Monday, October 26, 2009

Long Winded

Word up to the Chicago Cross Cup for putting on and incredible first half of the season. There have been five races with awesome courses. The CCC has responded to concerns with real action. Race results are posted before I can even get home and finish dinner. And the races are consistently seeing record turn out. This is good for everyone - racers, sponsors, local business, bike shops, bike companies, etc. Hell yes.

Win, Podium, Survive

Blast off!

It's Holly this week who wanted it the most. Congrats to Holly for her dominating first win this year in the Womens 1/2/3. Kevin had a solid performance to earn a third place in the Mens 1/2/3. He kept his cool and got it done on the last lap breaking away form a strong chase group of five guys.

Mach 1

Mike Hemme is alive! After his first trip in the Lion's Den he came out in one piece. When I asked him how it was he responded, "Fast." Going head to head with the nation's fastest is something I will never do. Hunt down Mike at the next race to ask him about beating Jeremy Powers. You the man Mike.

I was supposed to be in Louisville to race the 4s. I was looking forward to racing against a bunch of unknowns and in a world class setting. However, as a dad, things came up, like the temperature of Ruby. Below is the report from my Louisville experience, minute by minute - kind of:

Friday afternoon

11:00 - I took a half day at work to hit the road early

11:45 - Organized a ton of clean gear

12:30 - Packed the car

13:00 - Hit the road? No. 103 and a cough meant I had to bag the trip...

Saturday morning

08:30 - The whistle blows, pretty good start

08:35 - Damn this course is buttery smooth

Great recommendation Helge

08:42 - I must have hit 20mph bridging up to the leaders

09:09 - Get it together man!

09:10 - Podium!


My race in Bartlett on Sunday was good. I lined up 15 minutes before the race and ended up in up way in the back. I had a good, aggressive start, narrowly missed a big crash and made it up into the top twenty by the time I got over the triple barriers.

Estimating the gap that was about to form behind me...

The rest of my race was status quo - kept the pressure up best I could and stuck Heckler Hill three times straight. Undoubtedly some of the best heckling of the year on that greasy little lump.

Classic moments in Chi Cross Cup brought to you by me.

100% classy

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Who's next?!

Huge props to Kevin for cracking skulls this weekend and earning his first big win in 2009.

Kevin, Mike and Holly are slowly turning the screws on their competition. This season has been fraught with the complexities of growing a race team, sorting out sophisticated race bikes, and piecing together a race weekend without any hiccups, mess up, or mechanicals. These three have been unfazed and continue to focus on the prize. Watch out.

More success came this weekend with Holly's pair of third places, and Mike working out another 2nd place in the 30+ Masters.

Heard on the street:
"Big money available at Wisconsin races."
"The Carpentersville 4Bs race was faster than the 4As!?"

I bagged my race on Sunday morning before I even got our of bed. I'm suffering from something my preschooler brought home, and because I'll be in Louisville next weekend I had to make sure I had everything sorted within my construction zone I call a home. Honestly, not racing to deal with family stuff was one of the most adult decisions I've made in a while.

I'm pumped about racing at a UCI/USGP venue. I missed the Madison round due to an important family event and don't think I'll be at Nats or Jingle Rock so this is my best chance all season to hit up a big event. Anyone know any other Chicago area 4s that are racing?


COURAGE (Aaron in navy) got a solid write up in Ready Made magazine. It's always cool to get coverage outside the bike industry. Our cross bike was also featured in the ever classy Road Bike Action. Unfortunately, I can't find it on any newsstand in Chicago so I'll just have to take Aaron's word for it.

Watch for a big debrief post Louisville and be sure to wish Hemme luck as he enters the lion's den to race with the UCI Elite Men.


Original pic: xmatic

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


This sucks

You don't ever want a Mega Blower Super Dry 5000 (above) or its even louder cousin The Reverse Swampinator in your home. For the last eight days and nights my girls and I have been dealing with a ton of water damage and a dozen, loud, heat producing, humidity sucking devices. They will all be gone soon enough to make way for the construction crew...

Word up to Beverly Bike-Vee Pak for crafting a maniacally fun race course. The experience of the CCC and all the people putting on these events for the last few years is clearly shinning through.

Check out the race reports from the Kevin, Holly and Mike - they put in a 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively last weekend. I put in a 2 and a 4 to equal 24th.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Midas Touch

Beat that drum!

I'm going to start with Ben and Helge because that's where I left off last time. This pic, stolen from Jason Henry, and used just about everywhere, is classic cyclocross and sums up the kind of fun you can expect from Half Acre. These guys are skilled at executing good ideas - beautiful poster art, innovative races, trucks, parties in Iowa - everything they touch seems to turn to gold. Thanks to Half Acre and North Central Cyclery for putting on an other stellar Chi Cross Cup event.

After a pre ride of the course I feared it was not going to be technical enough to suit my strengths. However, once the we where off and running I realized how sweet the course was (if a bit long).

The start was totally berserkers. Downhill for 150 feet, then an abrupt left turn. Awesome. I started second row and made it through the corner 8th wheel, ahead of some pretty nasty mashing, crashing and shouting. I kept it together pretty well and was able to work the corners to my advantage. I held a lot of speed going in and didn't have to work so hard on the exit. In the end this probably kept me fresh enough to make two passes on the last lap. Helge's relentless heckling help too.

The twin offcambered corners where tretcherous. I managed to get kicked by a guy flying off his bike. However, the most brutal features where the mischievously spaced barriers in the woods. At first I thought it was stupid and ruined my rhythm, then the second time around I realized the beauty of the features. They ruined my rhythm. By the last lap, in a punch drunk, whippet kind of state, I think I actually laughed as I approached them.

Diggin' on the bike

Fast and wide for one more place

I felt better about this race than my higher place finish at Jackson Park. I road much more aggressively and was able to keep tabs on the guys around me so I knew when to attack. But, while I'm contemplating how to finish top ten, the big COURAGE players are all itching for the top spot of the podium. Check out the last few race reports from Kevin, Holly and Mike. The Klugs put in overtime in the Lion's Den - racing with the pros in the USPG round one event in Madison. Mike nearly cleaned up in the 2/3 race on Sunday (2nd) and finished the weekend with two top 10s.

Look at those calves!?

Press, lots of press, more to come in the next few days, but damn was the Red Eye shot cool.

Dad's "Brush your teeth now!" face

I'll close with another classic cyclocross moment. Lew Chin, of the newly official Rhythm Racing, showing how your hands should look after a proper go.


Stay Tuned, I'm Almost Back on the Radar

Lot's of news to come...