The Cat. 4's at Monsters of the Midway

I guess the cliche you always hear is that there are good days and bad days on the bike. Boy is that true. The difference between last week's USCF Cat 5 race in Vernon Hills and yesterday's Cat 4 Monsters was night and day for me.

Summary last week... rode in front during the first lap, blew up, and rode off the back for 5 laps. Bad day of epic proportions. The bright side of course was the ABD Victory by Jay Corgiat and top finish by Ryan 'Coop' Cooper. Nice job guys.

As a result of my bad day last week, I went into the Monster's Cat 4 with sub zero confidence. My only goal was to keep rubber side down and hang on the best I could. Well, apparently Mother's Day "All you can eat brunch" is a good way to fuel up for a race. I was able to ride a good position throughout the race even after starting the first lap in the back. The race was a bit shakey from the start, due to the off the start crash, but it evened out pretty well after that. Thanks to Ryan Cooper who let me ride his wheel and keep pace in the top 20 for a good portion of the race. I can also second Tim's observation that not having to deal with the yo'yo effect conserved energy like Al Gore.

Back to the race, after 30 mintues in, I felt a bit squirely, so I thought about trying something into the wind but thankfully Tim went crusing by on the outside just like he stole something..... ffeeww, i'd probably blown up and spent the last 20 mintues getting lapped by the field. I'm glad Tim was strong enough to go out front and recover. Nice work Tim. No one really controlled the action yesterday. There was one Apache guy who was off the front for a lap or two mixed in with a mish mosh of folks feeling the field out and fighting for prems. XXX had the numbers and took some good top 10 spots, but didn't really do anything tactical but just sit in. Between Brandon, Ryan, Tim, and Ben, ABD had a great showing in the field. Thanks for letting me hang in there guys. I think some real good stuff lays ahead for the ABD 4's this year.

Take Care,

Chris K.

Because I am pretty new to racing every time I write a report it is
like a map of what I learn so I hope ya'll don't mind. So what was it
this time? No matter how well you do at conserving energy through out
the race it is for the birds if you are not in the right spot at the
right time of the race to use it all and finish like an all-star. For
instance this race was very easy stay out of the head wind try to
corner smooth and coming out of that turn let someone pull you up the
field and repeat. I stayed up towards the front to monitor for a
break and watch people barrel away at the wind. So on the final lap
out of turn 2 I knew that before that next turn break away. As this
plan ran through my head, too late, another rider voiced his same plan
to another rider. I thought this was great another free ride but no.
Instantly I was over taken by a wave of riders from the back, totally
boxed in. I eventually made it out, cut the corner sharp, very sharp,
actually is table toping a corner illegal or bad form either way it
somewhat worked. Out of turn 4 I ended up being 20 back because of
being boxed and sprinted up to finish 8th. So I learned also not to
wait for someone to break away, just do it. Hmm did that sound like a
Nike add? Anyways thanks to Chris for handing me a mid race water
bottle because mine fell out and Jeff awesome break away and fantastic
job on the sprint!


Jackie Reports from Sugarloaf Raod Races

Saturday I traveled to Clermont, Florida to compete in my long
anticipated and hard trained for event the Sugarloaf Road Race. This
is one of the most difficult road race courses in Florida. It
contains 900 feet of climbing per lap and the finish is on the
infamous Sugarloaf "mountain" which has an average grade of 12%. All
the women were combined and we were doing 42 miles around the
difficult 11 mile loop. Of course they had to torture us by setting
us off the last race of the day at 2:15 pm when the temperatures were
pushing 100 degrees! After sitting in the intense heat and roasting
like chickens in an oven for about twenty minutes they finally set us
off. The group stayed together for the first lap until we climbed
Sugarloaf. I stayed up in the top five as we kept a steady pace
driving up the hill. When we got up towards the top I looked back;
there was a gap with me and five other riders off the front. I went
up to the front and drove the pace over the hill then rotated back.
We then had a substantial lead over the pack where they were no
longer in sight. We kept a rotating pace line for the remainder of
the race. On the next two laps we dropped two more riders leaving us
with four for the finish. I felt relaxed and collective the whole
race until the final lap when I started to get horrible cramps in my
calves. I worked them out but when I stood up they would start to
tighten up again. Finally the finish approached up the final climb
which seemed longer since I knew the end of the race was at the top.
I was sitting in last position for the start of the hill. As we
continued up I moved to second position. When the finish line was in
sight I pushed my legs as hard as I could manage without them
literally falling off. I started to come around the lead lady when
she stood up and gave a few hard pedal strokes (a few harder than I
had). I came across the line second place only about a bike length
off of first.

Sunday was a flat, curvy, 2 mile circuit course only a mile
from the course the day before. Again we started late in the day at
1:30pm. We had a few attacks go off the front by Kristin Sanders of
Aaron's Furnishings but I chased them down and the group would catch
us. When there was about 25 minutes left in the 45min race Kristin
made a sneaky attack off the right side and I knew this was the
decisive one where she would stay and time trial to victory. I made
an explosive sprint out of my saddle and bridged up to her. When I
looked back the group was barely in sight. We worked together for
the remainder of the race staying away from the peleton. In the
sprint she beat me and again I placed second.

I had a great weekend with two consistent finishes.
Until the next race,


Vernon Hills Grand Prix

My buddy and I were talking last week and we came to the conclusion,
well he told me, in order to get better at racing you need to test
your self and see what you can do in and outside of races. With this
in mind I went in to this races with a some objectives. The first was
not to worry about winning because what is important to me is to test
strengths and weaknesses during the race. 2. Attempt break ways and
see how long you can hold them and then recover. 3 Watch wind and
pack position. 4 Weave in and out and move up and back inside the
peloton not on the outside.

So before the start the ABD guys (Chris, Jay, and Brandon) discussed
a strategy. But just like life things don't allways work as planned.
So I decided it was a good time to test my solo break. I jumped
about an 1/8th from the front and dug in as hard as I could go for the
first minute and from there I picked up a nice cadence and settled in.
On the 4th lap of the solo break I sat up to get caught by the 1st
chase group and then drifted back to the next group of 5. Jay and I
hung out for a while and I started to wonder if the 2 man group ahead
was thinking about getting away. So to test the recovery I bridged up
to close the gap and all was well. With this group of 7 or so it was
a lot easier to weave through what little pack there was.
Unfortunatly they were not working together and the guy who was
pulling us dropped off the front not to mention the road hazards of
Coltavia who forced another rider into the curb (I guess the just took
his training wheels off). The pace started to slow because it seemed
like no one wanted to be out front. The last lap bell rang and the
pace was still moderate and I was getting frustrated, even though I
was in a good position I really wanted a work out so I flew off the
front again but this time with out any snap. (Probably due to the
4.5hr tempo ride from Clarendon Hills to Yorkville the day before)With
a sram guy on my wheel and Jay right behind him all was well. I dug
in again and got to the final turn where I blew up and pulled off
where the sram guy, who for the life of him would not pull through
earlier in the race, was forced to be in front leading Jay out where
Jay swooped around snatching first. I looked behind me and there was
no one so I sat up and coasted in for a 5th place finish. Good job Jay!

Welcome to the Jungle

And another weekend full of fun and bikes has just whizzed by me yet
again. Saturday I woke up bright and early to ride (in the car) many hours
to the faraway land of Baraboo, which is located deep within the
Amazon Jungle of course. There were many obstacles that sought out
to deter me, but to no avail, for I was bright eyed and motivated
that day because I had had my caffeine fix. There were spiders as
big as my head, anacondas leaping from every tree, and mosquitoes
attacking relentlessly, not to mention it was roughly 40 degrees out
and showering on and off.

The wind was fierce and the native cannibals were eyeing
Susan (my brave teammate) and I as we lined up at the roughly drawn
start line for the 2 lap, 30 mile race of our lives through the thick
and mighty Amazon. About 20 women were there as well staring us
down, and I knew they would be of no aid in this dangerous
adventure. There were several teams there as well, ready to risk
their own lives for the sake of their kin.

The race started and I was shivering uncontrollably from the
biting cold, my arms shaking so bad I almost ran into a tree (which
I'm sure was surrounded by masses of deadly poisen ivy vines and
other people-eating plants). I made sure to stay near Susan, who was
reliable and made sure we were in the safety of the front. At about
2 miles in, the first Monster hill loomed before us, and one
Dairyland lady took it as an opportunity and attacked. I
instinctively withdrew my machete in defensive mode and caught the
attack's rear end, and was soon off on my own horrifying expedition
with just two other women. I, being a shriveling coward (who did not
want to be abandoned to be eaten by God knows what in this hell-
hole), clung to the back of this break with all the pitiful humanly
strength I had. What seemed like many days later, I was still
traveling with the break, all of us working together to survive the
treacherous obstacles that seemed to leap from every root and tree.
By the end, my legs were exhausted and I was filthy with dirt
and fleas after two giant hills (faced twice each) and many grueling
hours battling with the forces of nature. But alas! The end is in
sight! I lurched from my saddle with glee and pounded with all the
puny strength I still possessed and still managed to get passed by
both women at the line. I had risked life and limb for many days for
that 3rd place, but not even that was more disheartening than
discovering you only earned $20 in doing so. I think we should get
the cannibals to sponsor us.

After scraping the thick layers of grime off with a spatula,
I showed up the next day to meet Susan at the flat, square, windy
course of Vernon Hills Grand Prix. Indeed it was quite a fancy title
for a race only eight women showed up to. And not only did they lie
in the "Grand" part, but also in the "Hills" part as well, for I only
saw one gradual incline (which was of course into a head wind as

Just several laps into the race I caught my big break
(figuratively and literally) as I bridged to two women in a breakaway
and we worked together to keep the field of all five riders at bay.
It wasn't long before the field was out of view, and I was now
officially subject to whatever evil tortures these women devised (or
whatever evil tortures I forced upon myself). It then came down to
the final bell: Lady one attacked on the back straight and Lady 2
and I caught on and held her wheel for dear life. Lady one turned
out to be more or less a very good lead out person (though she didn't
know this) and I sprinted past her to the line to achieve 1st,
beating Lady 2 by a healthy margin.

And now for the finale: At Baraboo congrats to Susan
Peithman, my trusty teammate who braved the fierce Amazon all by
herself for ten miles alone as she chased the leaders, fending off
beasts larger than trees with only a pocket knife and a waterbottle
to finish 8th, her boyfriend Joel who made some strong moves earlier
in his race and finished with the pack, and Conrad Witt who placed
very well in the jrs. At Vernon Hills congrats again to Susan who
soloed it to a 4th, Sue Semaszczuk for an awesome 3rd in the womens
4s, Marilyn Powell for a 2nd in the 40+ women, Alex Bowden for a 3rd
in the cat. 3s, and I think there was another ABD jr. there as well,
so we shall applaud him/her.

Till next time…


Prinner Report: Whitnall Park & Kenosha

Hello ABDers,
This past weekend didn't quite turn out as planned…the Iowa City
races had to be substituted for some Wisconsin races due to
"inconveniences". "Inconveniences" meaning "I have to spend time
with relatives once in a great while".

So I regretfully abandoned my teammate Susan Peithman 3 hours away
in the land of Iowa and instead journeyed the much shorter distance
to the Whitnall park crit. This being my first time in this race I
was pleasantly surprised to find the course actually had a hill, and
not just a little "incline" (or "bump in the road") that everyone
always claims to be a "monster hill".

So all eight women started off the line down the steep descent down
into "The Pits of Hell" where a giant puddle of water resided and a
tricky devilish turn awaited us at the end, which then lead us on
our long, treacherous 3-hill ascent on the "Stairway to Heaven".
Most women wanted to earn their wings faster, so they would attack
each other in hopes of gaining approval from the Gods of the race,
who sat waiting at the Holy line, ready to dish out King of the
Mountain points for the first three ladies across the Holy line at
the sound of the Sacred bell. King of the Mountain points would only
be offered three times during the race, so I knew my energy must be
used wisely. Of course I didn't use my energy wisely and attacked
really hard to gain a huge gap o the field, only to be caught on the
next lap (when the Sacred bell, which didn't seem so sacred anymore,
was rung) ready to puke and keel over dead. Despite that, though, I
managed to earn second place points twice during the race, hoping it
would be enough to finally earn my wings so that I could just fly
over the darn hill.

In the end, I sprinted to a close 3rd place, also earning 3rd place
in the King of the Mountain. It didn't earn my wings, but heck, I
can do with waterbottles and cliffbars. The next day as I previewed
the wide &windy, pancake-flat square course of Kenosha the first
thing that came to mind was "airplane runway". Maybe those wings
could have come in handy. Only about 8-10 women had showed up for
this race, so I knew a breakaway would probably be more efficient
than trying to sit in and draft. From just two laps in there was a
breakaway and we all just let her go as we looked around expecting
each other to chase. At about a 1/3 of the way in she had gained
over a minute, and the field was too busy having a tea party to
notice. I don't like tea much (I prefer coffee with all its
caffeinated goodness) so I attacked into the headwind and quickly
formed a 3-women chase group. These women seemed to be having a very
tough time, so I played along acting as if I were absolutely
exhausted, when in fact I was having a tea party myself. But, again,
I don't like tea much, so it wasn't long before I attacked again at
the same place as the first time and got away to chase solo. About a
lap later I passed the break and continued to ride in circles until
the end when I sprinted against my invisible competitors and won the
race by a mere margin as I threw my bike across the line and beat
Miss Nobody for 1st. All in all I was very happy with my weekend, and
must also congratulate Susan Peithman and her boyfriend Joel for a
fun and awesome result at Iowa (something like 7th and 7th in the
RR?), the 5 cat. 4s who raced at Kenosha (sorry guys, can't recall
each name), Rich Mstowski for persevering through his super hard
race, and Mike Redlich (the jr) for finishing strong in a vigorously
tough junior race.

Till next time…

Cooper Report: Kenosha Crit

It was pretty windy up in Kenosha this weekend but the weather was
great! I have never been to this race so I was not sure what to
expect. I figured I would work on weaving through the pack, not the
usual blast up the gutter move but something a little more
elegant..ahem I am a cat 4 and all. I was happy that it was windy so
I could work on pack placement though. And the fact that the wind was
blowing pretty hard was great because I was immediately aware when I
was not in the right place. My other goal was to be up close enough
to the front to keep an eye on any breakaways and to avoid the slinky
effect. All my goals were accomplished so lets move to the decisive

With 2 laps to go the pace finally picked up and I casually went from
10th to 5th (or so, I was not actually counting) making sure I was
where I should be as the pack started to string out. When we came
around the 4th turn on the 2nd to last lap it got a little slow and
an attempted break away into the wind popped off with a Lot guy on
his wheel. The attempted died shortly after and the Lot guy
slingshoted around him turning the corner out of the headwind. At
this time I am passing the 3rd and 4th guy because they were
dislocated in the break and lucky me am going solo in the wind. I
look under my arm and I notice the bright white Jersey of another Lot
guy. Well here it goes lets go all out and expect nothing from my man
on my wheel (can ya blame him?) I thought to my self don't look back
the race is up front just lay the hammer down. Smooth sailing feeling
good I am closing the gap bit by bit but is it going to be closed in
time? Final turn down the straight it was only a matter of time
before I get sprinted off of (I was getting played) I looked under my
arm where is he? Block right, left, right ouch he got me on the left
and I cruise in for a solid 3rd.

There are some things that I thought of afterwards that I should have
done but it is what I learned that really matters. See ya'll this