- Yet another mudder, this time with ice! Thanks to the Northbrook Garner Bicycle Club for warming us up with some hot CX racing action at Wheeling Heritage Park. And thanks to everyone who put on multiple layers to race and cheer on a cold and windy day. Results are all linked here.
- More great overall results, congrats to Karson Glass (Single Speed Men) Katie Isermann (Women Cat 1/2) and Cole House (Men Cat 1/2/3) for sewing up their respective overall titles this past weekend. Only 1 race left and many categories are still only separated by a few points! The leaders of the Masters 45+, Junior 15/18’s, Women Cat 3’s and Men Cat 4’s are separated by less than 10 points!
- Next weekend the CCC finished up at Montrose Harbor in downtown Chicago on the lake front for the 11th and final stop of the series. As we ask every year, come on out and watch, cheer, etc the entire day. Spend some time with your fellow pedal bikers before we all hibernate for the winter. Online pre-reg closes next Thursday evening. Look for the course preview at the normal time on that morning.
- If you’re looking to keep your CX skills sharp this weekend, Friends of Big Marsh is hosting the second annual Black Friday CX Race @ Big Marsh Park this Friday November 24th. Donate a bag of non-perishable food items, and receive priority staging. All proceeds from the event will go towards future development of the park. Check out the Facebook event page for details & updates.
- Then 2 days later Region Racing is hosting Region Riot Cross just over the IN border on Sunday November 26th. Details and online pre-reg are on USAC here.
- Afterglow hosted by the Chicago Cuttin’ Crew is moving to Sunday December 17th and back to Douglas Park. Need more details? Just ask someone on the Cuttin’ Crew. This event is super chill(y) but so fun.
- Sunday afternoon December 17th we’re hosting the CCC Awards Party at EJ’s Place in Skokie. Details and tickets for the PARTY (its not a banquet) will be available soon.
- And finally… this weekend the CCC takes a break so we can all fill up on turkey, mashed taters, stuffing, gravy, green bean casserole, cranberry, pumpkin pie, and all the works. Or for those of you looking for a State Champ podium, maybe just twigs and berries. Either way, enjoy this much earned time off with your family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving!
- Cyclocross returns to Wheeling, Illinois hosted by the Northbrook Cycling Club. The Wheeling Heritage Park CX will be held at 333 W. Dundee Road. Extensive Park renovations were completed in 2014, adding athletic fields, walking/riding paths, a pavilion with a band shell, and lots of parking. They even managed to fit in a cyclocross course for one fine November day.
- Note Again, the venue has changed from last year’s location at Melas Park. DO NOT GO TO MELAS.
- Heritage Park hosted the Wheeling CycloCross Grand Prix in 2004, stop #3 in the Chicago Cyclocross Cup series in its first year. Nine categorized races were crammed into a 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. race day schedule. No start grids, pits, neutral service, announcers, etc. The Northbrook Bicycle Club and Wheeling Park District take us back to those simpler times, but now with all the amenities you’ve come to expect and enjoy.
- Situated blocks from Wheeling’s famous restaurant row, the Chicago Executive Airport, the Des Plaines River Trail, Metra’s North Central Service (Sorry, for scouting only. The line doesn’t run on Sundays). Bring your appetites, planes, helicopters, gliders, canoes, cars, and/or bikes. The park is very accessible.
- The Wheeling Park District will be hosting a Pizza and Chili Garden with Beer too. Pizza is delivered from a famous, local pizzeria, and chili with optional toppings provided is by the Chevy Chase Country Club for the CCC. Hot cocoa, coffee, and soft drinks too.
- Sorry drones are not allowed due to proximity to the airport. You’ll be racing in restricted air space, at least your lungs may feel that way. The aerial views will have to come from the top of the anti-basin we’ll call “Heritage Hill”.
- Warming Up: The park paths will be open. Please be mindful of others in the park and yield to any pedestrians / other park users. The buildings on site are open to warm up from the weather. The recreation center situated between the two larger parking lots has facilities available for use. Please do not bring bikes into the buildings.
- Speaking of warm, temps are forecasted for the upper 20’s and low 30’s on Sunday, so please dress and pack appropriately.
- No alcohol per park rules except for purchase in the designated Pavilion Garden. Please be respectful of the park and behave so we can come back again next year.
- Parking: The lots are huge. Please use them and stay off the grass and trails with any cars or trucks. Please use the two large east and west lots and leave the angled center lot open for rec center patrons.
- Pavilion grass. Please refrain from setting up any tents in the pavilion lawn. There is an irrigation system that could be compromised by any overcooked stakes. Suggested tent spaces are on the map below.
- Volunteers needed: Robert Paetsch is looking for a few volunteers to help with course set up, marshalling, and repair. Please email your interest and sign up here: http://www.signupgenius.com/
go/30e0b45aca6292-wheeling. Volunteers race for free and have lunch provided.
- Weather – Its going to be cold. Please bundle up and plan accordingly.
- Preliminary staging will be posted here.
- The course: Flatlandia’s ace course designer Ted Burger is back to
inflicthelp find the best layout and lines in this unique space. The first third of the course is flat, but transitions to off camber as the course traverses the outdoor pool embankment over to the featured hill. There will be a short course option for the Women Cat 4/5 and Junior 9-14 races. Course runs anti-clockwise. Please note the location of course crossing and how to get from the East side of the course and staging grid to the west side of the course and equipment pits. This is a new venue for everyone, so please work with us and the Northbrook Cycling Club.
- Wow, that was a tough weekend all around. Thanks to the South Chicago Wheelmen for persevering through the weather and still hosting a great double weekend at Pheasant Run Resort. Congrats to everyone who braved the elements and mud to race and spectate. Links to all the results you’re looking for are here.
- Speaking of results, congrats to Tim Strelecki (Masters 35+) and Marcus van Mieghem (Junior Boys 9-14) who both locked up their respective overall titles this weekend. Only 2 races remain and many categories are only separated by a few points so its still anyone’s game! The Men and Women Cat 3’s and Cat 4’s are the closest will likely be decided at Montrose.
- Next up the CCC travels to Wheeling Heritage Park for the 10th stop of the series. Please, please do NOT go to Melas Park or you’ll be riding around the bottom of the basin all by yourself. Online pre-reg closes Thursday evening. Look for the course preview at the normal time on Thursday morning.
- Also with another venue and date change, Afterglow hosted by the Chicago Cuttin’ Crew is moving to Sunday December 17th and back to Douglas Park. This is a great way to wind down after the season and benefits the great programs of West Town Bikes and Blackstone Bicycle Works. Look for more details soon or swing by the pink Cuttin’ Crew tent and make some new friends.
- Sunday December 17th will also be the date of the CCC Awards Party at EJ’s Place in Skokie. Please stop calling it a banquet. Details and tickets will be available soon. Come celebrate with us!
- If you’re not traveling at Thanksgiving remember Friends of Big Marsh is hosting the second annual Black Friday CX Race @ Big Marsh Park Friday November 24th. Donate a bag of non-perishable food items, and receive priority staging. All proceeds from the event will go towards future development of the park. Check out the Facebook event page for details & updates.
- And if that’s not enough CX for you next weekend, Region Racing is hosting Region Riot Cross just over the IN border on Sunday November 26th. Details and online pre-reg are on USAC here.
- And finally… riding through all the mud, rain, sand, grass, and who knows what else this past weekend wreaks absolute havoc on your bike, so make sure to take your ride to your favorite Local Bike Shop ASAP to get it cleaned and tuned up. There’s nothing worse than a bad result due to an avoidable mechanical, so take care of your bike and it will take care of you. Your LBS wants to help you and work on your bike. Many shops like our series sponsors The Pony Shop, Spin Doctors, Main St Bikes, and VeloFix are even running tune up specials to get us all through the end of the year, so take advantage of it.
A new venue to the series this year Pheasant Run Resort (#PRRcx) is hosted by no strangers to the local year round cycling scene, the South Chicago Wheelmen, one of the region’s and country’s oldest cycling clubs. Please bear with us and the SCW as we figure out the new layout. As always, any constructive criticism is welcomed and appreciated. A few notes for the weekend.
- This event is NOT at Indian Lakes where it has been for the last several years. It is now at Pheasant Run Resort located at 4051 E Main St. Saint Charles, IL 60174.
- The SCW have extended online pre-reg on BikeReg until this evening, so no excuses if you miss the cutoff.
- Preliminary staging for Saturday only will be posted here Friday morning.
- Saturday Results will affect Sunday staging. Preliminary Sunday staging will be posted here early Sunday morning. Please pay attention.
- Registration will be in Gallery Hall.
- New bib numbers each day. Please do NOT where your Saturday number on Sunday.
- Vending / concessions will also be in Gallery Hall.
- NO grills please, PRR has a restaurant and there are several others (ahem, Culver’s!) nearby. PRR has also asked us not to bring outside food or drink to the course or into the hotel. We’re not sure if they have gluten free organic free-range tofurkey energy bars, at the concession stand, so please be discreet if you’re bringing something. PRR has also asked for no coolers, but we obviously need Gatorade and Recover drinks.
- NO walking or riding on putting greens or tee boxes. This is standard at any golf course CX event.
- NO warming up on fairways.
- After your race, if you’re staying at the hotel, please please please do NOT wash your bike in your room (duh). The forecast is dry, but if needed a hose will be set up on the West side of Gallery Hall. Bring your own rags/towels.
- For guests staying overnight, checkout is at 11am on Sunday. Late checkout is available for an extra $25.
- Parking will be limited, satellite parking will be west across the street by Target (Kautz Road).
- The SCW will be raffling off a set of Rolf wheels to benefit a cyclist who suffers from a brain disability. Rolf primo, disc or cantilever compatible, clinchers. $5.00 per ticket, 5 tickets for $20.00. Drawing held Sunday after the 1/2/3 race.
- Don’t forget the Ultimate PB&J Women’s Event Saturday afternoon in the Ultimate Pro Bikes tent.
- There will be even less daylight left than last week after the last race ends, so please plan accordingly. Also if you can, please help the South Chicago Wheelmen and the Northbrook Cycling Club tear down the course so they aren’t doing it all in the dark.
- Sorry, no kids races this weekend.
- The Course: Still a work in progress but should follow approximately the track below. The start and finish are both on pavement.
A quick note from our IL USAC upgrade coordinator Steve Feehery.
Upgrades: What you need to know
- All upgrade (and downgrade) requests are made through the USAC website by the rider.
- Start by logging on to the website. After that click on License, click on upgrade / downgrade.
- Find the discipline desired (for instance, cyclocross) click the new category requested.
- You then must make a case as to why you should be approved for the upgrade/downgrade along with cutting and pasting your palmares (i.e. recent results).
- Click on submit, the system then generates an email to the local coordinator who then reviews the request and approves or denies based on the riders resume.
- 2 wins in any one category is an automatic upgrade. That does not mean USAC will automatically do it, but that you have qualified to move up in category. Other considerations for upgrades include experience in other disciplines (road, track, cyclocross or mtb). If you are a rider that is a Cat 3 on the road, you can be upgraded to Cat 4 for cross automatically. Same for a Cat 2 on the road, you can become a Cat 3 for CX.
- There are two important caveats to mandatory upgrades:
- Mandatory upgrades do not apply to juniors.
- When racing in a combined field, field size includes everyone in your category and above. For example, a Cat 4 rider racing in a Cat 4/5 combined field may only count the 4’s in that field when calculating upgrade points, NOT the 5’s. Alternately, a Cat 5 racer who lands on a podium in a combined Cat 4/5 field may count the whole field when assessing upgrade points.
- Some riders have taken it upon themselves to become “upgrade police”. If you come upon a situation where a rider is doing well and might or should be upgraded reach out to your local upgrade coordinator. Please DO NOT take it upon yourself to speak to that rider or try to shame them into upgrading. We’re all adults here, and this is just amateur pedal bike racing for fun, so let’s keep it civil.
Sandbagging is when a rider’s ability has egregiously surpassed the current category (i.e. not age group or single speed) and the rider continues to race in that category. He/she is typically doing very well in that category and does not want to move up. A situation like this should be immediately brought to the upgrade coordinators attention. Note however a rider is not always sandbagging if they win one race, or even two. If at any given race any rider on the front row of staging has a good chance of winning, then none of them are sandbagging. That is just called good competition. This is especially true later in the season as riders start peaking for the state championship. However, if a rider easily wins more than one race by a large time gap, especially at the beginning of the season, and doesn’t voluntarily upgrade, then yes, that is sandbagging.
Thanks for reading!
It hits you hard- your legs feel numb and you can’t seem to pedal to save your life. You just can’t find the strength you thought you had in reserve to make the spectacular finish you know you deserve. If you have been in this situation it might be time to take a look at your caloric intake on race day.
I often hear from the athletes we work with that they want to be lean when they hit the beginning of their race season and then continue this trajectory during the season. They often feel that eating fewer calories and training harder will help them reach this goal. It’s true that enjoying lots of beer and cheese fries throughout your training season will NOT help the strength to weight ratio. Conversely, eating healthfully but with too few calories will not get you the finish you want to achieve either.
To map out what it takes to fuel your body we need to talk about a basal metabolic rate (BMR). This is the number of calories you need to just subsist per hour if you are lying down without movement. It is the number of calories your body needs just to support organ functions, digestion, etc. Depending on a person’s individual basal metabolic rate and the number of calories you burn warming up for and during a race, if you are close to the sum of those two numbers without any reserve then you may be at a deficit going into your race. The process is a bit involved, but you can do a basic calculation via this site and get a number that will be close enough to work with here
Check your file after a race to identify the number of calories you burn because everyone is a little different. If you don’t have a device on the CX bike to do that then figure that on average you’ll burn 500, 750 and 1000 calories for a ½ hour, 45 minute and 1 hour race respectively. Let’s say your BMR is 1900 calories per day. If you are racing for one hour and burn 1000 calories during your race then you need to consume a minimum of 1500 calories (1000 calories for the race and approximately 33% of your BMR) leading up to the start of your race. That breakdown could look something like this for a morning race:
Pre-race (3.5 to 4 hours before) breakfast totaling 1100 calories:
1.5 cups of cooked rolled oats
1/3 cup of chopped raw nuts
1 1/2 bananas
½ cup milk or milk alternative
1 Tb. of maple syrup or honey
2 pumpkin oat muffins
Pre-race (2-2.5 hours before) Snack: 300 calories
Vega protein shake
*If you tolerate gels eat one on the start line for another 100 calories boost in the tank. This will put you at 1500 calories before your race starts and that is money in the bank.
Feed your body with enough calories and get the finish you deserve!
Athletic and Holistic Nutrition, ISSA, IIN
- Thanks to the entire PSIMET crew for another great Groundhog PSI-clocross. What looked like it would be a completely soggy day turned out to be just a little wet and not too cold or muddy. All the results you’re looking for are here.
- Next up the series heads to the West suburbs again for its only double weekend at Pheasant Run Resort hosted by the South Chicago Wheelmen. Look for the usual preview on Thursday.
- PLEASE NOTE –> Online prereg for Pheasant Run closes on Wednesday, NOT the usual Thursday. The SCW have to set up the course and reg a day early too. Make sure you are reg’ing for the correct day Saturday and/or Sunday. Please tell all your friends who are usually late to the party. And yes, placings on Saturday will affect staging on Sunday.
- On Saturday at #PRRcx the “Ultimate PB&J’s” cordially invite the women racers to post race refreshments at the Ultimate Pro Bikes tent. UPB will also be selling raffle tickets for $1. For your $1 you will get to throw a name in the jar of any of the Women 3/4 racer and if their name is selected, they win the Ultimate Pro Racer treatment at the IL State CX Championships at Montrose Harbor. See details at the UPB tent on Saturday!
- And finally… A little further down the line, Friends of Big Marsh invites you to #OptOutside Friday November 24th, for the second annual Black Friday CX Race @ Big Marsh Park. This year promises: a new course layout, expanded USA Cycling categories for all ages, live lap timing from One2Go, plus more! Donate a bag of non-perishable food items, and receive a priority starting spot. Staging will be done in order of (1) food donations, followed by (2) date/time of registration, so don’t delay! Save $5 by pre-registering today at bikereg.com/bigmarshcross. All proceeds from the event will go towards future development of the park. Check out the Friends of Big Marsh Facebook event page for additional details & updates.