the livin's easy

Summer's officially here, and it's about time that weather started to cooperate. The rain relented, the heat swept in, and with it came a big weekend of racing. The Allvoi Cup, Saturday 20 June, Northbrook Velodrome

Special thanks to Marcus Moore of Yojimbo's Garage. With his support and loaning out plenty of valuable equipment, that man truly exemplifies a willingness to connect people to their passions. As always, thanks for the gear mang. With the Tour of America's Dairyland to the north, and Cobb Park not too far away, turnout was light, but the vibe was right for the inaugural event in this three part series.

This first trip was attended by Molly, Al and Jeff. Al set the pace for a hectic morning by breaking his chain on one of the two collective warm up laps. (Mike Ferron came through big by running to nearby Garner to get him a new one). Then he lost his compression cap of his headset, had to resort to a Schwinn loaner bike, found some problems with his aero bars, and couldn't get the one pump we brought to work. It can be quite stressful running around frantically trying to locate a 13mm wrench to replace some foreign bike's front wheel. The man stayed undeterred and was sure as hell gonna race that day. And race he did. He claimed 5th in the 3K pursuit (3:51.78), 7th in the Kilo (1:18.16), and 8th in the Scratch. He also got 1st on the day for "my bike has a legitimate use for duct tape on it" category. Be looking out for him to pop back fast and furious.

Jeff fared a bit better by placing 2nd in the 3K pursuit (3:49.19) and winning the Kilo (1:12.15). The omnium was in the air after the Kilo. A bit of the "If it bleeds, we can kill it" mentality was going around with Jeff sharing the top spot with bike racing phenom, David Moyer. Alas, it was not to be as the scratch race unfolded a 4th place for Mr. Perkins and a familiar 1st place finish for Dave. Jeff still landed 2nd in the omnium and has a pretty nice vantage point for the rest of the series.

Molly shook off the pre-race shudders to overcome her dragon, the 2 kilometer pursuit. The lone lady with drop bars matched up against nationally renowned racer, Miss Debbie Dust, and came in 2nd with a respectable time of 3:05.04. The time gap was cut down considerably in the 500 m. Molly brought out her ri-donk-ulous long sprint to notch a 42.97 second place time. Second place in the scratch race against Debbie and above team Alberto's notched a fine last day to be 23. Molly got the 2nd spot on the podium and also has a very good starting position on the series.

Fox River Grove Cycling Challenge, Sunday 21 June

First to tackle the alpine ski-hill of the western 'burbs were the ladies of the crew: Christina, Jamie, and Molly toed the line for the women's 4s race. Christina made the cut to stay in the break, and while the final lap brought all kinds of ferocious attacks, she held on for 5th. She's clearly bringing those Thursday night track skills up into the hills. Jamie stayed solid, bringing home a hard-won finish on a tough course.

Avi had his entourage in tow for Father's Day, and while the sign couldn't be beat (Go Dad Neurohr!) he almost missed the start trying to get everyone on site. It's a good thing this wasn't a 9 am race.

He and Mike were slated to go back-to-back, first up in Masters' 4/5. The race was quick, and so was the carnage. Mike stayed with the lead group throughout, and though the testa della corsa escaped late, he stayed strong to finish 7th. A couple of hillside attacks got Avi a bunch of spots late in the race, and he came in just off Mike's wheel for 8th.

No rest for the weary though, as they were back at it minutes later in the 4/5s, this time joined by the mountain man, Adam. Avi had burned all his matches on the previous race and focused on making the cut, while Iron Mike miraculously rode off with the lead group yet again! Amazingly he hung on for another top ten finish, Adam a few spots back, and Avi, well, finished.

There was nothing left to do but ring the hell out the giant cowbell for the Zombie himself in cat 3. A couple riders slipped off and a couple more chased, and Al couldn't be held back: he was in the break. As he put it so well in the podium interview, "they were attacking like a pack of gators" but he stayed up there for fourth.

It's summer 2009, Chicago, crank up the racing and rip off the knob.