- Looks like Afterglow was a another success with lots of fun racing and it all going to several great causes. Also, the Slurpee podium “medals” were fantastic. Not that they really matter, but results are here. Thanks to everyone who raced and came out to support Blackstone Bikes and West Town Bikes.
- Speaking of, we’re still tallying all the donations made through the season and will make our series donation to Blackstone Bikes, West Town Bikes & Big Marsh before the end of the year. THANK YOU to everyone who donated to such worthy causes.
- Several Chicago area riders also traveled up to WI the day before on Saturday to race at the Midwest Regional CX Championships and brought home jerseys. Congrats to Jordan Austin (Jr Women 15-18), Danny Warner (Masters 55+), & Jacob Huizenga (Single Speed). Full results are here.
- The Chicagoland CX season is done for the year, but there’s still one big race left. USAC CX National Championships start today (Tuesday) in Louisville, KY. Good luck to everyone traveling to race. We’ll try to keep up with results on Twitter and retweet results with CCC participants on the podium. Kenny has already put together a crib sheet of riders and start times in the comments here.
- Speaking of being done, congrats to all the riders who earned their USAC CX category upgrades. Yes, we see all those and we’re excited to see several riders upgrading right after Montrose. Good luck and we’ll see you in the next category in 2019. Kenny is already writing his race commentary notes.
- Speaking of next season, please keep those comments & suggestions emails coming. We can’t promise we’ll make all the changes everyone wants, but we want to hear from you.
- And finally… Please mark you calendars for Saturday January 12th around 6pm when we’ll be having the our Series Awards Party. We’re finally finalizing the final details but we’re changing things up this year with a new date, time, location, and less formal format so more people can attend. No tickets, no dinner, but still the same good company, conversation, and cheer. And of course cow bells, clean jerseys, and awards for our series winners and door prizes even if you didn’t win an overall jersey. More details to come next week.
- Oh man, was that yet another exciting Montrose Harbor / Illinois State CX Championship or what?? So many great races, so many stories to tell, so many state jerseys and series overall titles that went down to the wire. We hope you all had as much fun racing and riding as we did watching it all unfold. All the links for all the results you are looking for are at the bottom of the page here. Overall series and state champ winners are all listed here.
- There are a limited amount of Montrose posters still available (we realize some people did not want to deal with artwork in the mud). Also a couple prize checks were not picked up. Email [email protected] for info on both.
- If your bike touched the ground at Montrose, make sure to get it cleaned up before heading to the next race or hanging it up for the season. We’re sure every local shop has specials going on right now. Series sponsor The Pony Shop let us know they have a deal right now that completely tears down your bike to the frame, waxes the frameset, cleans all parts in our safe ultrasonic cleaner, repacks or replaces all bearings, cables, tape, and hydro fluid. Perfect for Road, cyclocross, and mountain bikes. The complete overhaul is 200.00 plus parts. All parts are 10% off with the special.
- While the CCC season may be over we still have some end-of-the-year things to do:
- First, while its still fresh in your head, drop us an email and let us know how we can make the series better next year. We’re always looking for ways to make the CCC the Best Amateur CX Series in the Country.
- B. We’ll have our awards party in January, probably the 2nd or 3rd weekend. We’re still working out the details, so stay tuned.
- III. We are still collecting donations for our series causes, Blackstone Bikes, West Town Bikes, and Big Marsh. If you’d like to make a donation through the series send us and email, or you can donate directly through the links above.
- Speaking of West Town and Blackstone, this coming Sunday the last CX race in the Chicagoland area takes place at Afterglow, hosted by the Chicago Cuttin’ Crew and back in Douglas Park. Come out and race, have a great time, and support the youth of Chicago.
- If you’re looking for something more racey, racey… the MidWest Regional CX Championships hosted by L5 Racing are being held the day before on Saturday up in Sun Prairie, WI.
- And speaking of Championships, the USA Cycling National CX Championships are being held next week in Louisville, KY. Good luck to everyone heading down to race.
- And finally… with the holiday season coming up very soon, if you have the means, please support our series sponsors when purchasing gifts for your loved ones.
- We hope you all had a great Thanksgiving weekend and had a chance to catch up and spend time with your family and loved ones.
- Our man with the mic Kenny Labbé went to Region Riot CX with Torch and even though he was off the clock, he still tweeted out pics of all the podiums. Congrats to everyone who raced and kept the engine running.
- Next up, the CCC finishes up with the grand finalé and Illinois State Championship at Montrose Harbor. Just like every year, let’s make a day of it. Come out early, stay late, and let’s finish up the series in style.
Spidermonkey Cycling is continually adding information about #MontroseCX to its landing page, but look for the full race preview here on Thursday.
Parking spots at Montrose are going fast. We will try to accommodate paying for parking on race day, but guarantee a close spot by adding to your checkout when you register on BikeReg by Thursday night.
- At Montrose we’ll have George Armstrong taking rider portraits (for free). George was at the Intelligentsia Cup this summer and you can check out his work here.
- While the series will be over and the series overall winners will be determined on Sunday, we’re going to push the end of season awards party back until after the holidays (final date TBD). With USAC CX National Championships being held 12/11 – 12/16 in Louisville there just aren’t enough weekend hours to fit it all in before the holidays. We’ll look to have they party sometime in January, perhaps somewhere in the city. More details as soon as we figure them out.
- And finally… while the 2018 CCC series racing will be over after Sunday there’s still one very important (perhaps the MOST important) CX event… Afterglow – AlterNats! This year the event returns to Douglas Park Sunday on 12/9/18 and online pre-reg is now open. Be there!
- Grandpa always said, when life gives you lemons, make orange juice… or something like that. Without a ton of terrain to work with at Pheasant Run the South Chicago Wheelmen built a fun course and along with a “helping hand” from mother nature the weekend turned out to be one of the hardest of this year’s series. Thanks to everyone who came out to race and see the spectacle. Links to all the results you’re looking for are at the bottom of the page here.
- In the Overall Series Standings GoogleSheet riders in yellow have already secured their overall series titles by accumulating enough series points so they are >60 points ahead of the next placed rider, making it mathematically impossible to be caught. That being said, many categories are very, very, very, very close going into the final race, in some case less than 5 points separates the top 3 riders! So Montrose should be just as exciting as ever!
- But before we get to the last race, the series takes a quick pause to give thanks and spend some quality family time with the people we may or may not have seen since early September. So no matter how you celebrate Thanksgiving, please enjoy this coming weekend off the bike.
- If you’re in town and still want to keep the racing edge sharp, our Region Racing friends just over the border in Indiana are hosting Region Riot Cross on Sunday. Online pre-reg closes Friday.
- And then the week after the CCC returns and finishes up with 2018 Illinois State CX Championships presented by Rapha at Montrose Harbor in downtown Chicago. Plenty of details to discuss, but we’ll get to those next week. If you want brush up see the static race page here.
- Please RSVP for the Rapha number pickup party the day before the Illinois State Championship p/b Rapha Chicago and come to the race with your number already pinned! There will also beer beer and food, as well as 25% off the store for all pre-registered riders.
- Also for Montrose, there are still some paid parking spots available right next to the start and finish areas. Close parking is somewhat limited at this venue and with the possible weather conditions, being close to the start and finish, before and after your race is nice. Guarantee this spot will be available at any time. Purchase spots on BikeReg when you register. Larger teams can purchase multiple spots for trailers, RVs, etc … by contacting Spidermonkey Cycling directly. [email protected]
- And finally… Just a quick comment about poorly positioned bib numbers and long hair obscuring bib numbers. If One2Go and the USAC officials can’t see your number, at best it disrupts scoring and makes generating results longer, and at worst you don’t get scored and may get fined real, actual money. Please, please, please follow the example of a properly pinned number in One2Go’s pre-race email and please make sure to put that long hair in a pony tail. Thanks!!!
- Thanks to everyone who came out to race, cheer, and eat candy at a chilly yet sunny Wheeling Heritage CX. Links to all the results you’re looking for are at the bottom of the page here.
- Next up the CCC heads to Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, IL for the series’ only double race day weekend hosted by the South Chicago Wheelmen. There are 2 separate event pages on BikeReg (Saturday & Sunday), so please make sure you sign up for the correct day if you aren’t racing both days (although we’re not sure why you wouldn’t just race both days?!!?!). Online pre-reg will close at the regular time Thursday evening. Look for the course preview here on Thursday morning.
- If you’re planning to spend the night at Pheasant Run Resort, there are discounted room rates of $92 per night. Call Pheasant Run at 630-584-6330 and use code “cyclocross”.
- Also at PRR. We’re a little short staffed this Saturday and need help taking podium pictures for Twitter. If you have a mobile phone with a camera and can help out, please email us your podium pictures as soon as you take them. Thanks!
- There are only 3 races left in this year’s series, but still no one in any category has locked up their overall titles. That means the racing will be fast and exciting all the way until the State Championship at Montrose Harbor.
- Speaking of Montrose, the host club Spidermonkey Cycling just announced our friends over at the Rapha Chicago Clubhouse will be sponsoring the event and having a pre-race soiree at the clubhouse. Look for more details to come.
- If you’re not traveling for Thanksgiving, our friends just over the Indiana border are hosting Region Riot CX on 11/25/18 in Crown Point, IN. Details for USA Cycling’s CX National Championships in Louisville, KY are updated, and the Afterglow hosted by the Chicago Cuttin’ Crew is happening Sunday 12/9/18. Links to all these events and more are over on our Schedule page.
- And finally… another reminder the 2nd annual Women’s Networking Event hosted by UPB Juniors will be held Saturday 11/17/18 at 2:15pm in the UPB tent at Pheasant Run Resort. As part of this event, UPB will also hold the Ultimate Pro Racer Raffle to benefit a Women Cat 3/4/5 at Montrose. Proceeds will go towards the 2019 Juniors CX Camp. The raffle tickets will be on sale 9a – 12pm Saturday and Sunday as well as during the networking event. Warm drinks and treats at 2:15 pm on that Saturday. All women racers are welcome to come and visit. UPB’s juniors are hosting and will be mingling.
- Another great Groundhog PSI-clocross weekend hosted by PSIMET out in Woodstock. The Pre-Deju-Vu course on Saturday was more power while Sunday’s Groundhog course was more “finesse”, and more weather too. Links to all results and lap times are here.
- Next up, the CCC travels closer to Chicago with our Wheeling Heritage event. Due to construction in the park the course will be slightly different from last year, but still mostly the same. Look for the course preview Thursday morning and remember pre-reg closes Thursday evening.
- Speaking of Wheeling… The Northbrook Bicycle Club is looking for a few volunteers to help with course set up, marshaling, and repair Saturday and Sunday. Please email Robert Paetsch for details. Shifts are typically three hours or less. Volunteers may race for free and get food and beverage perks too.
- Also speaking of this coming weekend… unless you have a bike shop in your basement or garage, your CX bike probably needs some love. Get it into your local bike shop ASAP for a clean up, tune up, etc. before the wheels literally come off at the next race!
- Looking towards the end of the season we here at the CCC are thinking about changing up the when and where of the awards party. The time and location would have to be family friendly (i.e. not just at a bar) and at least mostly centrally located. If you have ideas or suggestions please email us at [email protected].
- And finally… the 2nd annual Women’s Networking Event hosted by UPB Juniors will be held Saturday 11/17/18 at 2:15pm in the UPB tent at Pheasant Run Resort. As part of this event, UPB will also hold the Ultimate Pro Racer Raffle to benefit a Women Cat 3/4/5 at Montrose. Proceeds will go towards the 2019 Juniors CX Camp. The raffle tickets will be on sale 9a – 12pm Saturday and Sunday as well as during the networking event. Warm drinks and treats at 2:15 pm on that Saturday. All women racers are welcome to come and visit. UPB’s juniors are hosting and will be mingling.
Photo: Tim Radcliff
- Trick or Treat and thanks to everyone who came out to Campton Hills to race, cheer, and show off their best costumes. The Marching Band won the best costume contest and Tony Rienks (along w/ Joe Castello this year as Daft Punk) was given a lifetime costume achievement award. Links to all the results and lap times you’re looking for are here.
- John Gatto may not be racing, but he still came out to Campton with his Drones and GoPros and gave us this video gem. Special mention also to Nathaniel Allen for this Instagram video.
- Next on the calendar this SATURDAY is PSIMET’s Pre-Deja-Vu-All-Over-Again 2019 State Championship Course Preview Race. This is not a CCC series event. And as we mentioned last week, this is the preview for the 2019 State Championship, NOT this year’s (i.e. 2018) state champs which are at Montrose Harbor. PSIMET always hosts great events so don’t miss your chance to see next year’s state champs course early, which is completely different than the CCC series race on Sunday. Please pre-reg here for Saturday.
- Speaking of Sunday, the CCC series continues on SUNDAY with Groundhog PSI-clocross at the same park in Woodstock but on a completely different course. The normal course preview will be up at the regular time on Thursday. The normal course preview will be up at the regular time on Thursday.
- We haven’t heard of anyone going to the Pan-Am Championships in Canada this weekend, but if you are, good luck!
- It seems we’re getting similar weather to last season, which has meant a decent amount of rain, and usually on Sunday. Show your bike some love and and take it to your local bike shop to keep it in tip-top shape. Many shops are running specials/deals for the CX season, so don’t wait until sometime breaks!
- And finally… Our guy behind the lens Robert Clark is moving on to bigger and better things, meaning shooting larger UCI races for the rest of the CX season. We’re supper bummed (for us) but also super happy and excited for Robert. We’ve been very lucky to have Robert at our first five series races and will miss him the rest of the season. Check out his photos from the CCC series as well as several other cycling events over at robotfresh.com and if you see a photo you like consider making a purchase. Good luck Robert!!! If you consider yourself a shutterbug and would like an all access CCC media pass, please email us.
- Thanks to the entire ABD crew for another great Sunrise Park event on and around the original Heckle Hill. Links to all results are here. We know there were a few results errors the last 2 weeks and will have them 100% corrected later this week.
- Next up, the CCC heads just a bit farther West to Campton Cross. Please make sure you set your GPS coordinate to the correct park. This is our annual Halloween race, so bring your costume A Game and get your cameras ready. There might even be trick-or-treating at the team tents if people bring enough candy. Look for the regular update on Thursday at the regular time.
- Speaking of cameras, while not up just quite yet, our guy Robert Clark should have another gallery up for Sunrise Park soon. Check out all of his galleries here: robotfresh.com/2018chicrosscup
- Just a remind to everyone, especially the younger ladies to keep hair up in pony tails while racing. If One2Go and the USAC officials can’t see your bib number, we can’t score you. Thanks!
- If anyone is available to help out with Kiddie Cross the next two weekends, please email us ASAP. Thanks!
- While its not officially part of the official CCC series schedule officially, on Saturday 11/3/18 PSIMET will be hosting their “Pre-Deja-Vu-All-Over-Again 2019 State Championship Course Preview Race” at Emrickson Park in Woodstock, IL. This is NOT a preview for this year’s CX State Championships which will be held at Montrose Harbor in Chicago on 12/2/18. With a race name that long, we’re not sure how anyone could confuse the two, but we just want to make sure. However, NEXT YEAR PSIMET will be hosting the CX State Champs in Woodstock, hence the preview this year. If you still aren’t sure what’s going on take a look at our schedule page, email us, or ask Kenny on Sunday.
- Speaking of Montrose…
Sponsorship opportunities for the 2018 Illinois State Cyclocross Championship and series finale are available!Spidermonkey Cycling, with Ten27 Cycling Club, are seeking additional sponsors to help alleviate the cost increases associated with having the event at the legendary Montrose Beach location in the city of Chicago. Event title sponsorship with multiple branding opportunities and expo locations to activate your business are both available. For more information, email Mark Zalewski.
- And finally… Here’s our annual reminder that, if you are warming up on course you should never, ever, ever, evar ride in front of someone who is still racing. We know it can be difficult to tell sometimes with large fields and riders spread out all over the course. However, it is your responsibility while pre-riding to figure it out, NOT the person still racing to tell you they are still racing. Full stop. Let’s make sure everyone gets their fair and full time to race. If you need more time to pre-ride, please arrive at the race venue earlier, bring a trainer, or eat more doughnuts. Thanks in advance!
- Thanks to Main St Bikes and the Sasquatch Squadron for yet another great race out at the Woodland Elementary School. Links to all the results you’re looking for are here, including lap times.
- Robert Clark has pics up over at robotfresh.com/ccc4.
- Next up, the series heads to Bartlett for ABD Sunrise Park. The course preview will be posted Thursday at the regular 9am time.
- Here’s your friendly reminder that if you’d like to upgrade and take half of your series points with you up to the next category, you need to do so before this coming weekend. Upgrades are handled through your USAC rider profile on USACycling.org but also email us so we know.
- And finally… just another reminder that our friends up in the great white North at Silver Goose CX are hosting the 2018 Pan American Cyclocross Championships November 3rd & 4th at Little Lake Park, Midland Ontario. If you’re thinking about going please email us for discounted entries.
- 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!