Saturday, December 12, 2009

2009 CX Season Review



2009 started of with a bang. Rocking the holeshot on my first start was good enough. I even had visions of podiums and champagne, but all the gravy came in the form of press. Major press. The Chicago Tribune ran an online story, had a one pager in the printed edition, and the Chicago Red Eye ran a centerfold shot of me leading out the first race of the season. OK, go ahead and call me "Mr. Friday, September 24th," I don't mind.

Luke Seemann's articles wasn't about me, it was about the joys of cyclocross. However, the image did capture the peak of my season.

Power to Weight

Watts are a measure of heat

The COURAGE Chicago race team had a few new faces this year. Holly and Kevin Klug had outstanding seasons. I cannot begin to list off all their accomplishments, but a few wins, a bunch of podiums and Kevin wrapping up the the series overall in Wisconsin just scratches the surface.

Mike Hemme is just plain crazy. Last year he was racing as a Cat 3, this year he lined up with the PROs in fiveUCI races. He wrapped up the year with his first podium in a Cat 1/2/3 race.

All three of them did battle in Bend, OR for Nationals and while Holly won her Woman's 30-35 B race (awesome!), the boys both got caught by national press doing their thing: Hemme on Velonews in the gallery at the bottom, and Kevin on Cycling News. Sweet!

I want to thank the three of them for representing COURAGE and our sponsors with a tons of watts and a positive attitude.

While I'm here, thanks to Chris King and EDGE for making wicked good parts, and thanks to Roscoe Village Bikes for keeping us running smooth all season long.

Heckle Me Once, Shame on You, Heckle Me Twice!

Power to the people

Pic: Liz Novak

Chicago has the best fans in America. Importantly, a lot of the fans are not racers. This points to the beauty of cyclocross - it's a great spectator sport. At some of the hill tops and sand pits this year you would have thought it was the Super Bowl. Freakishly animated fans screaming and shouting, and hysterics as the last man came through, the last man!

Damn You're Cute

Lucky me

I have to admit I don't make Autumn easy for my girls. A low key race day easily eats up six hours, likely more, but I work hard to make it up to them. Sometimes it means I get home and am giving the kids baths before I can even change out of my kit. Mostly it means I do all my training and prep work in the inky black hours that no one should have to function in. Either way I owe them big time for letting me race a very full season. However, Ruby did pull a last minute stunt that prevented me from racing the USGP in Louisville... Next year.

From a fathers perspective the most encourage things I see out at the races are all the kids in the crowds and the juniors on the race course. Good to know some of America's youth won't think it's strange to wear spandex while you jump barriers and eat sandy Twinkies.

Yeah, I'd Do that Again

The Buffet

I enjoyed the hell out of every race this year. The CCC and the independent promoters all did a spectacular job of setting up wicked race courses. However, there will always be favorites.

Dan Ryan Woods delivered pain in spades. Like it technical, like the hills, like it fast? Cool, Beverly Bike-Vee Pak will give it to you.

St. Charles is always worth the drive (it's WAY out there). This year's mud made a great course epic. So it's not so cool to use the word epic, but if you where there you know what I mean. Nice job Bicycle Heaven.

Special props to The South Chicago Wheelmen for putting on a complete event at the Indian Hills Hilton. Let's see that become a two day race in 2010.

Montrose! Montrose! Montrose! Every year it is spectacular. Thanks to Turin for making some magic. Read about my UCI idea here.


The first in the country?

I've been singing the praises of the Chicago Cross Cup all year. These guys are doing wonderful things for cyclocross, and the cycling industry as a whole. I'm not going to rehash all my old love-fest blog entries but I will remind everyone to thank the CCC, the sponsors, the officials, and all the volunteers at every race. These people are solid gold.

On the Horizon


There is plenty more to share even though the US race season is ending. There will be lots of NAHBS stuff surfacing, and I'll be writing a series of entries focusing on "Old." Maybe I can get Aaron to post a bit too.

Get fat, sleep in and stay tuned.

1 comment:

Aaron Hayes said...

oh man, i didn't anticipate that photo popping up anywhere else...

great write-up J- Its great to hear how the Chi-Cross scene is shaping up-