Just ask any Gearhead racer what their favorite season of the year is and they will definitively reply, “Cyclocross season.” That was certainly the case last Sunday as the Gearheads took their efforts to the south suburbs at Dan Ryan Woods. The weather was exceptional. 65 degrees and sunny is not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon on a bike.
This was a true ‘cross racers’ course. There are some long stretches where you can show your road skills, hills, woods and just enough barriers. Or, as the Chicago Cyclocross Cup blog described the course: “Hills, bunny hops, food, hills, great weather, hills… oh and did we mention hills?”
The big questions each racer had to answer was, “Do I run up the hills and should I bunny hop the barriers?” We’re happy to report that for most of the Gearheads the answer was yes and yes.
The one challenge with the course was the dust. The course took the racers past the first hill and coming down, the course turned around some trees and offered some off camber sections. The dust would fill the air as the racers all past the drier sections of the course. When each racer would finish, the first task was to try and get that dust out of the mouth and nose. Old Style provided just the right remedy.
The crowd continues to grow at these races this year at the tent city set up by all the teams. The Gearheads selected a prime spot to see the racers passing by in front twice and two turns around trees on either side – nice and close to the action for prime heckling.
The tent hosted a food theme around Ocktoberfest. The racers all enjoyed beer brats and German braised pork. It was quite the hit with everyone – and even attracted several folks from other tents coming over to grab a taste. All are welcome at the Gearhead tent!
Joe “Pepe” Sullivan placed 11th in Juniors 15-18. Omar Patalinghug doubled up, taking 17th in Masters 40+ and 38th in Cat 3. Mike “Where ya been?” Slade placed 21st in Masters 50+. Andre Odenndaal took 31st in Cat 3.
In the Cat 4/5 race, Chip “the real racer” Sterrett, Russ Hoefer and James “glass in my tire” Hoefer placed 47th, 72nd and 93rd (or 21st, 28th and 34th out of the Cat 4’s in the race) respectively. Bill Barnes rocked the single speed for a 19th place finish.
For those of you playing along at home, several Gearheads are currently ranked in the CCC overall standings. Omar is currently ranked 14th in the 40+ division and 30th in 30+. Joe Sullivan is ranked 15th in Juniors 15-18. Bill Barnes is ranked 25th in the single speed division. Andre is 26th in Cat 3’s.
It was a tough race for the Gearheads this week and some ground was lost against the field for the team points. With 134 points, Gearheads are currently in 32nd place. We’ll keep plugging away. In the meantime, we’ll continue to have the most fun – and the best food – of any team out there!
Thank you go Catherine “CWAT” Watkins, who grabbed some awesome shots of the action after her own race.
Chicago Cyclocross Cup racing and the Gearheads return next Saturday for PsychoCross, promoted by our good friend Ted “T-bone” Schwitzer. This race at Golf Farms in Wauconda features the best flyover in the Midwest. Gearheads will be out at the race in full force so we encourage you to join us.
Look for an announcement from Higher Gear on a local race, November 9. It will be a first of its kind and definitely something to remember.
For more about cyclocross, the Chicago Cyclocross Cup and Gearhead Racing, see Gearhead Cyclocross. You’ll find the list of dates and races where Higher Gear will offer light mechanical support, moral support and sustenance there and on our Events Calendar.
If you haven’t picked up a Gearhead ‘cross kit, they’re in stock at both Higher Gear locations now.