Filtering by Category: Cyclocross

ULTRACROSS

Avi and I headed down to Georgia last weekend for some Waffle House (there’s a good one in Georgia) and the chance to buy our gas, fireworks and liquor all at the same store. While there we decided to stop by the SouthernX endurance cyclocross race in Dahlonega at the rustic and partially foreclosed Montaluce Winery and Estates. The race started out in the Winery proper and quickly headed out on the highway towards the mountains.

Photo credit to Weldon Weaver Photography

The first climb was kind of a shock to the system but Avi gutted it out on the steepest ramps of the day while I was off and running. Twice. It’s hard to complain about being over-geared in a situation like that, but for the record 39x25 was nowhere near low enough. I felt pretty good though and managed to work my way through the field on the climbs and limit my losses on the descents which were absolutely insane.

Photo credit to Weldon Weaver Photography

I don’t think I can over state how competitive Avi’s singlespeed field was. I didn’t catch the second place ss rider till the very top of the first climb. When I did, I saw he was using a freaking powertap. I caught the first place ss guy on one of the intermediate climbs but he passed me back on final unpaved descent surfing the top tube with his hands under his chest and nowhere near the brakes.

I got a flat in the last 5 miles and lost about 15 spots in the overall while I tossed a new tube in. To be fair though, I had seen at least four of the people that passed me stuck on the side of the road with flats of their own earlier in the race. The roads were pretty rugged. I was so distracted by the people flying by that I only put about 12 pounds in the tire and forgot to hook my rear brake back up. Luckily we were done with the gravel/rock/dirt descent at that point and I avoided pinch-flatting on the remount. Unfortunately there was plenty of climbing and descending left before the finish. Of the 51.2 miles in the race, I think there were about two that would qualify as flat around here. I nursed the bike through the remaining switchbacks and down the cx course heading to the finish, barely managing to hold off two more riders. I'm pretty sure they didn’t take a beer on the final run up though, so the odds weren't in their favor.

In the end I got 15th in the Men’s Open and Avi was 10th singlespeed. We were happy to see some familiar faces out on the course and the Chicago cyclocross scene was well represented with Eric Drummer 14th, Chris Jensen 48th, Paolo Urizar 84th, and Mia Moore 9th in the Women’s Open.

Many thanks are due to our gracious hosts, Mitzie and Barry as well as their son Sam who gave up his room for the weekend. We had a blast staying with you guys.

Check out video highlights HERE!!

You see I racing

The cross fanatics used to lament about how their season was maybe nine weeks long. Sometimes you get what you ask for, and to round out a season that kicked off before Labor day, the ChiCrossCup brain trust stepped up to get the necessary cash, barriers, and powerwashers to put together Chicagoland's first UCI race.

But you knew that, booking your NYE adventure in Bloomingdale Illinois, home of famous karaoke nights and other hijinks. The Pros put on a big show with Trebon schooling Rapha's Powers and Jones, and Sally, Sue, and Andrea owning the podium both days. But you can read all that in legitimate news sources.

Day one had the hardest working man in show business, our own Maxwell Riordan, lining up in the 2/3s race. While the rest of the cross world has been Facebooking their every race moment, Max has been chipping his crossresults score down, and he slotted up in the second row. On a day when the carpetbaggers came out of the woodwork, Max repped the locals well, as the third-placed Illinoisan and 9th overall. Chapeau to Mumford who made the last step of the podium as top local.

Blame the New Year's champagne, the leg-sapping mud, or dropping temps, but day two was a more sparsely attended affair. Christina kicked off the day for the crew in the women's 2/3 race. The mud was still in abundance, but the icy temperature was turning it into a two-mile bed of clay. Run, push, carry, or ride; there were no great lines left. Being the big ring monster she is, Teeners pretty much rode the whole thing into submission, notching a 2nd place finish.

Elsewhere on course, Ella was christening her new bike. Finally outgrowing her 650 wheels, she rolled single speed in the juniors' 10-14 category. Joined by her longtime partner in crime, Tess, these two were the only girls man enough not to DNS. Heckle Hall of Fame nomination goes to Tess, who, while being razzed by her brother in the staging area, replied "I'll eat your innards with a spoon!" Your fearless race director even paused over his clipboard at that one, and he's heard it all. By any means necessary, Ella pushed, shouldered, and rode to a solid 4th place finish, first female. No podium shot for the girls, but the man with the clipboard slipped her a four pack of root beer anyway.

Rounding out the day Avi roused himself from the hotel fireplace long enough to suit up for Single Speed. Nearly half the registrants blamed it on the a-a-a-a-alcohol and were long gone, but the remainders made it an honest three lap affair, even if the course was being packed up mid-race. Greg Heck, off a full season of ChiCross racing, and ready for Nats, was in his own class off the front. Avi had a slow start, but found his groove in the thick mud, shed the two Tati riders Sascha and Rory, caught Sprockets' Forest, and barely held him off to finish 2nd.

Big thanks to the late nights and hard work of our local promoters, who are tireless in their quest to raise the game of Chicagoland racing.

From The Desk Of Jeff Perkins (cont'd)

UPDATE: ON-LINE REGISTRATION EXTENDED UNTIL NOON ON FRIDAY

It just. It just. didn't. feel. right.

Wait a minute. Those scratches on the chair? Apostrophe(')? What's that I see when I click on this pic?

"Given time some hostages can become controlled by their captor with whiskey & Frank Zappa. I think the CIA uses it." - Tom Willet

OF COURSE! I KNEW IT! THE SCRATCHES! THE EYES! THE SUNGLASSES!? THE NUZZLING?!?!

IT'S ALL SO OBVIOUS!

And oh so, so sinister! Shame. SHAME on you, Supergirl! You may have them all fooled, but you've got to wake up pretty damn early to beat this bird..

He may have your wits, Sweet Justice. But I hear your heart.

And I'm coming for you baby.

SATURDAY.

AFTERGLOW EARLY REGISTRATION IS CLOSING SOON

UPDATE: ON-LINE REGISTRATION EXTENDED UNTIL NOON ON FRIDAY

Reminder to get registered ASAP. Last second to finalize your early registration is 2:59.59 PM CST on Thursday, December 15. Don't mess up and be stuck on the sidelines for easily one of the top 7 best races Humboldt Park has had in a year!

(photo courtesy of Celeste Gail)

For first timers and any others without a 2011 USAC annual license, the Category 4 race in your gender OR the Fatbike Etc. is the one to sign up for. There is an extra fee of $10 to acquire a daily license issued through USAC and that transaction can be done when you come in to pick up your race number. If you ever wanted to try a bike race, this is your race. Trust. You can show up on a mini bike with flat pedals wearing a muumuu and 17 year old Nikes - you are GUARANTEED to catch way less a razzing than either of these two. In fact, we actually honor those that come out and race for their first time.

REGISTRATION IS HERE.

Afterparty info is here.

From The Desk Of Jeff Perkins

UPDATE: ON-LINE REGISTRATION EXTENDED UNTIL NOON ON FRIDAY

So. I'm just sitting around. Doing my typical reflection on my Tuesday and thoughts on Sweet Justice were coming up more than I wanted. Then what happens? Then I get an email from the most despicable subhuman in the world with nothing but PHOTOS...

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Subject: Sweet Justice Loves His New Home

(OK. SJ is never one to shy away from a drink. Whatever.)

(OK. Fine. He figured out SJ's diet. At least he's being good to 'er. That cape had to be staged, though. Right?)

(Wait. What the hell is REALLY going on here?)

(NO! BRAINWASH!!)

(.....)

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All I gotta say is fuck that guy.