2017 Pheasant Run Resort Preview

November 9, 2017

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.

20171108 – A Note on Upgrading

November 8, 2017

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.

All upgrade rules are available for review at in the General Regulations section, CX specifically starts on page 22.

Thanks for reading!

Train Enough? Eat Enough.

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

1 banana


*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!



Shelly Pfeiffer-Kelley

Athletic and Holistic Nutrition, ISSA, IIN



CCC Tuesday Updates – 20171107

November 7, 2017
  • 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 RaceBig 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 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.

Categories: News, Updates


2017 Groundhog Psi-clocross Preview

November 2, 2017

Phil: Do you ever have déjà vu, Mrs. Lancaster?
Mrs. Lancaster: I don’t think so, but I could check with the kitchen.

In 1992 the downtown square of Woodstock, IL was used to film the movie Groundhog Day. That filming location is 0.8 miles from the starting grid of this Sunday’s race. Rob Curtis and the PSIMET crew have decided to carry some of the themes of the movie into the race this year. If you’re interested in looking over the filming locations for the movie there is a great map for self-guided tours here:

  • Remember to use #psiCX on Twitter and Instagram.
  • PSIMET is repeating the condensed course from last year. It is on the ridge/sled hill area on the North-Eastern section of the park. The only road crossing will be closed. These two factors increase rider safety and will help make viewing for everyone a whole lot more fun.
  • With this in mind there will be some logistical obstacles for all in attendance. There is plenty of parking throughout the park but parking that is close to the reg tent is in short supply. We have therefore designated 2 gear drop off areas for teams hauling their encampment supplies as well as riders with an entourage of bicycles that need to get into the pits. We ask that you use these areas for drop off then park farther away to help others do the same.
  • As with all previous years there is NO PARKING ON THE GRASS. This is probably one of the strictest rules the park and city have for the facility.
  • This park has “always” had a “no alcohol” policy. So when you bring in lots of cups for your soda and lemonade PSIMET asks that you pack out what you bring in. It helps PSIMET make sure the park doesn’t think we have a drinking problem if there aren’t a lot of juice boxes laying around.
  • The Chicago Pizza Boss food truck will once again be in attendance. You know the lines can be long and it’s a long trip for them – might not be a bad idea to have a backup just in case. There is a restaurant within 1 mile of the course that offers a full vegetarian and vegan menu for carryout. See below for info.
  • Equipment Pits will be nearly full UCI size with stalls. There is NO water or washing facilities at the race though so if conditions look to be getting worse then please plan your own support accordingly. Just know that you have a full sized pit to utilize.
  • The weather forecast is for more wet stuff. Please plan your clothing pre, during, and post accordingly. Mambo Car Wash is right down the street.
  • Daylight savings time ends the morning of the race this year so don’t forget to move you clocks back – otherwise you’ll be an extra hour early for your race. There are worse things that can happen though. You’re welcome.
  • There won’t be much if any daylight left after the last race ends, so please plan accordingly. Also if you can, please help PSIMET and the South Chicago Wheelmen tear down the course so they aren’t doing it all in the dark.
  • Preliminary staging will be here.
  • Payouts for Single Speed women will match the payout structure for Single Speed men. As with all PSIMET events – Women’s payouts are always $1 more.
  • Kids Race will be held at 2:15pm just West of the pits. The Kids race will be hosted by Parker Curtis with help from his older brother and the rest of the PSIMET Juniors squad.
  • As a first Psimet is attempting to run a “long” course and a “short” course. The Women Cat 4/5 & Junior 9-14 and the Men Cat 4/5 will race on the short course while everyone else will race the long course. This is being done to help the less experienced riders race more laps and to help the officials/scoring with timing. There are 2 difference section that will make up the “long” course. Please be aware of these sections when pre-riding. Also, if you are pre-riding while the SS/Jr 15-18 or Cat 4’s are finishing up, please make sure you are NOT inadvertently riding in front of people still racing. Thanks!
  • The following are food venues within a mile or two of the course:

CCC Tuesday Updates – 20171031

October 31, 2017
  • Happy Halloween! Please be safe and courteous out there today/tonight.
  • Yet another fun and exciting Campton Cross and Halloween costume show this past Sunday. Thanks to everyone who came out to race, spectate, get rad, get sendy, eat candy, and have a ghoulish time. Links to all results and Overall Standings are here:
  • Next up the series heads to its farthest NorthWest point for Groundhog CX  (#PSIcx) at Emrickson Park in Woodstock hosted by Psimet. Usual details at the usual time on Thursday.
  • Looking for a race for this Saturday (11/4)? Do you like FREE BEER (and a FREE brat)? Hampshire Cycle Club, located in Milwaukee, WI is hosting the Estabrook Park Beer Garden Cyclocross Classic once again in partnership with the Estabrook Park Beer Garden. Estabrook Park is located just 5 miles north of downtown Milwaukee, right off of I-43. This race is the longest standing race in the WI CX series and offers a free brat and beer to every registered racer (of legal drinking age). An announcer will be on hand to keep the crowd entertained and the beer garden is sure to provide both polka music and hecklers right alongside the course. Pre-reg is available on USA Cycling through Wednesday evening and more information can be found on the event Facebook page.
  • A bunch of very important things we need to remind everyone:
    • Everyone gets a new bib number for every category at every event. Period. Please do not wear a number from another category, or even worse a different, previous event altogether. Scoring 700 riders every lap of the day is a lot of work even for One2Go and not wearing your correct number throws a giant wrench in the gears.
    • Now that’s getting colder we are all wearing jackets and other things to keep us warm before the start. However, our USAC officials must be able to see you number as you are being staged. Also, your numbers need to be on your LEFT sides, not your backs or hidden under another garment or your hair. Pin the bottom of your number to the bottom of your jersey side panel… see the finish line photo sent by One2Go to all pre-reg’d riders before each race. We want everyone to be safe and warm, but we still need to be able to identify you for proper scoring.
    • Please respect the rules of the parks we race in. We know you all enjoy having a good time, and we want you to have a good time. But if a park has a no alcohol policy please obey those rules or at the very least be discreet in your activities. Thanks!
    • Similarly, if a park does allow alcohol and you choose to imbibe, bring it in a can that can bend or pour it into a cup or mug. The number one rule of beer at bike racing is no glass, ever. Thanks!!
  • A few upcoming events:
  • And finally… if you hadn’t already notice the Melas event is moving locations! Same date and team, but the event will be a little farther North this year to Heritage Park at 333 W. Dundee Road in Wheeling. This is actually a move BACK to Wheeling as this park hosted the 3rd race in the very first CCC season in 2004. More details to come but we have opened the BikeReg page back up, updated maps, and the event page here on this site. The hashtag will also be changing to #WheelingCX. Please tell all your friends who don’t have Internet access.

Categories: News, Updates


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