– Juniors! You are again enjoying free race entry this year thanks to EJ’s Place in Skokie. However, if you do not have an annual USAC Road/Track/CX license you will still need to purchase a one day license at each race for $10. Still, not a bad deal!
– Just a reminder, any and all upgrades need to be done through the our local technical director (Dave Fowkes). You can apply for upgrades on your USA cycling rider profile page. You will only be allowed to race in your designated CX category. USAC rules state that you are allowed to race down one CX category from your Road category. However, cross is technically considered a road category, so unfortunately annual USAC mountain bike racing licenses do not count too… and you’ll have to either purchase a road/track/CX licnense ($60) or race on a one day license ($10). Either way, we highly recommend purchasing an annual USAC license if you don’t already have one. You also will NOT be eligible to win the State Championship jersey without an annual license. UPDATE: Sorry for the confusion, both road AND mountain bike annual licenses are good for racing cross!!! But you’ll still have to race in the CX category on your annual license.
– We anticipate yet another growth spurt in our rider base for 2009 and are planning on challenging our riders again by creating courses that will prepare them for the national and other regional races. Even though nationals are in Bend, OR this year one of our goals is to encourage as many riders as possible to participate in the USA Cycling National CX Championships (Dec 10-13) to show the rest of the country that midwest cross is just as competitive as East and West coast.
– CX practices: We’ve heard of others, but these are the CX practices we “officially” know about. Please remember to respect all parks and fellow recreators when practicing!
Pony Shop (Wednesdays, 6pm) in James Park, Evanston.
Bicycle Heaven (Tuesdays, 6:15pm) – Starts Sept 15th. The shop is at the corner of Rt 25 and Rt 38 in downtown Geneva (12 East State St., Geneva, 60134). It is all bike path with a course on grass at the ½ point as a kind of pseudo and very short race. It’s a tempo ride other than the grass course section and the whole shebang lasts for about 1:45. Find the route here.
MOX (Wednesday, 6pm) in Chicago. New bike shop MOX has introductory sessions… see the website for more info.
– Got Single Speed? The Hopkins CX race in DeKlab hosted by North Central Cyclery and Half Acre Cycling will have a Single Speed/Fixed Gear category run at the same time as the women Cat 4 and Juniors races (high noon). We’ll call it the “Unofficial” IL State SS CX Championship. However that the SS/FG race is not a part of the CCC and will not be scored for the overall. NCC will have separate prizes for the SS/FG crowd… NCC also has some other goodies in store for us including boots, t-shirts, and cowbells.
Some (more) fun from the East Coast.
hat tip: Newt
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– If you missed the earlier announcement last week… xXx Racing received all of their permits for the first CCC race of the season at Jackson Park and registration is live and open on BikeReg.com. Please pre-register as it makes all our lives a lot less hectic on race day and help the officials tabulate results much more quickly!
– The South Chicago Wheelmen are moving their venue from the South Chicago Lansing venue to the North West suburbs Hilton Indian Lakes Resort. That’s right… crossing it up on a golf course! Fairways, sand pits, rough, maybe some hybrid Kentucky Bluegrass, but hopefully no gophers. While final details are still in the works, the Wheelmen promise to have lots of fun in store for us this year, including a title sponsor of Fat Tire! Registration is live and open here on BikeReg.com.
– More big news… Beverly Bike Vee-Pak (of professional CX video fame) have stepped up and will be hosting a race at the newest CCC venue on 10/11/09 in the Dan Ryan Woods. We unfortunately lost our Hawthorn Woods venue but are very excited for BBVP to be the newest CCC promoter. Look for more details soon. Online registration will of course be on BikeReg and will be up and running soon.
– In still more venue news, Garner Northbrook & Flatlandia continue to meet with the folks up in Northbrook to try and bring the November 8th date back to that park. Promoter Chris Henning tells us however that if the race is approved to expect even bigger and better things than last year!
– CX Magazine ran a great article last week on gluing CX Tubular Tires, written by none other than New England CX Junior Phenom Nick Keogh. Of if you want to go the Belgian way, Stu Thorne of CyclocrossWorld.com offers his tips and tricks. But if you’re not up to the task yourself, we know a guy up in Evanston who glues a lot of tubies. Then again, for many of you, “thinking before you glue” might be a good idea. But if you still want a set of sew-ups, Rob Curtis from Bicycle Heaven has some killer deals on hand built tubular wheel sets… check them out at Psimet.com.
– Speaking of, we haven’t heard directly from any of you with pix of your new or refurbished CX rigs, but it seems more than a few people are getting some fancy new bikes. We can’t wait to see them all in action in just a few short weeks!
– The Illinois Institute of Technology will be hosting a Swap and Hop on Saturday October 24th. Admission is $5 at the door. Sell your old gear, pick up some new (or “pre-owned”) stuff, and learn some cross skills. Details at SwapandHop.com.
– Still wondering how to get on and off your bike properly? Looking for a little competition to test yourself? Or just looking for some more CX fitness (read: puking on your handlebars)? Burnham Racing holds informal cross practice in Humboldt Park on Tuesday and Thursday evenings starting ~5:45pm complete with barriers. Stop by if you want a nice mid-week ride.
– And finally, there’s a new team in town called Rhythm Racing and they are our newest CCC family member. Rhythm Racing, headed by Lew Chin & John Villena, will be providing neutral support at all CCC races throughout the season starting after Jackson Park (where Get A Grip will be wrenching). Please note RR’s neutral support is free of charge before and after your race but NOT during your race. All CCC races are run under USAC CX rules which state you can NOT accept help from others during a race… so the pit is always wheels in, wheels out (or bikes in, bikes out for all you Masters and P12 racers). Rhythm Racing will help you get ready for your race, or help to assess any carnage afterwards, but they will NOT be supplying spare wheels, pedals, seat posts, stems, bars, or anything else that happens to jiggle loose during the race. Also, please do not show up on race day and except the Rhythm Racing guys to rebuild your bike. Please be friendly and thankful, and remember these guys are helping all CCC racers. Many thanks to Lew, John, and the entire Rhythm Racing team!
Several of you have asked questions regarding pre-registration and the increased costs for the Chicago Cyclocross Cup (CCC) this season so we’d like to address them all here.
- First off, thank you all for racing and for all of your comments. Not to sound cliché but the CCC truly values all of your opinions and we try to improve the CCC every year based on rider input. We want to have the most challenging and fun CX series as possible and your feedback is absolutely essential for us to deliver on that idea.
- None of the CCC directors, promoters, or volunteers are compensated for their work and none of us are forced to do what we do. We all are involved because we love ‘cross and want to have a lot of fun. In addition to jobs, families, etc (and occasionally playing in the dirt ourselves) there is a lot of hard work that goes into making the CCC happen every year and there are only so many of us. We encourage anyone who is unsatisfied or wants to help to get involved with the CCC.
- The number one complaint we heard from racers in 2008 (besides the lack of mud?) were that results were both untimely and incorrect. While overall there weren’t really that many issues, the CCC is making every effort this year to have results done correctly first… and then also quickly after the end of each race. Remember the officials are standing out in the cold all day (you only have to race for less than an hour) and basically volunteering too (their compensation is ridiculously small). Keeping track of 75 riders all over a cross course is not an easy thing to do. If you doubt it, we invite you to try it some time.
- Which brings us to pre-registration. Compiling results does not start when the first person crosses the finish line, but rather when the first person registers for the race. Preregistration is not, and will likely never be, mandatory for any CCC race. But just as the ICA did on the road this summer, the CCC is trying to incentivize as many people as possible to pre-reg, to make the entire registration through results process better. The basic idea is “Garbage In, Garbage Out”. If we can’t read your chicken scratch handwriting on the release form, how can we be expected to score you in a race?
- So what’s the catch? All fields (excluding juniors) will see a $5 increases in online registration from last year. Remember though that all CCC races have deeply discounted 2nd races… for only $10. We know this only really applies to masters racers and Cat 3’s, but we think being able to do two quality races for $40 within an hour drive from the city is a pretty good deal.
- The nice round number of $5 was chosen to incorporate both the additional $1 USAC insurance fee charged to the promoter (up from $2 in 2008 to $3 in 2009) and the $2.80 BikeReg service fee. All CCC promoters will be absorbing the BikeReg online service charge so at the end of the day, the promoter is only gaining an extra $1.20. We could have asked promoters to increase their fees by $3.80, but we simply didn’t want anyone fumbling around for change in the cold in registration line while 20 other people are waiting behind… plus there would be no economic incentive to register online.
- Anyone who has ever been promoted a race knows that bike races operate on the slimmest of margins. Even with an additional $1.20 per racer, no promoter is going to get rich and those additional monies are eventually plowed back into the race to make it a better event. If your gripe is that the promoters will be making more profit, remember that day-of registrations always bring in more money for the promoter since there is no online service fee and there is also an additional $5 late fee. So why wouldn’t you pre-reg?
- Also remember that for most teams/clubs their race is their main fund raiser. In some cases (Woodstock) all of the profits go to charity, and in many cases the promoters are donating portions of registration fees back to World Bicycle Relief.
- While probably 90% of you have used BikeReg for a road race this summer, we realize there may be a few hold outs. If you need help using BikeReg, shoot us an email at ChicagoCrossCup@gmail.com and we’ll gladly help you through the process. However, we choose BikeReg.com because we think its hands down the easiest online registration site to use… and we know you’re all smart people anyway… why else would you be racing your bike in the dirt and mud in sub-zero temperatures?
- BikeReg.com was chosen as the Illinois Cycling Association’s preferred online registration site after an extensive due diligence process to find the best online provider. While most online registration sites are similar in many ways, BikeReg is unique in that it:- Focuses only on bicycle racing (i.e. not running, triathlons, etc.), Has a dedicated section of their site for the ICA (look for Illinois Cycling Assoc logo on the main page) and hence the CCC, Has many other relationships with local USAC associations, teams, and event series (including several CX series), and most importantly, Is giving back $0.25 of each racer service fee to the ICA to be put towards things like safety equipment, state championship jerseys, finish line cameras, computers, etc. So in a way, your registration dollars are coming back to you.
I hope the above points have helped you to understand why the CCC is using BikeReg.com this season and why there is an increase in registration fees.
If you have any questions, concerns, ideas, or just want to get involved, don’t hesitate to contact us directly at ChicagoCrossCup@gmail.com!
Director – Chicago Cyclocross Cup
ICA Registration & Results Coordinator
Here’s something that just never seems to get old… CX bloopers… this week courtesy of the Oregon Cross Crusade.
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Just go to BikeReg.com and navigate to CycloCross/Midwest.
The nice folks at BikeReg have added the CCC logo to all our races so they’re even easier to find… not that it was hard in the first place!
Just another friendly reminder… make sure your BikeReg rider profile is up to date so we can keep track of you and give you the points you’re working hard to earn.
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– Felt issues recall on 2007/2008 CX bikes.
– New this year the CCC we’ll be keeping track of team standings. That’s right… you and your teammates will be competing for the best all around team. Complete rules will be posted to the Series Rules and FAQ page soon, but here’s the general idea… The overall series points from the top 5 riders (men/women/juniors/masters) for each team will be combined and ranked. If you race more than one category (i.e. Cat 3 & Masters 30+) only your highest point total counts towards the team competition. We haven’t done the math, but a certain team in green probably would have won last year… does anyone dare challenge them this year?
– Winning isn’t always everything though… but here’s a guy who has done it a few times. Watch, learn, then go practice!
– We’ve mentioned it a few other places, but we’ve been fielding a few questions recently regarding online pre-registration for CCC races. We’re still working out the permits with the parks and villages for most of the races, but Yes, we will have online pre-reg for all CCC races on BikeReg.com. We’ll put up notices and links here on the CCC site for each race as soon as registration is open (or scheduled to open), and you’ll be able to recognize CCC races by the little blue logo next to each race. That being said, please head over to BikeReg.com now and make sure your rider profile is up to date with your correct USAC license #, CX category, Team name, Emergency contact info, etc. Updating this info now will make all our lives much easier this season.
– Planet Bike just signed a rider to their squad. She’s won a few times herself.
– They’re not a sponsor, and we’re not sure we’ve ever even seen a set here in Chicago, but there are new CX wheels out there.
– And finally… cross in August?