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Velo-City Chicago v5.1! June 18, 2011. 11A Start in Kenosha

This Saturday, June 18, we will be holding another track event in the same vain as Velo-City. It will be the rain date for the last attempted competition with a slightly different structure. The tickets situation has been sorted out so this one is really for the sake of a good time, some alternate swag and to raise a buck or two for CMWC 2012.

That said, we've got the same racing schedule except it is moved up a couple hours. The bus will be loading up at the lot at 8:30 and leaving at 9:00 AM from Green and Kinzie. Racing should be set to start at 11:00. Depending on turnout, we could change the categories from Messer and Non-Messer to A, B and possibly C.

Otherwise be ready for some verbatim...

This event list is designed to give you participants and fans a taste of the classics of the track. We will offer a tutorial on each race throughout the week. Be aware that it is subject to change!

1) Sprint

Seeded at random. 2-ups, 3-ups, 4-ups. One-offs, not best of 3. There will be a repechage

2) 15-25 lap Scratch (TBD)

First to cross the line after said amount of laps is the winner. Guts on a breakaway or confidence in your sprint? You decide.

3) Miss-n-out

The last wheel across the line of each lap is pulled. Once it gets down to three riders there are no further eliminations and it essentially becomes a two lap scratch.

4) 30 lap points

A track classic. Always a feature, usually final event. Every x number of laps there will be a sprint to garner points. Distance trumps points. If anyone is beast enough to gain a lap on another racer then they will be scored on a tier above that person. This also applies to anyone that laps the field (majority of riders) vs. anyone that might not have been in the field but might not have “gained a lap”.

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!

Northbrook Opening Night, 2011

What. A. Night! So many wonderful things to report. Fine performances across the board. All 5 of the women on the team showed up and we had 4 suit up for the action. They did an absolutely FANTASTIC job out there together. Stay tuned for an in-depth update from our latest and greatest writing contributor on the Chicago Women's Bike Racing blog. As for the men, Josh and Brian made their mark in the men's 4s. Josh was a phenomenal force to be reckoned with as he and Brian countered each other relentlessly in the tempo. Brian even came away with the omnium! Aaaand our sole representative in the 3's showed everyone how to suck wheel for dear life! No matter! When you split good times with great people you've got nothing to fret. And you certainly gotta love some of the photos coming out from the evening!


(Photo courtesy of Ed White)

Brian worked many attacks and showed strong form off of the front as well as on the front nearly all night.


(Ed White)

Jamie and Daphne handled bidness against the huge women's field!

As if a outstanding turnout from your favorite Chicago team wasn't enough, the new programs are out and they're lookin real classy!

But wait! They also have a beautiful full page spread courtesy of the same great name that brought you this year's racing numbers!


Not to be outdone, things got good and crunk on the bus ride home. To be frank and honest, you all missed out. (Shout out to the NB first-timer Allison Peck! well as the great fan base of Eva, Matt, Blaze, Dumptruck, Erica, Sean, Andrew, Marie and Mike)

Let's carry it over into this weekend for Velo-City and our Rho-dster as she takes things to the Tour of Champaign, yeah? As for Velo-City, the bus will be leaving as close to 11 AM as possible! We have a storm to beat out! Unfortunately the rain looks to persist through Sunday so we will have to make do with what we can on Saturday. 90% of winning is showing up so don't expect any graces if you miss out on something...

Velo-City Chicago, May 21, 2011

(flier courtesy of Cyclehawk, photos courtesy of Eric Day)

All right people! The time has come! Velodromes all around us are opening up and the early season urge to hang out in damp, cold fields for a night is overtaking all of us. What better way to relay that feeling than doing it on a sunny (hopefully) Saturday afternoon in Kenosha?

The weekend starts off right with a little Downtown Shakedown on Friday night, May 20. Meet at Daley at 7PM to get a piece of that action. Bring $5 as it will go towards the NYC tix.

Saturday has plenty o' racing shootin' for the 1PM - 5PM time slot up at the Washington Park Bowl in Kenosha, WI. The bus departs at 11 AM. We've got a good amount of room so far. Those with automobiles that feel they could offer a ride, please come through to Pickens-Kane (Green and Kinzie) and you can park in the lot and join the bus if demand isn't too high.

The categories are broken into your traditional categories: Male messer Female messer Male non-mess Female non-mess

Women's fields have been combined in the past. We could end up doing that again.

This event list is designed to give you participants and fans a taste of the classics of the track. We will offer a tutorial on each race throughout the week. Be aware that it is subject to change!

1) Sprint

Seeded at random. 2-ups, 3-ups, 4-ups. One-offs, not best of 3. There will be a repechage

2) 15-25 lap Scratch (TBD)

First to cross the line after said amount of laps is the winner. Guts on a breakaway or confidence in your sprint? You decide.

3) Miss-n-out

The last wheel across the line of each lap is pulled. Once it gets down to three riders there are no further eliminations and it essentially becomes a two lap scratch.

4) 30 lap points

A track classic. Always a feature, usually final event. Every x number of laps there will be a sprint to garner points. Distance trumps points. If anyone is beast enough to gain a lap on another racer then they will be scored on a tier above that person. This also applies to anyone that laps the field (majority of riders) vs. anyone that might not have been in the field but might not have "gained a lap".

Stay tuned for more details on possible exhibition events. Such as a Kierin with a pace bike over derny. ALSO an Australian Pursuit for all you tough as nails SOB's! Cash prizes going out for that one!

Awards ceremony will be held at the track. The top Male and Female messenger in the omnium (cumulative) results will get tickets to New York City to compete for the big tickets to Poland and the CMWC 2011!! Of course there are plenty of other bits and gifts to give out to errbody else. Don't be surprised if you come up ill prepared to race and get something. Or else come on up to hang out! Get your chill on, your sip on,  get sun-kissed and get really good burgers and shakes from neighboring drive-ins. It's all good! It's Kenosha, people! It's a beautiful place!

There may or may not be a suggested donation to participate. Any money left on the table will go toward the CMWC 2012. Stay tuned for more updates. Check out some local media on last year's event to get pumped again!


It is upon us!

This coming Thursday, May 12, is the opening night at Ed Rudolph Velodrome in Northbrook. The bus is definitely going up! Meet at the lot by 5 PM. Be sure to scope out the sweet booklet put out by the ER Velodrome committee. I heard page 21 has a soooooper cool ad...

Also! Washington Park Velodrome up in Kenosha town is having its opening night next Tuesday, May 17!

Naturally we'll be hosting the Chicago chapter of the 5th annual Velo-City tour on Saturday, May 21. Bus is leaving for that at 11 AM. Many more details to come.

VeloCity 2011

It's that time of year again! First and foremost, major propers are in order for Squid and Co. Here's to keepin this baby rolling strong for a 6th turn!

Check out the wild ride Velocity Detroit has in store for you next weekend - We'll be hosting the Chicago chapter in Kenosha again this year on May 21. Expect the same program. Plenty of swag and prizes. It's always a good weekend for kicking it and enjoying some good racing. Looking at tickets to NYC for the mess winners and then you can compete for r/t airfare to POLAND for worlds!

More updates later, but just remember to mark your calendars!

2011 starts with a bang

Red Hook Criterium 4, powered by Eastern Mountain SportsTrack bike crit at night.

by Brean

The Red Hook Criterium has grown into a big-time event over the past four years, and this year the quality of the competition made a huge jump due to the addition of Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) as a title sponsor, online registration, and it's natural growth through word of mouth and media coverage. I knew it was going to be massive this year when I saw that EMS dedicated its valuable window space to a display for the race on it's Soho storefront. What a cool thing for them to do. Velonews viewed the race last year, and Bicycling had a preview for this year. There were a few pros in this race as well as top-level mountain bikers and dudes from Italy and Spain and Mexico. I used the term big-time already, didn't I?

Also different this year was a new course (due to local politics), and the organizer could not work in cobbles. Instead there were curbs and hairpins.

They did call-ups, which put me towards the back at the start. This is the one area where I think the race could use improvement because I think call-ups are unwise. They make it so that a bunch of inexperienced/slower people are in a position where they feel they have to sprint at the start. Yeah, that's fun. And the fast people get even more of an advantage by being in front for the start. In this race, there is a hole shoot like in cyclocross because the course is so technical, and drafting plays such an important role. Whoever is in front on the first lap should be able to stay there, and I suppose everyone knows that.

So on lap 1, a whole bunch of goofballs were in front of me, in addition to the cream. One crashed directly into the curb heading towards the west hairpin. Fucking scary. Then two guys went down in the hairpin itself. I thought that was was going to be a big pileup, but to everyone's credit and luck, all the other racers got around it. Both of these happened in front me, and my hopes of getting to the front pack went out the window. Then I worked with a good group for a while, moving up, picking off riders dropping out of the lead group. But they had a huge lead and were a bigger group, so we kept losing ground.

It was cold, but there were still so many spectators that the crowd would roar and really keep you motivated. I loved it. It was the biggest crowd I've seen at a bike race since the 80's. But the crowd also swarmed the lap counter so that we didn't know the lap count until the bell lap. With two to go (as it turns out), I saw a group ahead that I took to be the second lead group, which had splintered. So I made a big, big effort to catch them, which took a whole lap. A good guy I know from the track, Aaron H., went with me, though I didn't know it until we were almost on the other group. Turns out that these guys were getting lapped (at least I think that was the case). The organizer announced that we were getting pulled, but Aaron and I thought he could not have meant us. So we continued on and finished the race on-lap. I told Aaron I wouldn't contest the sprint and that I just wanted to keep us ahead of anyone who might be pursuing us. I figure we finished top 20, probably around 15th or so. I'll have to check the videos when they come out.

Dan Chabanov, a working messenger in New York, won the day, beating former messenger Al Barough (3rd) and pro and former messenger Neil Bezdek (2nd). Way to go guys!

Campione, Part deux!


P.S. - Avi won yet another state title in yet another single speed category.

Big papa attended the Illinois State Master's Championships last saturday. The man pulled second in the Kilometer time trial and 1st in the Master's 3 Kilometer Pursuit.

(Special thanks to John at for always having wonderful footage...even if they're photos from other events...)

A word from your inner enduro

Would you want to race this man? Perhaps gain some advice from him? Just witness his racing prowess? Maybe even all of the above? Colby Pearce is providing a rare treat to us all by racing the Delanghe and then he's hosting a clinic on becoming a better endurance track racer this weekend. This is just further proof that Val and Josh are not only doing great things on the track but great things for the track.

If you missed the intensity of the Bobby Pfarr last week, well, shame on you. BUT! You can certainly make up for it by checking out all this to offer this week at the Ed Rudolph Velodrome up there in Northbrook.

Allvoi Rundown

by Avi

(Yep, Taffy Doodles)

Usually I can manage to keep tabs on the racing action, and (sometimes to a fault) report on every teammate's moves, counters, finishes, and results. This is not going to be one of those times. Three days of packing/unpacking the car, setting up camp, changing wheels & cogs & bars, warming up, cooling down, eating the nth granola bar, staying hydrated, checking results, doing Omnium math, not to mention racing, and doing it all over's enough to make your head spin. Apologies in advance, as I know I'm going to space somebody's moment of greatness. I saw some brilliant racing, but I'd be making a fool of myself if I tried to get all the details straight. How many Polish sausages did I eat? Zubaz on the podium? Where's my fifteener? It's all a blur.

A few things must be said, though. The men have it a bit easy, in that we got split into three fields. I had a good run, but I didn't have to go up against the really big guns. The women, on the other hand, are all in one bunch. The top six in their field were brimming with experience at National, Olympic, or other big-ticket events, and a number of them had come from afar to battle it out. It was great to see a couple of local faces standing out: Beth Engwis, a Tuesday Kenosha regular (and Junior National silver medalist) nabbed four podiums to take third overall, and two wins gave Stacy Appelwick second overall, with Kimberly Edwards on the top step. This left a bunch of locals nipping at their heels. They did not go gently.

Our own Rhominatrix, Jannette, had never raced at the track before, but that didn't stop her from hitting the ground running. She finished just behind the "big six" in three events, giving her 7th overall. The Sprockettes, aka Maria, Daphne, and Eleanor from Johnny Sprockets, were right up there with her all weekend, fighting for scraps, and staying in the top ten. Hats off to them, and the rest of the local ladies for standing tall in such a stacked field.

In the P/1/2 field, Liam "cat 5 last year" Donoghue just made the last step on the podium, behind winner Adam Leibovitz, and sprint machine Matt Fox, and just ahead of distance machines Chris Mosora and David Moyer. Al Urbanski made the top ten, riding a 1:11 Kilo along the way, and making moves with the big dogs in the scratch.

The cat 3 men's field had all kinds of threats, but Kaleb Koch's three wins were enough to keep him on top, ahead of Larry Stoegbauer and Gregory Kick (or Sean Vig, tied in points? huh?) Maybe Kaleb will do the rest of the field a favor, and get distracted when he's old enough to get his driver's license. El Jefe Perkins had a solid closing in the 5th-8th sprints and took the win, along with a top 5 in the Kilo.

As for the 4/5s field, they say racing is a battle between who you are and who you want to be. In that case, I want to be Nate Iden, since he could have stayed in bed on day three, and still won the Omnium. Scott Rosenfield was right on my heels in the overall, not to mention side by side in the points race, right down to the wire. The darkest hour for our field was when Trevor Roche hit the deck hard in the chariot, with Robert Higgins, Spencer Oswald, and bus-adoptee Jason 'Pink Sunglasses' Ferguson going down with him. Here's hoping Trevor's back out there shortly, and the rest of the guys heal up quick.

I'm not gonna bore you with the play-by-play, but it was a good haul. In six events, I scored five medals: 2nd in the chariot, 3rd in the match sprints, 1st in the points race, 3rd in the kilo, 3rd in the scratch, and 2nd overall. I'm not grousing, but I made a really bad wheel choice in the pursuit and missed the finals by 2.7 seconds. Lesson learned: don't go with your "favorite wheel" over the disc you should probably use, but don't like. I'm left beating myself up over What Might Have Been.

I know it's "just" a cat 4/5 field, and I'm not going to ever repeat this kind of performance as I move up, but it's nice to have a high water mark on the season, and this fits the bill for sure. Thanks and props to Jeff, for driving the bus, both literally and figuratively, Al, for all the advice and putting up with me asking "what gear should I use?" for the 300th time, Brian and Josh for watching Chicago's back, Tresa for putting up with all this, the kids for screaming in turn four, and Jannette and the Sprockettes for taking pictures and making me blush on the podium.

Now do yourself a favor and go see the full results, and remind yourself that these racers, organizers, and officials pulled off 46 events in 48 hours. Hats off to everyone behind this, and especially Allvoi for working so hard to bring a class event to these parts.