Sunday, March 23, 2008

Cafe De Luca Ride

As you can tell from previous posts, the weekend's team ride did not turn out to be a bust...it actually got better. We planned to do the Judson Ride, which starts up in Evanston and rolls north from there...it meets at 8am. This is a great ride that brings out all of the Chicago hammer heads from all teams to beat up on each other. I woke up at about 6am, looked out the window, snapped that picture below (it turned out horrible, but it's a snow-covered street...a few inches) and then went back to sleep thinking that the day would end up on a trainer over at the Get a Grip Cycles Fit Studio.

When I re-woke up at 10:30/11am the sun was out and the streets were clear! We called around and organized a Get a Grip Team ride to roll out at 12:30 and do my favorite Chicago ride - The Cafe De Luca Ride. This is a much better route (my opinion), but the Judson would have been nice to see all of the other friends I have in the Chicago cycling scene. I guess I can't have everything.

Eric, Steve, Jon, Cesar, Uwe, DJ and I headed out for a cold and windy ride. These guys are ready for the season...Steve was a total hammer-head and the rest of the gang held on in a strong fashion. If you are reading this and heading to the Hillsboro-Roubaix, watch out for the green goblins.

The bike I borrowed from the shop was great, though I could not get used to the SRAM group for the life of me. I kept shifting the wrong way and also nearly dropped my chain a few times. I also REALLY missed the sweeping action that Campagnolo provides. I can see Shimano people switching to SRAM, but once you go Campy you won't go back.

Anyway - Here's the Cafe De Luca Ride/Route:

Saturday, March 22, 2008

At The Ride's End

Finished Product

It worked! My feet stayed warm.

Step 2

Heavy duty foil and duct tape

Winterizing Shoes

More to come

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Hooked Up!

Get a Grip Cycles in Chicago hooked me up with a phat loaner bike for tomorrow's ride - System Six with SRAM Force. They did my bike fit last year and have my digits saved, so this loaner is dialed in specifically for me. Talk about a top-notch shop - Get a Grip gets my vote!

If you find your way to Chicago, you have to stop in and check the shop out. Either location is worth the trip... One is in Irving Park and the other is downtown.

Now I just hope it is dry tomorrow.


I'm remembering what cold, snow and wind feel like.

View From The Train

On my way to the city. Hope this snow stops soon.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Easter Weekend

I'm flying back to Chicago this weekend to see my family and friends. Last time I was back home was in October, so it's definitely been a while and I'm pretty excited.

On the to-do list for my trip:

- Hang with family
- Hang with friends
- Pequod's Pizza (my favorite Chicago-style pizza)
- Visit my old shop (Get A Grip Cycles) to say hi and pick up the bike they are letting me borrow for the weekend
- Freeze my ass off Saturday morning on the "Judson Ride"- Possibly do the Cafe Di Luca Ride (not-likely because of the whole Easter thing)

Are Chicago bars smoke free now?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The New Kit

Active Athlete / Squadra Ovest

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lemon Meringue Pie


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Saturday, March 8, 2008

Menlo Park Criterium

Today was the Menlo Park Criterium. The Cat 3 race was to be 45 minutes, but was cut down to 30 minutes due to crashes (yes plural) in the earlier races - more on that below...

We had about 80 - 90 in the Cat 3 event. Active Athlete/Squadra Ovest had 5 in this race, Carmi, Murat, Ryan, Geoff and myself. Unfortunately, Aaron, Dino and Dan could not join us due to the earlier mentioned crashes. I should also mention that we were able to race in our new kits (arrived yesterday) and they look sweet!

This race stayed together for the most part. There was a decent headwind on the Start/Finish straight that helped kill the breakaway attempts. I did get out with 3 others for about a lap and a half, but a prime killed that attempt. Ryan was on the case though and jumped around everyone to snatch up the prime. Other than that there really were not any other breakaways. The race came down to a mass sprint and I was able to pull in 14th...not bad, but I should have done much better - I felt way to good towards the end.

OK, so here's the deal on the crashes. Promoters and race set up peeps, pay attention. Please try not to build the announcer's booth ON the road...it creates a nasty bottleneck. I'm showcasing my superior Microsoft Paint skills with the below picture. The viewpoint is from about 1,000 ft up, looking straight down on the Start/Finish line. Ideally, the two rectangles (booth and the structure that helps hold the overhead banner) should be off of the road. If you can't do that, then at least use many more cones and make the bottleneck much more gradual and have it start much earlier. That's my $0.02.Aaron and Dino were both involved in a nasty crash when a racer tried to advance a bit too far just before this bottleneck...when he swung back in it caused chaos. Aaron's body took it hard and Dino's bike bit the dust, so please pour a little out of your water bottle on your next ride in their honor. I'm hoping that they both make speedy recovery's and get back racing soon. I mentioned that Dan didn't race either...he was waiting for Aaron's call from the hospital and had to skip out on the Cat 3 race.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Saturday of Meetings = Office Trainer

Long day of meetings. Just finished one movie...downloading LOST for the second hour.
The landlord downstairs doesn't like the trainer humm, so I have it here at the office.