Author Archives: chicagocrosscup

Wheeling CX Pics, Vids, and Race Reports

2017 Wheeling Heritage CX Preview

  • 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 inflict help 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. 

CCC Tuesday Updates – 20171114

  • 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.

Pheasant Run Resort Pics, Vids, and Race Reports – SUNDAY

Pheasant Run Resort Pics, Vids, and Race Reports – SATURDAY

2017 Pheasant Run Resort Preview

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

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

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 usacycling.org/usa-cycling-rule-book.htm in the General Regulations section, CX specifically starts on page 22.

Thanks for reading!

CCC Tuesday Updates – 20171107

  • 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 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.

Groundhog PSI-clocross Pics, Vids, and Race Reports

2017 Groundhog Psi-clocross Preview

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: woodstockgroundhog.org/pages/tour.html

  • 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: