- This Sunday’s event, Carpentersville Woodland School Cyclocross p/b the Main Street Bicycles Sasquatch Squadron, will be held once again at 770 Navajo Drive in Carpentersville.
- Hashtag #CarpenterCX
- Preliminary Staging will be posted here Friday morning-ish. Please double check your points at that time, not Sunday morning.
- Numbers go on your LEFT SIDE, always in the CCC.
- Ladies (and some gentlemen), please make sure to have your hair up or in a braid. If your hair is covering your number One2Go can’t score you.
- Parking: The school has a small lot. We’ve designated two areas that will remain open for tent drop off. Like last year, we ask again that you please do NOT park in these two areas (along the school or in the alley next to the school). See the purple shaded areas on the map. We will have parking volunteers helping to guide folks in the morning. Please be courteous as it is early for them too.
- Otherwise, plenty of street parking surrounding the school – please respect the posted parking signs. If need be, the Sunny Hill School lot is available on Helm Rd.
- Kiddie Cross will be at 2pm right behind Kenny’s tent. See the map.
- The Toasty Cheese food truck will be onsite starting around 11am.
- Alcohol is not permitted.
- Weather: Summer’s over and temps are dropping, so bring some post race gear to keep warm in. That also means plenty of frost and/or dew on the grass in the morning. So bring a spare pair of dry shoes. No appreciable precipitation in the forecast.
- Tent Cities: Same spots as last year. We’ve got some good spots marked on the map. It’s worth the hike up to the sandy area.
- The Course: Runs Clockwise. Chainsaws and tillers once again came out to play and help make the most of our venue’s modest size. The wide-open plains, slippery slopes, verdant forest and sandy (hopefully) beaches return for another year. Also, with all the rain we’ve had, our dig pit could easily fit 6 adults. Wait. But, why would we have needed to move so much clay and why were other members of the CAMBr trail crew mysteriously seen on-site? Have we added dirt for your shredding/mudding pleasure? There weren’t THAT many potholes on last year’s course that needed filling, were there? Show up to solve this mystery!
- Don’t forget to keep an eye out for sasquatches around the course because, no matter what, we’re always squatchin’ you.
- Thanks to the Beverly Bike crew for another great race at Dan Ryan Woods along the Major Taylor bike trail. Whether you love mud and hills or hate them, the course was challenging, fun and everything in between. And from the pictures and smiles we saw at the race, it seems most of you all like the muddy stuff. Links to all the results you’re looking for are here.
- Speaking of pics, our guy behind the camera Robert Clark at RobotFresh.com dried out enough to get a few photos up online. Check them out and send him some love if you can. Check out the gallery here: robotfresh.com/ccc3
- Speaking of moving pictures, John Gatto was out again with his GoPros and drones and what we consider the best soundtrack: https://vimeo.com/293896634
- So, you raced Beverly Bike CX and now your cranks won’t turn, your wheels are locked up solid, and your brake levers groan when you pull them. Yuck! Luckily there are many local bike shops out there who aren’t too busy this time of year and would love to help you. Check out bike cleaning and overhaul deals from series sponsors the Pony Shop, Tailwind Cycles, Main St Bikes, PSIMET, and others. Seriously, get your bikes cleaned up and ready for Carpentersville and the rest of the series before you run out of time.
- Speaking of, next up the series heads North West to Carpentersville for our 4th race at the Woodland School. Race director and series director Jeff Provisor and his Sasquatch Squadron always find a way to turn a normal looking patch of land into a great CX course, so we can’t wait to see what they have in store for us this year. Look for the course preview at the normal time Thursday morning.
- And finally… while we all would like to have a perfect race or perfect season, sometimes we slip, sometimes we fall, and sometimes we biff it trying to jump the barriers. But as long as we get up, try again, and learn from our mistakes we eventually get rad. Just like racers, we here at the CCC series make plenty of mistakes and we unintentionally made one on Sunday at Beverly Bike CX.
With lots of hills (and this year mud) and large differences in riders’ fitness and ability across all categories, the Dan Ryan course is notoriously hard from a race director’s and series standpoint to first and foremost make safe for EVERYONE, and secondly get the lap distance and lap times dialed in. The Beverly Bike crew is comprised of many EMTs and fire fighters (they are also our weekly EMTs) and everyone’s safety is always their first concern. At most (flat) races we generally aim for ~7 minute lap times for the fastest riders which means the youngest Juniors and Cat 5’s will usually be riding at least ~9-10 minute laps. Add in hills and mud and those lap time variations can become even wider.
On Sunday the course was laid out and before racing even began an up/downhill section in the last wooded area was taken out for both safety and lap times concerns for all fields. Then, after the Masters 35+ race the initial first uphill and wooded downhill section were taken out, again for safety and lap time concerns for everyone. The series has been toying with the idea of a “pro-only” section for the Cat 1/2 Men and Women, and the intention on Sunday was to add back in the first uphill and wooded downhill section for those fields. After realizing the Women Cat 3/4’s would be on the course at the same time as the Women Cat 1/2’s and consulting with the USAC officials on safety and lap times concerns, we decided that adding back that section was not the best choice. And unfortunately, even though we can perform lots of CX magic, bending the space-time continuum to run two different courses for two different fields at the same time just wasn’t possible.
The first mistake we made on Sunday was poorly communicating these changes to everyone well in advance. Blame it on the rain and the 6,348,901 other things that happen during the day, but we should have done a better job here and we will make a concerted effort do better going forward. Our second mistake was then routing the Men Cat 1/2/3 field onto that section of track as originally intended without thinking about parity with the Women Cat 1/2 field. This was unintentional and had nothing to do with gender or disrespecting anyone, and everything to do with safety, lap times, and time management (as detailed previously).
But as mentioned above, when we fall, we get back up and do better. As a result, going forward the series has decided on a few new standards to make sure everyone races on the same course, with the exception of Juniors and Cat 4/5’s. And since we don’t have any actual pros in the series after Barry Wicks moved back to Oregon, and Stephen Hyde is out with a cracked sternum, we’re fine with not having a “pro-only” section.
We know this little series isn’t perfect, but our priorities are always safety first and fairness to everyone. The fairness part can be tricky sometimes with so many racers and varied interests, but its a lot easier to be writing these words to all of you than to someone’s loved ones about a rider being in the hospital. As always, we welcome your input and feedback at [email protected]. Thanks for racing and making this the best amateur CX series in the country. Now let’s get on with the rest of the season!
At yesterday’s Beverly Bike CX event a decision was made concerning course changes that unfortunately impacted our Cat 1/2 women in a negative way. While we do the best we can to provide individual race directors with the tools and information they need to make the best decisions possible for everyone at their races and on behalf of the cup, this particular situation was highlighted by some Cat 1/2 women as an area for improvement.
To ensure this sort of situation does not happen in the future, we at the CCC are committed to these standards going forward:
- There will not be any “pro-only” course features. There may be shortened course options for Junior 9/14 and Cat 4/5 (women and men) fields at the discretion of the race director, USAC officials, and CCC series.
- Men Cat 1/2/3, Women Cat 1/2, Women Cat 3/4, and all other adult fields including masters, single speed, and standard categories except Women 4/5 and Men 4/5 will race the same course as long as conditions allow.
- Information about any Day-Of course changes will be communicated clearly to all participants in advance so racers understand the full scope of the situation clearly and so they have an opportunity to have their concerns heard.
As always, we welcome any direct feedback to us at [email protected].
- This weekend’s CCC event, Beverly Bike CX, is at Dan Ryan Woods on Chicago’s South Side, hosted by… Beverly Bike. Please use the hashtag #drwCX.
- Preliminary staging will be posted here sometime Friday. Please let us know if you see any errors.
- More info over on the static race venue page which is still named Dan Ryan Woods.
- Keep in mind the series rules concerning upgrades. If you have upgraded in the last week please email us ASAP so we can transfer 1/2 your points to the next category for staging and overall standings.
- Juniors 9-14’s: Due to a very generous donation from an anonymous local source many/most of you will receive a special safety related gift when you pick up your number on Sunday.
- Due to the hill and potentially muddy/slower conditions, the Women Cat 4/5‘s and Junior 9-14‘s will more than likely be doing shortened laps. Final decisions will be made between the Beverly Bike crew and USAC officials at the venue on Sunday. We’ll try to tweet that info as soon as we know.
- Kiddie Cross at 2pm assuming the weather cooperates.
Food: Pollo Locuas www.pollolocuas.
com will be back on site with their taco cart.
- Plenty of parking, please use it. Don’t park on the grass.
- The Chicago Marathon is also being run Sunday morning. See the official site here for info, course maps, and road closures. Please plan your route and timing to the venue accordingly.
- Weather: The forecast is calling for rain on Friday and Saturday. Given some sensitive areas of the park the Beverly Bike crew may have to make some drastic changes to the course below in order to stay in the good graces of the park managers. Having any course at all is better than having no course at all, so please recognize any changes and/or a potentially less exciting/challenging course are done so we can still host the event at Dan Ryan Woods for year to come. Check back here Saturday evening and on Twitter for last minute updates.
The course: Beverly Bike brings yet another different course. The course runs Clockwise (numbers still always on your left side) starting in the North East corner of the venue. Fast (if its dry), flowy, and hilly. Beverly Bike is hopefully bringing back a section that hasn’t been used since 2010. Think toe spikes.
- Just another quick update this week…
- Congrats to everyone who raced at Jingle Cross this past week. We saw plenty of great results including a few podiums by the Chicago Cuttin’ Crew, F3 Cycling pb 7 Mile Cycles, and the Pony Shop.
- This past weekend was also the CX Eliminator hosted by Half Acre at Big Marsh.
- Next up, the CCC returns home to the south side of the city for Beverly Bike CX at Dan Ryan Woods. Look for the course preview at the regular time on Thursday.
- Speaking of Beverly Bike CX… our regular Kiddie Cross organizer can’t make it this weekend, so if anyone could help set up/tear down the mini-course and organize a few heats of “races” for the U-9 crowd we would really appreciate it. Please email us for details. UPDATE: our #CCCWhipoftheWeek organizer Brandon Conine will organize the Kiddie Cross this week.
- If you’re thinking a little further down the line, our friends up in the great white North at Silver Goose CX are hosting the 2018 Pan American Cyclocross Championships on November 3rd and 4th in Little Lake Park, Midland Ontario. If you’re thinking about going please email us for discounted entries.
- And finally… it seems like a good time to remind everyone that old saying of, if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all. Please show EVERYONE the respect and dignity we all deserve, whether on the course or off, whether you agree with their point of view or not. We’re all out there to enjoy a little competition and have some fun, so let’s keep it that way.
- Just a quick update this week.
- Congrats to everyone who race up at the Trek CX Cup over the weekend. We were watching via our partners One2Go and saw a lot of great results. Series photography Robert Clark was also snapping pics again and even Sven Nys liked his work. Extra congratulations to Jacob Huizenga of the Chicago Cuttin’ Crew who scored the hattrick and won all 3 Single Speed races (we heard the 2nd from the last row after missing his call-up). No wonder he’s in the CCC Leaders Jersey in that category.
- Speaking of, we had six new series leaders after Caldwell Woods, a few of whom we missed giving jersey to. The follow riders should see Kenny before the start at Beverly CX at Dan Ryan Woods… McCarthy (Masters 55+), Roth (Masters 65+), Zakrajsek (Men Cat 3), Christiansen (Women Cat 3/4), and Kaufman (Men Cat 4).
- Speaking of overall results, we’ve seen a few different team names not matching and the usual One Day to Annual USAC licenses skewing results. Please make sure to double check your results as posted in the Overall Results GoogleSheet and on USACycling.org. We also make mistakes here and here… so please, please let us know if there are errors and we can make changes easy peasy lemon squeezey.
- Up next the CCC has another week off as the UCI World Cup visits Jingle Cross in Iowa City, IA for round two. Good luck to everyone heading west to race, spectate, cheer, or just hang out in the corn fields.
- And finally… remember there is local racing this weekend. Half Acre Cycling‘s CX Eliminator is at Big Marsh this Saturday 9/29. Details are on BikeReg
- UPDATE: Today is unbelievable series announcer Kenny Labbé’s birthday. Please wish him all the best!
- Thanks to xXx Racing for hosting another hot and humid Caldwell Woods. The Svens were there and so were the mosquitoes. Robert Clark was also there snapping pics again and has a gallery up on robotfresh.com.
- Links to all results are here. Note that we are now uploading total and all lap times to USAC. Also for all the propeller heads, over on our consolidated lap time GoogleSheet we’ve been doing some data analysis and aggregation. Let us know if you see anything surprising or want to dig in more yourself.
- Our results data are only as good as the inputs into them however, so please make sure you register with your correct USAC license number, have your team name correctly listed in USAC, and if you earn an upgrade, change your name, etc. please email us so we can make sure you are staged properly and results are correct. Thanks!
- Next up, the CCC series takes a 2 week break before heading South to Dan Ryan Woods for Beverly Bike CCC #3. The Beverly Bike guys always have some kind of surprise in store for us, and a nice hill, so it should be fun.
- But this coming week is the Trek CX Cup in Waterloo, WI. This event is also the opening event of the Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup, so all the big name Euro pros will be there along with plenty of locals and Americans from around the country. Good luck to everyone racing in WI this weekend!
- And the following week everyone heads to Iowa City, IA for Jingle Cross, which is the 2nd event in the World Cup. Both of these events are very well run, with amazing courses, and plenty of competition… and that’s even before the top level pros ride them. Definitely make it there if you can.
- But if traveling to far off neighboring states isn’t your thing, check out Half Acre Cycling‘s CX Eliminator at Big Marsh next Saturday 9/29 (same weekend as Jingle Cross). A portion of the proceeds will go towards further development of Big Marsh making future races there even more fun and challenging. Further details are on BikeReg
- If you’re not traveling to Jingle Cross or CX Eliminator is too close, our friends North of the cheddar curtain are hosting Lion Cross in Waterford on 9/29. The venue is only a 1.5 hour drive from downtown Chicago, and they will have a food and coffee on site, plus a kids course.
- A quick reminder that if you are an “experienced” racer, meaning above a Cat 5, but don’t want to commit to buying a full annual USAC license ($75 adults, $40 juniors), you do have the option to purchase a USAC Experienced One Day license for only $25 (per day of course). These license are only available for purchase online on USA Cycling’s website but are a handy way to get back into racing on a budget. You can even apply the cost to an annual license if you do decide to go all in. Also a reminder that if you have your license listed as “One Day” in your BikeReg rider profile you will automatically be charged $10 when pre-reg’ing online.
- And finally… we need officials. While we’re all out there racing there are a very small number of USA Cycling officials who run each event, apply the rules, and sign off on official/final results. Illinois is in desperate need of officials and without them we cannot race. If you, your significant other, or anyone else you know are even remotely interested or are just curious as to what is involved in helping shape and support our sport, please contact the Illinois Cycling Association (ICA) or see Brenda Feehery at an upcoming event.