Wednesday, November 19, 2008

We have moved!

The UCVC blog has moved here. Please keep visiting us! Don't forget to update your RSS feed.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Thanks Saris!

After coming off of a strong 2007 season, the UCVC had its eyes set on another successful season for 2008.  The club attracted a record number of 90 members this year, ranging from elite racers to newbie’s having recently acquired road bikes.  The enthusiasm and skills of our racing members promised a successful season ahead for the collegiate racing team.

The biggest obstacle that we face at the University of Chicago is the endless winter that begins as early as October and can last well into April. A good 6 months of icy bike paths and frigid temps is enough to wipe out early season enthusiasm that forms under the sunny skies and beautiful weather of September.  In the past, group rides fizzled out as temperatures became unbearable and our riders were left to figure out how to stay in shape and get ready for the first collegiate races on their own. 

Luckily, this year we had a generous Saris Sponsorship to help us form team indoor training sessions.  With a fleet of Fluid2 Trainers and Aluminum Rollers, UCVC indoor training sessions began!  For some it was their first indoor riding experience on trainers, and for many it was their first attempt at rollers (which aren’t as hard as they look).  Often riding inside can be a gloomy winter experience, but being able to ride together with teammates made for fun times.

Winter training helped the team come together and kept the enthusiasm for racing high throughout the winter.  We had a record 9 riders come out to the first race in March, with 5 racers competing in their first ever road race!  We even came home from the weekend with two 1st place finishes and a 3rd and a 4th.  (Thanks to the Saris racks, we were able to easily transport the bikes to all our races!)  The success continued throughout the season for our racers, with 23 top-five finishes overall.  The strong results were enough for our team to win the D2 MWCCC Championship!  In addition, we had one rider win the women’s D2 MWCCC Championship and sent 3 riders to nationals. 

All of our Collegiate National Participants spent the season training on Cyclops Powertaps.  For Aspen Gorry and Carly Schuster, it was their first time competing at Nationals.  Devon Haskell returned after finishing 4th overall at last year’s nationals.  This year she came in 4th in the criterium and won the road race.  Her placings earned her the Omnium National Championship! 

Overall, UCVC has had their best year to date.  Thanks again for the Saris sponsorship.  The quality trainers, high-tech power taps, and easy to use racks certainly helped us in our successful season.

UCVC gives their pre-race prediction as they warm up on Cyclops Fluid Trainers

Saris trainers are great for warming up on cold days...

... and for downtown crits when there are no good roads to warm up on...

Thanks Saris!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Lights, Lamps, and Shorter Days

Heya folks! As you all know, the days are getting rather short, and I think this week may be the last that super early into work will allow for ride time afterwads... or at least daylight ride time. I am thinking that as long as the roads are dry and temperatures not too unreasonable, a nighttime ride wouldn't be the worst thing. Do any of you have suggestions on lamps, headlight, and lights? I don't want to break the bank. I do want to be safe!

Also, a friend recently wrote of another woman in her cyclocross race, 'She was living in the cottage of wattage.' I really liked that term.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Guest Speakers

Last night I attended a meeting of CU's cycling team as I recently discovered I am allowed to race in the conference season in the Rocky Mountain region. The team's size is huge, which is really cool to see, and they have regular Monday night meetings. They often line up 'guest speakers' for these meetings, people who agree to come in and talk to the team about different cycling-related subjects from bike fits and physical therapy to nutrition to competing internationally. Boulder is an easy area to find such people, certainly, but this idea struck me as something cool for the good ol' UCVC to consider. I bet there are UCVC'ers who know people who would want to do this, and it never hurts to ask someone. I know J. is running a series of workshops for beginners and has done a ton for cycling in Hyde Park, and this could be another way to increase knowledge and enthusiasm about cycling.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I got back to my mountain biking ways a couple of weekends ago at the Palos Meltdown out in the forest preserves west of town on top of the Manhattan Project detritus. Hosted by CAMBR, the great guys who keep Palos well-kept, and a shop called Richard's Bicycles out in Palos Heights. I haven't raced mtb in 4 years, so I went out to try and get back into the groove of mtb racing, which pretty much means dealing with pain for the duration of the race. At the sport class call-up I Lined up in front sporting my trusty Schlitz jersey, sprinted like hell to get into the single track in 5th position, and then settled in to dealing with the pain for the next 1.25 hours. Passed a couple of guys and was rolling with XXX'er Greg Heck (who's hosting the Jackson Park X race this Sunday) and we worked our way through the 20-29 field that had started 2 minutes ahead. He was on a rigid 29'er which turned out to be a great choice for this course. On the big grass sections he steadily pulled away and I dug deep to catch him again on the technical backside. Unfortunately, as soon as I made contact cramps set in, and it was all damage control until the finish. I held off a hard-charging Guinness rider and ended up with 2nd place in the 30-39 age goup - not bad for the first race back. I rolled around easy to get the cramps out, congratulated the other guys from my mtb posse and promptly went to get a hamburger and coke with my wife. I was gone eating when they did the awards ceremony, but when I got back they took my picture alone on the podium (above). Kinda like the Flemish saying, "no one else in the picture"... but not really. Nice crowd, great promoters, good times. 

Monday, September 15, 2008

UCVC: First Forays into the Chicago Cyclocross Cup

In honor of this weekend's opening of the Chicago Cyclocross Cup, I am posting photos featuring Thomas Berube, Andrew Nicholson, Pat Kelly, and Jon Tenney from the first UCVC team forays into cyclocross . If you look closely you will find proof that the Ironman will make me skinny, that the XXX-Athletico jersey have improved greatly over the years, cross can be raced with a 3,000-pound mountain bike, and Thomas was, in fact, a racer.

All of the pictures were taken during the 2003-04 season, which I believe was the first season of the Chicago Cup. The first four were taken at the Wheeling race with the remainder taken at Jackson Park. Tenney and Berube had matching bicycles courtesy of Get A Grip Cycles and Cannondale.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Make Sure to Train This Winter

Don't end up like these guys (or me). They would not be good at pedaling a bike. Maybe they could eat the tires.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Result of the sox poll

Assuming that the price of the socks is between $10 and $15, how many pairs of socks would you buy? Total votes: 30
  • One pair of each kind: 14 (47%)
  • Two pairs of each kind: 2 (7%)
  • Three pairs in total: 5 (17%)
  • Four pairs in total: 3 (10%)
  • Five pairs in total: 0 (0%)
  • More than five pairs: 0 (0%)
  • Just one pair: 4 (13%)
  • No socks at all: 2 (7%)

Which kind of sock would you prefer? Total votes: 31
  • Tall socks (4''): 10 (32%)
  • Crew socks (2''): 18 (58%)
  • I would buy both: 3 (10%)

The poll is now closed.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sox poll

IMPORTANT!! I (Francisco) changed the poll, because the first time I forgot to include some relevant options. You should vote again, if you did it before Friday 8/29 7:00 AM. The poll has been reset. Sorry about the changes.

The club is making custom socks and we'd like to know your opinion before we order. The socks are made by DeFeet and customized with the school's and/or club's colors and logos. We will have two designs available, both cool-looking, but different. They're not male- or female-specific. The socks can be used for running or other sports too.

Please don't vote more than once. If you have any questions, please ask Devon or Carly. Thanks.

The poll is now closed.