wheel with Daryl to follow right behind. It was time for team sprints practice to be put into action. Rounding the final corner, Jeff began pulling extremely hard, giving the Cuttin’ Crew some comfortable space. Halfway to the finish on the straightaway, I rounded Jeff sprinting towards the finish with a rider to my right pulling in close. Jeff was yelling to keep it strong as I threw to finish a hair in front of the rider to my right while the Crew cleaned up positions 3, 4, and 5.
The ladies were racing soon after. The 1.7-mile lap was long and filled with crosswinds, but as the ladies came around to the home stretch every lap they seemed as strong as the lap before. Molly and Brynn were strong and were sharing pulls throughout the race. Brynn, in particular, seemed to be giving a concerted effort forth, which shined through as the race results showed with Brynn pulling through the finish for a solid 2nd place with Molly and Julia quick behind.
Knowing their races were nearing, I became worried about the situation of where the rest of the Crew was. I made contact with Nico as he was working through family issues, but was excited to organize transportation for our stranded racers. Further word arrived that the men were on their way and Nico, who still was occupied in the city, would arrive later.
The “A team” (Adam, Al, Andrew) had arrived and were ready for the festivities provided by the race and the excitement already at hand. The Men’s 4/5 race was as rocky as the 5 race with slow corners and fast straights, although the 5 race lacked the father figure of Papa Brester (Brean). Family Cuttin’ Crew was working together and performing well, the field could feel and see our presence. Andrew concluded the race with a 6th place finish and Brean finished 8th.
The hype on the team was gaining in the matter of a day. The team began to show its colors in Kenosha and Hillsboro, but with so many women and men strong at the Super Crit we took the racing scene by storm.
The A team did some serious work in the Men’s 3/4 race as they kept strong with the pack throughout their 55 minutes. Al took a surprising jump to the front of the peloton with one lap to go, thinking the sound of a prime bell was the sound of the final lap bell. Watching those boys race was filled with observations between the team as Stanley was assured that I was going to get what was coming to me, Brean was only adding to my ranting. We do share a certain camaraderie as a team that could be seen as we did a commentary on the race.
Finally, Nico had arrived. I was worried of his arrival time due to the 15-minute last call notice on the Men’s 1/2/3 race. Extremely passionate about something as usual, Nico rushed to register finding himself a Subway sandwich to stuff before his race. The 1/2/3 race was exciting to see because finally the entire team had come together. Although Nico was racing by his lonesome, the whole team was right there behind him, next to him, and in front of him as he passed the finishing stretch every loop. Andrew, high in spirits, provided the field, officials and spectators with an ample amount of obnoxious cowbell; a cowbell’s clank unlike any clank to precede Andrew’s. Nico looking extremely strong on his cross bike finished a cool 7th place with barely a sweat on his brow. With morale high the team had wrapped up a day of racing with an imprint left at The Blackhawk Farms Raceway that sets the Chicago Cuttin’ Crew as a fierce, fun loving team in the sanctioned racing community.