Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tour de Midwest

Here I am sitting in my parents living room, stealing some neighbor's unlocked WiFi connection...yeah, the p's are running dial-up. Thank you neighbor.

I'm happy to be home, it's nice to just chill out in the house I grew up in. My mom's 60th birthday is this weekend, which is the main reason for my trip...I'm just happy she was born in the same time-frame as Superweek and the Chicago Criterium!

So tonight, after dinner, I'm hopping on the train from Naperville to Chicago to go crash on my old teammate (and college buddy) Eric's couch. We'll be hitting up two Superweek races together (the Racine and Kenosha Criteriums). If you are not familiar with Superweek, here's a quick (kind of comical) blurb I found on the event site:

The Point Premium Root Beer International Cycling Classic is world-class bicycle racing where you can enjoy entertainment that is exciting, easy, and FREE! The races are held on city streets or rural roads so there are plenty of good seats. You can stand inches away from the racers along the barriers near the announcer's stage and the Start/Finish line or bring a few lawn chairs or a picnic blanket and find a comfortable spot elsewhere on the course. Most of the race courses are less than a mile long, so the racers will pass by your location every couple minutes.

Once the race begins you'll see speed, LOTS of speed. In fact, you might be surprised by how many similarities there are between our races and stock car racing! You'll feel the rush of air when the riders pass by and see drafting, jostling, and even the occasional pileup. You'll even hear some of the same terminology.

In addition to the races, you can often enjoy live music, children's races, food, and other activities. However, the excitement during the races never lets up. Our race announcers will keep you informed as the race unfolds and there are many mid-race prizes, so when you hear a bell ring watch for the sprint! After the race is over, come over to the stage to see the awards presentations and get an autograph or two!

Here's my definition: 17 straight days of bike racing in Wisconsin and Chicago.

The Superweek Crits will be a good time. They are longer a normal Criterium at 40 and 45 miles (normal Category 3 Crits hover around 20-25 miles), so that should make things interesting for me...I've been concentrating all of my training around a 50 minute race, these will be about double....

My sister is throwing a 60th B-day party for my mom on Saturday, so I'll be taking a train out to the burbs, party and then train it back to the city to prepare for the Chicago Crit on Sunday morning. Flying back to SF on Monday evening.

The Chicago Crit will be a blast...the city is doing it up right, with jumbotrons and all (not sure if those will be up and running for us amateurs, but they will definitely make watching the Pro race a lot better. Also, the Cat 3 field limit is set at 200!!! Seriously.

So here are the course maps:
Racine, WI

Kenosha, WI

Chicago Criterium

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