When rain gives you lemons...
Velo-City Chicago 2011 (V 1.0) had all the elements. Positive energy. Great attendance. Selfless supporters. Wonderful surprises seeing some kids come down from Milwaukee. Lotsa new kids to the track eager to try out the oval... the only unwelcome element was courtesy of Mother Nature.
The bus ride up was packed tight and was a race in itself to beat the imminent rainstorm. Unfortunately we arrived exactly when the storm picked up its steam. The track was too wet to safely maintain any mass start event, especially with this much on the line. So we elected to wait it out and follow the radar on the trusty smart phones.
Thankfully there was a great barbecue going on under the picnic shelter in the park. They were bangin out some real good tunes and smokin some great grub. In the wonderful aroma, some people did some dancing in the rain, some played volleyball, others deferred to sippin, still others continued undeterred to ride the oval in the downpour. Spirits were still high as we waited for 2 hours.
Alas it came time to call it. After organizing what we could, much of the swag was sold off to raise funds to share the load on the coveted tickets to NYC. Along with pre-existing donations from some fantastic sponsors, and Nico's Downtown Shakedown, the funds raised Saturday are being combined to aid as many of the region's messers that showed up in getting them to NYC to race on June 2nd. Once they get to NYC they can compete for tickets to Poland! We'll have a better idea on who can spare the time and expense in a week or two and we'll keep you posted!
As for swag and prizes, there was plenty of great attitude to admire. Our 16 year old guest, Harrison Milne, braved our surely intimidating company of degenerates to earn himself most positive award! That includes a Bern helmet and a $50 store credit to Smart Bike Parts! Our Milwaukee guests were ecstatic to get a feel for the track. They provided much to admire as they spent most of their time running circles around the sopping wet oval. They certainly earned the grab bag of race swag and equipment courtesy of Yojimbo's Garage. A big blow for everyone was the surely missed quality racing action that was about to go down between all the experienced women racers that showed. They selflessly determined who most needed the prize of the Sportcrafters rollers - that would be CCC's very own Daphne Karagianis!
Certain special thanks should also go out to Continental and Squid for enabling a great gift package of tubes, tires and socks. They effectively helped to bankroll this grassroots sponsorship effort to send our people to NYC and hopefully beyond.
As for the experience, we have a new date! MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR JUNE 18. It will provide a wonderful opportunity for our travelers to test their chops as well as get some of these eager participants out there. It will also afford many a more swag for those of you eager to get your hands on something. More details on that to come as well.
Lesson learned through all of this - with the right company, support and ingenuity, the spirit of this project will never be denied! I look forward to giving nothing but the best of news as this develops further.
Thanks again to all that weathered the storm. I hope every one of you still make it out for the rain date!