Slip & Slide!
This weekend marked the first of the Chicago Cyclocross Cup’s two double-race weekends. Saturday was PsychoCross up in Wauconda. Sunday’s race was in Carpentersville. The weekend’s races finally brought an element to cx that we’ve been sorely missing as of late: rain!
Combine the excitement of a bike race with uninhibited thrill of the Slip & Slide from your youth and the sheer madness of mud volleyball and you can start to imagine what this weekend’s Chicago Cyclocross Cup racing was all about.
The Higher Gear Gearhead cyclocross team packed up the tent and the troops and headed north Saturday. Festivities were already under way at Golf Farms in Wauconda as PsychoCross began Friday evening with a night race. A few Gearheads got to test our their lumens and legs at the PsychoCross After Dark. The rest of us arrived Saturday morning, our blue and yellow kits a welcome splash of color against the backdrop of a grey sky.
The PsychoCross course got rave reviews from all. “Spectacular” and “super fun” were used to describe the layout. The course had lots of variation – wood chips, a sand pit, long fast stretches and plenty of technical switchbacks. And the infamous flyover, arguably the best in Midwest ‘cross racing!
The Gearheads fared well on Saturday. There were lots of smiles as the racers navigated their bikes through the slick and muddy conditions. Nancy raced strong in Women’s 1/2/3. Andre posted strong results in Cat 3 along. Scott K and Russ held their own in the 4B race. In fact, this was the best showing of the season so far for Scott K and Russ. Jeff rode hard and worked up a thirst for his post-ride Old Style. The Juniors were represented by Pepe (Joe), who rode hard, and two new racers, Gerard and Patrick.
The energy around the Mystery Machine was great and the grill was going strong. In honor of Ted T-Bone Schweitzer, Gearheads were treated to – what else? – grilled rib-eye steaks.
Everyone was covered in mud. A few of the racers had blood trickling down their legs. None of that could ruin the spirit of the day. In fact, it may have added to it. As Gearhead team captain, Andre, put it, “First ‘proper’ cross race today. Rain, mud and wind, love it!” Sweat, blood and mud. A hard effort followed by good eats. This is what Gearhead racing is all about!
On Sunday, several of the Gearheads went out to represent in Carpentersville which proved to be an “epic” race – complete with storms, tornado warnings and lots of mud.
Maxwell scored good points in the Juniors and is moving up the rankings. Nancy is consistently coming in top 15 and is now sitting 7 overall in the Women’s 3’s. Thomas and Andre raced the 3’s, which kicked off in the beginning of the storm.
Kudos to the three 4b racers who raced in terrible conditions at the end of the day. Driving wind, bucketing rain and a course that was not ride-able in places. Mike Slade did pretty well to score points in the 4a’s, and then ground his way up from a mid pack 4b start to finish 5th, Russ and Catherine just put their heads down and rode hard, both finished strong. There were 24 DNS’s – so just lining up to start was an effort in those conditions!
After this weekend’s hard effort, the Gearheads find themselves in 16th place in the CCC. Not bad for a team in its second year who has as much fun as we do!
Our next race is out in Barlett for ABD Sunrise Park. Bartlett is where it all began for the Higher Gear Gearhead racing team three years ago. If you haven’t joined us yet, it is not too late in the season to jump on your bike, bring out the family and have a fun-filled day of racing.
Stay current with the Gearheads antics and see more race photos from Dan Ryan Woods on our Facebook page.