Sunday, January 2, 2011

Chicago Bike Community

Can I help you?

I started this season in April with a desperate, empty attempt to stay on an RVB group ride. I failed, hard. I was still 20 miles from home and seriously hurting. We're all big kids out there, everyone knows if you get dropped, you need to be ready to handle it on your own - equipment, fuel, and the know-how to get home. However, for me, at that moment I wasn't just physically empty, I was mentally checked out.

We've all been there. Unable to assess the situation, so shelled you couldn't even form a survival plan. It could be a drawn out moment, 60 miles into a grueling Saturday ride as the pace steadily picks up and you steadily fade. It can also be instantaneous, like charging towards a set of barriers without a thought in the world about dismounting because there is no blood going to your brain.

On that sunny April day I got lucky when my buddy Jim turned around and road back to me. He assessed the situation, got me to eat, then told me to sit in and proceeded to pull me back to the group over the next 30 minutes. We made the catch with just a couple miles left. Instead of wondering why my form was so far off and stew around the house all afternoon, I was pumped all day. Thanks Jim.

We can also find ourselves in need of help off the bike. This season I got some incredible support from the crew at Roscoe Village Bikes. Shipping logistics, last minute repairs, locating hard to get parts, planning, etc - these guys really helped Mike and I run a successful 2010 campaign for COURAGE.

Ever have a change of plans that's free up a weekend and offers another chance to race, only to find out cyclocross is so popular in Chicago that the race is full? I'll use an alias in case it's somehow against the rules to help a guy out, but race promoter "Jris Chensen" did me a big solid by getting me in the race in exchange for a $20 gift certificate to use as a prime for his race. Word.

Every weekend at the ChiCrossCup events I saw people helping each other out. Need a tube? A beer? A place to warm up? Need encouragement? Bacon? Advice about the fastest line? The Chicago cycling community has got your back.


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