- 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!
- 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.
- A big, big, big thanks to Josh Arends and the entire Comrade Cycles crew for hosting our first race of the series out at Hopkins Park. The weather was absolutely CX perfect and it was great to see everyone racing the track. Links to all the results are here.
- Also, many apologies to the Women Cat 4/5. You were supposed to start in front of the Junior 9-14’s. That’s a snafu totally on us. We’ll get it right at Caldwell Woods and going forward. Again, we’re sorry for the mix-up.
- Next up, xXx Racing hosts Caldwell Woods on the NW side of the city.
- Also this week:
- Just a reminder that while we do have access to who is applying for and getting category upgrades, we can’t always keep up with everyone, so please shoot us an email if you earn an upgrade so 1/2 your points can go with you to the next category.
- And, if you race on a One Day license and then get an annual USAC license let us know that too so you will be staged properly at the next race. Otherwise you may be at the back.
- Which is also a reminder, please always check the preliminary staging sheets to make sure your CCC series points and CrossResults.com points flow through properly. We make plenty of mistakes but want to make sure you are staged properly and have a fun race. Its a whole lot easier to correct those things on Friday or Saturday then on the start line on Sunday.
- Team names – We match all USAC annual licenses to the USAC rider database, meaning, if you have an annual license we grab your CX team name from there, NOT from BikeReg. So please make sure you have your CX team and/or club name correct with USAC. Thanks!
- Next week up at the Trek CX Cup join Maria Larkin and a bunch of other local rad ladies at the Junior Girls Clinic p/b Parktool.
- Date 9/21/2018 (Friday of Trek Cx Cup)
- Location: Trek Cx Cup, Waterloo, Wisconsin
- Time: 6pm
- Instructors: Katie Compton, Kaitie Keough
- Open to girls aged 9-18.
- You’ll be doing some basic instruction and riding the juniors course with the Ka(i)ties.
- Helmets are required, cross bikes preferred but mountain bikes with knobby tires are welcome.
- As usual there will be pizza/snacks available post ride. Please contact Maria with any dietary restrictions. [email protected]
- Registration is here; https://legacy.
usacycling.org/register/2018- 1759 and there are 8 spots left.
- And finally… We have a new photographer snapping pics at races this year. Check our Robert Clark‘s galleries over at robotfresh.com. If you see a good photo of yourself or someone you know consider throwing a little scratch Robert’s way and if so please make sure to give Robert credit for the photo. Once SnowyMountain recovers from their summer we’re sure they will be out at the races as well. We saw lots of other cameras out at Hopkins Park too, so please share your photos/videos with links in the weekend posts, like this one!
- We hope everyone had a relaxing and fun long Labor Day holiday weekend.
- The CCC series starts THIS COMING WEEKEND at Hopkins Park in Dekalb, IL. We are ready and we hope you are too. Look for the course preview Thursday morning.
- We keep the momentum rolling and next week is even busier than this week.
- Thursday night 9/6 we’ll all be at the Rapha Clubhouse for the CCC Kickoff Party.
- Saturday 9/15 during the day xXx Racing hosts their Sven-nado with Sven Nys and Sven Vanthourenhout. You must pre-reg for this clinic, please do NOT show up unannounced.
- Saturday night the Trek Store in Wicker Park is hosting a free Night w/ Sven Nys.
- And then finally Sunday we’ll all be back together at Caldwell Woods for the 2nd race of the series where riders will be showing off their Pactimo series leaders jerseys.
- Online pre-reg for Hopkins Park and Caldwell Woods have been open for a while on BikeReg, and the rest of the series races (except for a few that are finishing up their paperwork with USAC) are now open. Please pre-reg for races, it makes everything go much smoother, and you’ll received your results emailed to you from One2Go.
- And finally… we’re really looking forward to beginning the season and series with all of you this week. Before we get start though, let’s all remember we’re all out there to have fun and share some precious time with each other. We can all race hard, be aggressive, have differences in opinion, and have individual definitions of what it means to have a successful race. But we all know how to respect each other and be civil with each other. So let’s race our bikes, have a good time, and show each other what the Chicagoland CX community is all about. LET’S RACE!
- Thanks to everyone who came out to hi-five and start off the CCC season in style with xXx Racing at Relay Cross. Results are here. Remember this is all for fun, so for those of you wondering, Relay Cross results will NOT be counted in your CrossResults.com points.
- The CCC season officially starts in TWO WEEKS at Hopkins Park in Dekalb, IL. Remember the first 2 races are switching dates this year, so please do NOT show up to Caldwell Woods. The full event schedule is here.
- But before we start racing, let’s hang out a little bit off the bike at the CCC Kickoff Party at the Rapha Chicago Clubhouse on Thursday 9/6 at 6pm. Please RSVP here (so we have enough snacks and dranks) or on the FaceBook if that is your thing.
- After that the CCC takes a 2 week break so everyone can go see the PROs race at the Trek CX Cup and Jingle Cross. Good luck to everyone traveling to race those events.
- And finally… we’d like to welcome (back) Michael Heagney Homes to the CCC sponsor family. Many of you may know Mike as a very quick sprinter and expert tactician on the road, but he also happens to be really good bike driver on the CX track and also an accomplised real estate agent/broker. Please join us in welcoming Mike back to the CCC.
- What a way to end the season on a high note! Perfect CX weather and a beach full of sand, swimming pools, and cheers at Montrose Harbor. Thanks to everyone and especially the Ten27 and Spidermonkey crews to hosting the event. We crowned 20 state champions and 16 series winners. A complete list of all series winners and state champions is here on our results page. Links to all results and lap times are here on the Overall Standings GoogleSheet.
- SnowyMountain Photography was back out again and captured plenty of photos of the entire day. The Chicago Aussie Jack Brandtman was also taking videos and John Gatto was back out with his GoPro and drone. We saw plenty of other cameras so hopefully all those pictures and videos find their way to the Internet at some point.
- And in case you weren’t there earlier in the day, our series announcer Kenny Labbé was presented with his very own, brand new pop-up tent. Thanks to everyone who kept the secret and chipped in to get Kenny this great gift that will last for year and years to come.
- Obligatory mentions for the final CX events of the season:
- Our end of season CCC Awards Party is at EJ’s Place in Skokie Sunday 12/17/17 at NOON. Tickets are on sale on BikeReg.
- Don’t let your bike go into hibernation all dank and dirty. Your local bike shop might be in the middle of the busy Christmas selling season, but the service departments probably aren’t too busy. Get your bike in there for a tune up so it’s charging out of the gates in 2018, instead of limping across the start line a rusty, seized up mess.
- And speaking of local bike shops, many of our series sponsors are bike shops or other local retailers. Before buying Chrismahuanakwanzika gifts this year please consider purchasing from our series sponsors or other local merchants.
- Congrats to CCC regulars Graciela Viale-Val (Evanston, IL) and Bob Downs (Belleville, WI) on their 2nd place finishes at Masters World Championships in Mol, Belgium in the Women 75+ and Men 60-64 years young categories respectively.
- And finally… the unofficial CCC holiday party is happening (again) at the Elbow Room on Thursday 12/21/17 at 8pm where Los Borrachos will take the stage and entertain us in a way only they can. If you’ve ever been to this party you know you won’t want to miss it!
- Looks and sounds like the Big Marsh Black Friday and Region Riot Cross events were a success over the holiday weekend. Results can be found here and here.
- This coming weekend the CCC finishes up at Montrose Harbor in downtown Chicago on the lake front. The weather is forecast to be much more pleasant than last year, so come on out to watch, cheer, and celebrate the entire day. Online pre-reg on BikeReg closes Thursday evening. Look for the course preview at the normal time on Thursday.
- Note there is a new parking option/charge at Montrose for those that want to park up close. Look at the bottom of the BikeReg page.
- If you happen to be in Mol Belgium this Friday or Saturday make sure to check our Masters CX World Championships.
- Remember the cyclocross season is not over after this weekend though.
- The USAC Midwest Regional CX Championships are Saturday 12/9/17 in Sun Prairie, WI.
- Afterglow hosted by the Chicago Cuttin’ Crew has moved to Sunday December 17th and back to Douglas Park.
- USAC Cyclocross National Championships are in Reno, NV this season 1/9/18- 1/14/18. Remember next season CX Nationals moves back to December 2018.
- There are quite a few CX races in Europe in December and January, and then CX World Championships are in Valkenburg Limburg, Netherlands on 2/3/18 and 2/4/18.
- And finally… Sunday 12/17/17 at NOON we’re hosting the CCC Awards Party at EJ’s Place in Skokie. Buy your tickets here on BikeReg.
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!
- Congrats to everyone who raced over the weekend up in Waterloo, WI at the Trek CXC Cup at Trek HQ. Plenty of great results from a bunch of CCC’ers.
- Thanks to everyone who came out to the live recording of “In the CX Hairs” podcast at the Rapha Chicago Clubhouse last Tuesday.
- CCC series racing returns this Sunday 10/1/17 at Hopkins Park in Dekalb, IL hosted by Comrades Cycles. Online pre-reg on BikeReg.com for #HopkinsCX closes Thursday night.
- Please update your USA Cycling App on your iPhone. There is a completely new app (i.e. not just an update of the old ‘My USAC’). Right now the app only displays your license(s) but USA Cycling will be adding features in the future.
- And finally… It may officially be Autumn but just like CCC racing, Chicagoland temperatures are still still hot, hawt, hot. Please make sure to stay hydrated while riding (racing and training) and don’t over do it. Its a long season and we don’t want anyone ruining their CX season due to heat exhaustion or other related issues. Bottoms up!