December 9, 2007

32 Degrees

With only one week until Nationals I had to keep the legs opened up and fresh so I headed down to Illinois today for the Chicago Cross Cup and Illinois state championship. I haven't raced in the midwest for a while, and this is first time I can remember ever racing in Illinois.

Here in the midwest we are on the cutting edge of bicycle style and the double visor has been well perfected by me. I always look forward to the days I can double it up and today was looking good.
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Although with 10 minutes to start no snow or rain was falling so I decided windchill factor was more of a concern and opted for the Oakley Pilots I just scored, they were awesome.

There was about 4-6" of snow on the ground and they must of done a ton of work to shovel and clear parts of the course to make it rideable. If I could pick any type of course to race on, this would be it. Soft, almost slushy snow with icy, hardpacked grass underneath keeping you on your toes through every corner and really testing your ability to pedal hard while keeping the bike in a straight line. It's more of a 'point' your bike where you want it to go, but then let it drift around as long as it's in the direction your pointing, steering is not possible.
It reminded me of Nationals in RI on '05, cool backdrop of the beginning of the Chicago skyline, tight technical course with snow, and a couple long run ups set up back to back from each other which were really tough.
It was a really fun race and I was able to come away with the win. It was one of the best courses I've done in the midwest and had all the right elements of a true cross course even if it was dry, even better that the conditions were tough. Either way it truly tested your abilities and was well thought out.

Today I had soigner, and fiancee Jamie along taking pictures and having fun in the snow. Warm tea is the best after a cold cross race and today we had three thermoses. Next time I'm going to put warmup cream on Jamie's feet to see if that keeps them warmer than her boots did.

I have to thank Jamie for freezing out in the snow, Chicago Cross for a great race, and Planet Bike for warm beanies and making it happen.

Oh yeah, and all you Bears fans, the Packers won again.


joeyTWOwheels said...

We'll just see how far the Pack can make it this year. I think they're like the tallest short honor to be first, but not really.

Good luck at Nats and congrats on the win. I started the CCC a few years back and helped design the original course, much of which they still use. Glad to hear it is still well received.

julie said...

it was rad seeing you on the course with the local folks... word on the street was that you lapped the whole field. hells yeah.

Kyle J said...

Oh snap, looks like you have the makings of a sweet beard! You should defiantly roll with that, always worked well for me!

Good luck at Nats!

D A N O said...

I disagree.

You better shave that crap off.

D A N O said...

Oh, and nice to hear you pulled the trigger on the fiancee thing.

She did say yes, right?

BENDER said...

Dude, nice win in IL and good luck at NATS and also across the pond!

Jay Richards said...

Looks like fun. Nice job and good luck this weekend.

Butcher said...

Great job. Good luck at Nats and Euro camp.

Thanks for riding Salsa bikes!