There is no better place to start the 2012 cyclocross season than the South Side of Chicago. Early Sunday morning, the Higher Gear Gearhead Racing Team jumped in our cars and vans, loaded up our bikes, gear and cowbells and headed to the south shore for the first effort of the season. As we sailed down Lake Shore Drive, the blue of the lake brought a thrill. This is the land where a great city was born. We envision the legendary White City as we approach Jackson Park. History surrounds us. Excitement fills the air.
Then we then snapped out of it. It was time to race!
The racers approached the park to see the other racers warming up in the grassy sections along the Drive. The anticipation was building. With giddy excitement, the Gearheads unloaded their bikes, with the anticipation felt by children on Christmas morning. “I can’t wait to see the course,” and just then, wait. My sightline was eclipsed by what appears to be a large blue primate…
Gearheads don’t just show up. We arrive.
On the course, a nervous energy filled the air. First time racers began to contemplate, “What was I thinking?”
The change in course layout from the prior two years had even experienced riders thrown. All of the racers were trying to slip in a pre-ride of the course to understand how to navigate the newly routed terrain.
Back at the Higher Gear tent, we had got one thing under control: our hunger. You can’t turn your back on history. Harold’s Chicken Shack saw us through this race in the past.
The team raced across categories, from 3 to Juniors, 4As and 4B. Collectively, we accumulated over 110 points and sit in a good initial position among the top 15 teams. Some bruises (to bikes and limbs) did occur, yet all those will heal. People will surely be talking about the blue gorilla for a while.
All in all, we’re willing to call the day a success!