Monday, July 28, 2008

Chicago Crit, and Hoping It's Not a One and Out.

pic: Bernard & Jesse try bribing Devon into racing the Men's 4s.

Thanks to everyone who raced, watched, and stumbled upon the inaugural Chicago Criterium on Sunday. In what appeared to be an almost overly polished production (read: testing the waters for the Olympics) the day-long event offered a reasonably exciting course, some decent racing, and excellent free entertainment, if not sufficient shade. Title sponsor ING was giving out chilled water in fancy little bottles, rides in a hot air balloon, and orange cowbells, to boot.

I counted at least ten UCVC racers this day: Suchandra and Rob in full kit, with the remainder in lime green, black, or orange for their summer teams. Better yet, the points ride crew arrived, maroon akimbo... and another twenty or so friends/children/spouses-of came to watch and wonder.

Let's just hope they do it again next year. And if not, the next Monsters director should try to borrow that hot air balloon...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Chicago Crit. No excuses.

Come out and watch the most spectacular bike race in Chicago this season: the Chicago Criterium. Click on the link to see the schedule of races. This is the first time the city puts on this particular race, and who knows if they'll ever do it again.

When: This Sunday
Where: Grant Park (the finish line is on Columbus, right by Buckingham Fountain)
Who: The very best from the Chicago cycling scene and beyond. (Including Team Tati. Advice: Watch the clockwork orange at their best in the men's 4 race. I believe Liz will be racing in the women's 4 too.)

And if this doesn't convince you, this will: Jumbotron. That's right. The city is installing a giant screen for your viewing pleasure. Watch the riders sprint, bridge, corner and suffer to the max, in the maximum possible size.

Aside from the finish line area, I would recommend turns 2 (Michigan Av with Jackson) and 4 (Columbus with Balbo) for spectators. Watch cyclists take those downhill turns screaming fast, and probably some live crash porn. The hard kind. (Hopefully none of us Tatitos/UCVCers will star in that movie.)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Evanston Crit

Photos courtesy of J~ my low res shots were not nearly as good...

The cat 4/5 lineup. Note Liam front left in TATI orange looking down. Were it not for the folks who should be in Cat 4 or higher, Liam would have had a podium spot.


Liam in action:


And Jess, in a race I didn't see


Points Ride July 20

We had a nice leisurely ride north, with a few other people on the path (including some Fleet Feet runners), but it wasn't as crazy as expected! Then up to Evanston to watch the racers. Great job! Super fun.

See you on the trail~
jeremy

Points ride classification-July 21

Below is the classification of the points ride, as of last weekend. Sorry I didn't post an update last week.


Classement générale (top 15) - 20 juillet

Points

Miles
1
Elisabet
45
310
2
Jeremy
42
290
3
Joe
38
345
4
Francisco
32
240
5
Dan
28
205
6
Bernard
26
190
7
Mickey
26
190
8
Jesse
24
120
9
Araba
23
120
10
Joel
22
205
11
Philippe
22
205
12
Jonathan
19
85
13
Suchandra
19
85
14
Charlie
18
170
15
Sarah
18
105

Friday, July 18, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

This Sunday in Chicagoland

Enjoy a beautiful day of bicycle racing this Sunday (July 20). Evanston is putting on its annual Northwestern Healthcare Grand Prix, part of the prestigious International Cycling Classic/Superweek series.

The organizers have put together an excellent website, including a guide on how to watch a criterium race. The course is smack in the middle of town, so you'll have plenty of coffee shops and outdoor seating to enjoy the festivities in comfort. (Leave the sweating and puffing to the racers...)

I would say that this is one of the two big events within rideable distance of Hyde Park this summer, so don't miss it! (The other one is the Chicago Criterium, on July 27.)

The morning and early afternoon will see the lower category races. Tati will be present at the Men's Cat 4/5 race at 9:00am, with its trio of creamsicles Liam, Dan and Bernard, provided that the former two recover from their recent injuries (I am not ok yet). (Warning: the race might be delayed a few minutes.) Then the duo of tangerines Carly and Liz will make their appearance at 1:00pm in the women's 3/4 race. I presume that our stars Devon and Aspen will be there too, albeit in Get a Grip colors. And we might even have one or two guys racing for UCVC. Cheer for them all.

There will be some sort of concert/dancing with live music at 3.00pm, kids races also at 3.00pm, and the pro races after 4.00pm.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Misc

As its title suggests, "Training and Racing with a Power Meter" is a training guide for wattheads. People familiar with the book tell me, however, that it's a good read for the workouts, even if you don't have a power meter. Only $14 on Amazon.

Hat tip to Tim H., who swears by Fausto Coppi that this book is better than the Training Bible.

* * *

After riding the Panaracer Ribmos for a while (ok, only two days), I confirmed my suspicions: these are not tires for racing bikes. It's not just the weight, it's that they feel very different from regular road tires. I knew they would offer very high rolling resistance and poor acceleration--that's to be expected. What makes them unacceptable for me is the uncomfortable sensation they provide when leaning into a turn: the transition from the center to the side of the tire is sharp and unexpected. This is perhaps due to a big change in the thickness of the tire or in the composition of the rubber, or perhaps to the "pointy" shape of the cross-section, I'm not sure.

There's no point in training on a tire that doesn't corner at all like racing tires do. They might perform better with slightly wider rims, but I'm not sure. If you get lots of flats or absolutely hate ever having a flat, stick with Schwalbe Stelvio Plus. They offer superb protection without sacrificing as much in terms of performance as the Panaracers do. Reserve the Ribmo's for your commuter bike.

Regarding racing tires, Dan may have found the optimal combination of speed, grip, and puncture protection. He set up his bike with a Schwalbe Ultremo in the front, for speed and unparalleled grip among clinchers, and a Panaracer Extreme Duro in the back, for better puncture protection while keeping weight and grip within acceptable limits. Maybe he can share his impressions (or maybe I will, since I've copied his setup).


Weight (g)
Price
Panaracer Ribmo360
~$30
Schwalbe Stelvio Plus
310
~$42
Schwalbe Ultremo
190
~$45
Panaracer Extreme Duro
240
~$26

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Le Tour live and free (in English)

http://www.justin.tv/giac2007

UPDATE (7/22/2007): the link no longer works, at least today. I read on steephill.tv that ASO, the Tour organizers, forced steephill to remove their link to justin.tv, because it's unofficial streaming of the Eurosport broadcast.

Oh well... You can still see live video from Eurosport. Go here, scroll down to "Le Direct: Live Video" and click on the Eurosport video link.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Points ride-June 29

Joe is slowly clawing his way into the top of the classification. He's now number 4, tied with Dan in points. (It certainly helps Joe that the Tati folks are busy with their strenuous training rides on weekends now.) The ranking is still commanded by Elisabeth, in spite of skipping this weekend's ride.

Only three people came to the latest ride (perhaps due to the anticipated rain?). Our brave riders endured rain and heat going north (and then south) to cover 70 miles. The hero of the day was Andreas, who rode longer than he ever has. He's now 23rd, with 11 points and 105 miles. Will our Greek man make it to the top ten?

Next weekend we put a hiatus in the series of points rides, since many folks will probably take advantage of the 4th of July holiday to go on a long weekend out of the city. We'll resume activities the weekend of 12-13 of July. We'll send an e-mail.



Classement générale (top 15) - 29 juin

Points

Miles
1
Elisabet
41
275
2
Jeremy
36
240
3
Francisco
32
240
4
Joe
28
260
5
Dan
28
205
6
Bernard
26
190
7
Mickey
26
190
8
Jesse
24
120
9
Araba
23
120
10
Joel
22
205
11
Philippe
22
205
12
Jonathan
19
85
13
Suchandra
19
85
14
Charlie
18
170
15
Sarah
18
105

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Fun rides

Recreational riders, here are two websites with calendars of rides (some centuries, but also some longer and shorter ones):
-Mike's Illinois Bicycle Rides (rides in IL)
-Midwest Bike Rides (rides in IL, IN, WI, MN, IA, MO, OH and MI)