Happy Halloween

We can certainly paint a wicked picture of this Halloween with dark skies and the cold and blustery weather we have today. That just means you’ll have to put on a few more layers to enjoy your favorite sport. There are plenty of great events ahead, and a few chances to scare your opponents with a ghoulish costume. Check the listings below for your cycling options and don’t forget you get an extra hour of sleep on Sunday.

Events:

Estabrook Park Cross This is still one of my all-time favorite cross courses and it’s considered a classic, since it’s been around since 1996. It’s located in a Milwaukee park and it offers up natural elements to challenge your technical skills. To make things even more fun – at least after the race, they are offering free Hofbrau beer and Usinger sausage to all participants! For race information, click here.

Chicross Cup Race Series Event #6 – This week the series heads to St. Charles for Campton Cross, one of the original courses in the CCC series.  Although there will be plenty of suffering, you’ll be able to mask your pain and show your game face when you come dressed for Halloween. Don’t miss out on all the fun. For race details, click here.

Coming Up:

Chicross Cup Race Series Event #7 – Next week the series heads to Woodstock for the Psi-Clocross for Life race. This course has a variety of challenges including wooded downhills and climbs, wide open grass power sections, a few off camber turns and a volleyball pit. You’ll need all your skills to power your way through this course, but it should be fun. For race details, click here.

Camrock Cross – Head north to Cambridge, Wisconsin for another great cyclo-cross course. This race is held in Camrock Park, which is a 422 acre park with many outdoor options – including cycling! For details on the race, click here.

Sadie Hawkins Style Ride – This isn’t your typical bike race, but strategy, skill, style and teamwork will get you to the finish line ahead of your competitors. Sound interesting? Even better, the race is a fundraiser for the Chicago Women’s Health Center. Registration begins at 3pm in Palmer Square Park and the race will kick off at 4pm. Post-race activities include a dance beginning at 7:30pm. For event details, click here.

Have a spooktacular weekend!

happyhalloween

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The Blues Brothers

We’re well into the fall season and we’ve experienced low temperatures and rain in the last few weeks. This weekend, however, we’re going to get a taste of Indian summer, with temperatures in the 60’s! Yahoo!! Although a few cross racers might be disappointed in the lack of mud, there’ll be a lot of happy campers enjoying warm temps, dry conditions AND a clean bike! There’s no shortage of bike races this weekend, the only problem seems to be selecting which ones you’ll be racing. Take a look below for a last minute review of what’s ahead.

Events:

Rhythm & Blues Revue Cross Race – Jake and Ellwood will be travelling north of the City, making a stop in Evanston for the Rhythm & Blues Cross race. The race will be held on the Evanston-Wilmette Community Golf Course, which means you’re guaranteed to have a few power sections and sand! For details on the event, click here.

Camp Shaw Waw Nas See Cyclocross – It’s just a short drive south to this race, but for those looking for a course that’s designed with natural obstacles, this is for you. This location was even the Illinois State Cyclo-cross Championship location, many moons ago! For a little fun and off-road adventure, click here.

Halloween Cross – So many options this Saturday! For those thinking of heading north, Wisconsin has a holiday-themed race for you. This race is located in Milwaukee’s Washington Park, which is an urban ecology center.  It’ll be a fun-filled race, and you can hang out in this cool urban oasis when you’re done. For details on the event, click here.

Chicross Cup Race Series Event #5 – This week the series heads to Bartlett for ABD’s Sunrise Park. This course always features great technical design, but it’s also one of the longest in the series. No matter what distance or challenge this course throws at you, you’ll need to keep your composure, at least when you pass by the original Heckle Hill. For details on the race, click here.

Coming Up:

Estabrook Park Cross This is still one of my all-time favorite cross courses. It’s located in a beautiful Milwaukee park and offers up natural elements to challenge your technical skills. To make things even more fun – at least after the race, they are offering free Hofbrau beer and Usinger sausage to all participants! For race information, click here.

Chicross Cup Race Series Event #6 – Next week the series heads to St. Charles for Campton Cross, one of the original courses in the CCC series.  Although there will be plenty of suffering, you’ll be able to mask your pain and show your game face when you come dressed for Halloween. Don’t miss out on all the fun. For race details, click here.

Have a great weekend!BluesBrothers

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Big Marsh Mashdown

This week is dedicated to off-road riding, but last week I spent the week in Manchester, England participating in the UCI Worlds Master’s Track Cycling event. I went into the competition with the fear of the unknown. I was unfamiliar with the track, unfamiliar with the competition and a little unsure of myself and how prepared I was to compete at this level. I’ve returned home more inspired than ever to build this beautiful cycling discipline! In the Chicago area, we are very fortunate to have several velodromes nearby. If you haven’t made it out to try, you need to! Put it on your list of goals for next season and be part of this wonderful community of riders. For information on last week’s events, click here.

Whether you’re riding in the dirt, on the road or on a track, it’s all about having fun and being active. This week the fun continues with the local racing and fabulous outdoor opportunities. Read on for details!

Events:

Big Marsh Mashdown – Come out and join the fun at the Big Marsh Mashdown, an event to promote and raise funds for the Big Marsh Bike Park Project. It’ll be a day full of activities including wacky bike races, guided walking and bike tours and more. This site is being developed as Chicago’s first eco-recreation park. It will provide new space for outdoor activities, including cycling and hiking, and more importantly providing opportunities to those who may not have access to outdoor recreation. It’s located on the south side of the city, once dedicated to the steel industry. Be part of this wonderful conversion. For details on the event, click here.

Chicross Cup Race Series Event #4 – This week’s race is in Carpenter Park. The course will keep you on your toes, as it is designed with lots of twists and turns, power sections and a 7’ berm for climbing and descending. If that isn’t enough, there’s a cornfield, which includes a pump track section! When you’re race is over, there’s no need to rush home since this race is held in conjunction with Carpeterville’s Oktoberfest. There’s food, beer and even a petting zoo! For more information, click here.

Coming Up:

Rhythm & Blues Revue Cross Race – Jake and Ellwood will be travelling north of the City, making a stop in Evanston for the Rhythm & Blues Cross race. The race will be held on the Evanston-Wilmette Community Golf Course, which means you’re guaranteed to have a few power sections and sand! For details on the event, click here.

Chicross Cup Race Series Event #5 – Next week it’s off to Bartlett for ABD’s Sunrise Park course. This course always features great technical design, but it’s also one of the longest in the series. No matter the distance or challenge this course throws at you, you’ll need to keep your composure, at least when you pass by the original Heckle Hill. For details on the race, click here.

As always, have a great weekend and enjoy the great outdoors!

 Big Marsh Trail

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Corn Country Cross

Cornfield

There’s no slowing down this fall, with century rides and cyclo-cross racing a plenty! Last week’s first Chicross cup race had nearly 800 participants! This week offers up even more opportunities to ride and race. Check the details below for a listing of great cycling in our area.

Events:

Chicross Cup Race Series Event #2 – It’s corn country for this week’s Chicross cup race.  Dekalb’s Hopkins Park will feature the same figure 8 course including the flyover, which riders have come to know. What may change things up is the mud! The recent rain is bound to soften up the ground, changing the dynamics of this course. Don’t miss out on all the fun. For information on the course or race series, click here.

Cross-Shooshko – Head north to Milwaukee for a race that’s touted as, “a rolling, challenging course that will require skill, power and technical ability.” –wow! For race details, click here.

Pumpkin Pie Ride – Tis the season for century rides – and pumpkins and pie! This ride starts in Ottawa, near Starved Rock and is guaranteed to be a scenic fall ride. Ride routes include 28, 42, 63 and 103 mile loops. For information, click here.

Habhacwtbcx Funbanger – The fundraiser for West Town Bikes Cyclo-cross program is this Monday, October 6. Half Acre Beer and Half Acre Cycling are teaming up to generate support for this program which provides opportunities through cycling for those who might otherwise be left out. For more information on the event and West Town Bikes, click here.

Coming Up:

Chicross Cup Race Series Event #3 – Dan Ryan Woods is a gem of a park in the midst of urban Chicago. It serves up a great course for the series with plenty of grass, trees and a large ridge. There are power sections, twists and turns and climbing and descending. Sound like fun? For details on the event or the series, click here.

Pumpkin Cross –There’ll be pumpkins and beer, but there will also be a big climb, a slalom descent and gravel. Sounds like a great challenge with great post-race rewards. Are you in? For race information, click here.

Badger Prairie Cross – This site previously hosted Cyclo-cross Nationals. Although the location is the same, the promoters are offering up a new course. It’s located in Verona, Wisconsin. For information on the event, click here.

Big Marsh Mashdown – This wacky series of races is a fundraiser for the Big Marsh Bike Park Project. Come out to race or come out to check things out. This site is being developed as Chicago’s first eco-recreation park. It will provide new space for outdoor activities, including super-cool cycling activities. Can you say, pump track?? It’s located on the south side of the city, once dedicated to the steel industry. Be part of this wonderful conversion. For details on the event, click here.

Have a great weekend!

 

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Chicross Cup Begins

Chicago’s larger-than-life cross series begins this weekend and continues for the next two months. It’s all-out competition in a fun-filled environment. Grab your cowbell and let the heckling begin! From cross racing to century riding, there’s plenty of ways to enjoy this gorgeous weekend on your bike. Check below for details!

Events:

Fall Fling Race Series – The fall road series continues this weekend with one more criterium and a time trial. Saturday’s crit is the longest in the series and it features a hairpin turn. Sunday is one last chance to race against the clock in the 9.5 mile TT. For race series details, click here.

East Troy Twilight Cross – This race embodies working hard and having fun! A few of the races will be held during “typical” race hours and the others will be after dark. The promoters are readying the course with lights and other special effects – should be fun! For information on the event, click here.

Chicross Cup Race Series Event #1 – The first stop in this year’s race series is Caldwell Woods. This is a change from previous years in Jackson Park. It looks to be a monster of a course and a new opportunity to set the bar. For race series information, click here.

Blood Sweat & Tears Charity Ride – Another opportunity to enjoy a great fall day and cycling. You can ride as little as 5 miles or as much as 103. Whatever you do, you’ll be riding for a great cause as the ride funds benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. For details on the event, click here.

Coming Up:

Chicross Cup Race Series Event #2 – Next week’s race is in Dekalb’s Hopkins Park. This is a familiar stop on the circuit and typically has a figure 8 course as well as a flyover! Will the same be true for this year? You’ll find out soon enough! For race series information, click here.

Habhacwtbcx Funbanger – Confused? Don’t worry, it all makes sense when you figure out what’s going on!  Half Acre Beer and Half Acre Cycling are teaming up to put together a fundraiser for West Town Bikes Cyclo-cross program. West Town Bikes provides opportunities through cycling, including mentoring, sponsorship and coaching. It’s a chance to give someone a great outlet they might never have. It’s a win-win for all involved. For more information on the event and West Town Bikes, click here.

Have a great weekend!

Calewell Woods

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Cycling’s Fall Fling

It’s a transitional weekend for riding around here. Some are gearing up for the big cross season, others are hanging on to every last ounce of the road and track season, still others are just ready to kick back and enjoy a casual ride on a crisp fall day. Whatever your preference, there are plenty of options ahead.

Events:

Fall Fling Race Series – Not ready to throw the towel in on the road season? No worries, the ABD fall series will help fill that end of the season void with four fun-filled races. The first two will be held this weekend. The first course is held on a big square course just outside the Pella Windows factory. It’s fast and fun and not too technical. The second race is held across the road in an industrial park. The course is a little longer, and maybe a tad more technical, but lots of fun. For race details, click here.

Trek CXC Cup – It’s the 2nd annual 2-day Trek Collective Cup Cyclo- cross series being held in Waterloo, Wisconsin, which is home to Trek headquarters. The elite women’s race will feature Katie Compton, so racing and spectating will be fantastic! For more information, click here.

East Troy Twilight Cross – This race embodies working hard and having fun! A few of the races will be held during “typical” race hours and the others will be after dark. The promoters are readying the course with lights and other special effects – should be fun! For information on the event, click here.

North Shore Century – For those wanting to get out and just enjoy the scenery while getting in some miles, this ride is perfect! In its 30th year, the Evanston Bike Club has this event down to a science! Pick your route, either 25, 50, 62 (metric century) or the full 100 miles. For details on the event, click here.

Coming Up:

Chicross Cup Race Series Event #1 – The first stop in this year’s race series is Caldwell Woods. This is a change from previous years in Jackson Park, so it’s a new course and a new opportunity to set the bar. For race series information, click here.

Habhacwtbcx Funbanger – Confused? Don’t worry, it all makes sense when you figure out what’s going on!  Half Acre Beer and Half Acre Cycling are teaming up to put together a fundraiser for West Town Bikes Cyclo-cross program. West Town Bikes provides opportunities through cycling, including mentoring, sponsorship and coaching. It’s a chance to give someone a great outlet they might never have. It’s a win-win for all involved. For more information on the event and West Town Bikes, click here.

Have a great weekend!Fall Ride

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Chequamegon

Cheq 2014

It’s Chequamegon time again! Each September, me and thousands of other cyclists head to Hayward, Wisconsin for the Fat Tire Festival. The festival includes several races, but is highlighted by Saturday’s point-to-point 40 mile, and shorter 16 mile mountain bike races. This year has been a bit more challenging for the community, as last week a storm hit the area causing lots of damage including power outages, downed trees and flooding. The community has been working feverishly since the storm to clear the courses and make any necessary changes to the routes. There’s a “portage” area on the long course to pass high water and a slight divert off the Birkebeiner ski trail to protect the integrity of the trail, but other than that, the courses are ready for race day. The rest of the challenge is up to each of us to ride hard, fast and smart. Check out what Chequamegon is all about and check in on all your fellow Chicagoans participating this weekend. For information on the festival, click here.

If you’re home this weekend, there’s still plenty of riding. Check the listing below for upcoming options.

Events:

MATTS Season Finale – It’s the final time trial in the MATTS series and it’s located in Garden Prairie. The distance is 27K for all riders, except for Junior’s and 70+, who will race over a 20K loop. Get geared up and head out to the Rockford area for one more all-out effort. For details on the event, click here.

Coming Up:

Fall Fling Race Series – Not ready to throw the towel in on the road season? No worries, the ABD fall series will help fill that end of the season void with four fun-filled races. The first two will be held next weekend. The first course is held on a big square course just outside the Pella Windows factory. It’s fast and fun and not too technical. The second race is held across the road in an industrial park. The course is a little longer, and maybe a tad more technical, but lots of fun. For race details, click here.

Women’s Events:

Junior Girls Cyclo-Cross Clinic – Our local Chicago Cuttin Crew is teaming up with the organizer of the Trek CX Cup to provide the opportunity for young girls to learn about cyclo-cross racing! It’s an amazing opportunity to learn from the best women in the sport. Pass this along to all future cyclists and help continue to grow our sport! For details on the event, click here.

Have a great weekend!

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