Oehmen Report: Tuesday Night Crits

ast night i did the tues night criterium in Matteson. It takes place every tuesday and there are 3 races every time usually a 10 lap, 30 lap then another 10 lap at 1 K per lap. There are two group that race.. group a which are cat 1,2,3 and group B cat 4, 5 (boys & girls together) . They are on the course at the same time split up. The group a does the full amount of laps and we do less depending on how many times they pass us and we go with 2 laps to go and the A's sprint at 1 lap to go. It a more relaxed race because if the group passes you, you can hop back in.


Anyways i did this race a lot last year but this is my second time this year. Yesterday for the first race of 10 laps was the first time i stayed with the group the entire race and finished in the middle of the pack. I was so proud of myself. For the second race i was hoping to do the same but i was still out of breath from the first race and got thrown of the back in the first two laps. I wasn't able to recover from the first race to catch back on when they passed until 10 laps to go... then i was able to hang on.

I was also surprised that i did well because that morning i was still sore from doing the bike phycos ride on that Sunday.Thanks to my massage therapist for getting my legs back into shape.

So anyways there are 4 more left till it is over for the season and it is time for the fall fling.

Liz Oehmen


Keeley Report: Glencoe Criterium

It was nice to finally race on dry roads....on Sunday at least. I believe that Mr. Cogiat pretty well covered the report on Sherman Park. It was a nice trip, save the desperate search for an ATM in what was apparently the only 1 square mile of chicagoland without an atm. Oh well, the course was nice, XXX did an amazing job of keeping the course clear of water and the rain stopped right before our race.

On Sunday, my wife, two dogs, ABD tent, ABD med kit, ABD nutrition stash and all my various race-day supplies piled into the Beetle convertible and headed to Glencoe. Got the tent setup and headed to register. It was not open, so I changed and got my gear ready. By the time i got back to the registraion, there was a line of about 30 riders and it did not seem to be moving. It was now 25 mins. to race time and I had only ridden the block to registration. So, Oz and I stood there pretending not to be nervous and trading small talk. I did eventually get my numbers and got about 3 laps to warm up before it was time to line up.

During the spin I had a chance to chat Gary Rulo up while we spun the course (can there be a nicer guy out there?). We both noted how nice the course was, with some iffy roadway between turns 3 and 4. As for the turns, 1 and 3 were very easy and wide, turn 2 was a 90, but quite narrow. Turn 4 was quite acute and narrow. In fact, there was a bed sheet behind the hay bales naming it "Amen Corner," it was sponsored by the church on the corner. That was the last time i read that sign, I do not need another reason to fear the turn.

At the line I snagged a spot on the front row and took a glance over my shoulder. To my surprise, there were about 80 other riders in the race. 8am Sunday North Shore, who knew? I spotted Jason Addante of Team Endure-iT!/ABD Naperville branch as well as two of the three usual suspects from Spin Drs (Scott and Paul). Got a glimpse of Brian Hildreth and THE SARGE in the lineup and felt pretty good about our numbers.

The race began fairly quick. I took 2nd wheel around the course the first lap and tried to take turn 4 cleanly, it was nice and i decided that I would have to do whatever it took to stay top 10 to avoid the yo-yo effect as well as any potential danger. I did what I wanted to, won a mid race prime for chicago fire tix (club level, no less) and took 2nd just shy of Matt Smith's (Big Shark) front wheel.
Had a huge gap between races, so had a chance to catch other ABD'ers in action. Witnessed Sue Semaszczuk wailing on the womens 4 field, she would go on to take 3rd and Sead Duranovich sit in a great spot during the 5's only to be wiped out by another rider in turn 2 of the final lap (he was quoted later as saying "Man these 5's are gonna kill me!").

Dogs, wife and self went and hung at the park near the beach during the big wheel races and returned to the tent to realize that we had been ousted by none other than THE Erik Zabel! Well, it was a 3 YO kid in a full Milram kit (yes, bib shorts down to his ankles), sporting a brand new 3rd place medal he had won in the kids race. I think James Sneddon got a couple of good shots of it. Oh yeah, second race was the cat 4 race, we only had 36 or so in the field. Sneddon, Ben DeMong and Theo were all present for the affair. I am pretty sure that someone put something in Ben's Wheaties that morning, the guy was all over the road. In lap 2, he was off the front solo with a NICE gap. I moved to the front to do my duty and try to give him a chance. Unfortunately, they called a prime on the next lap....Ben held through the prime but was soon swallowed up. I ended up taking a later prime (case of vitamin water, donated to ben due to lack of space in the car). A break formed with Ricardo Otero from SSW and Matt Smith. It seemed pretty dangerous, but I was about 10 deep when they went off, so I was kida caught out. Next time through the start/finish I hear the familiar voice of Ben getting closer instructing me to hop on his wheel. I did so, just as he was flying up the left side of the road. I got up to speed, sat on his wheel for a few seconds and then headed to the break. Ben got back on the front and worked with a Turin guy to try to keep the pack at bay. I got to the brak about 1/2 lap later and was completely gassed. Ricardo was coming off a pull and I opened a gap for him so I could skip a pull (I am not sure he knew I was there yet, so my laziness may have gone unnoticed). With about 1 to go I took my final pull and got gapped, chased, latched on before turn 4 and then witnessed the eventual race winner (a guy from UIC that had won an earlier prime) scream by for the win. I took 5th right in front of DeMong in 6th and Sneddon in 14th. It was cool for a cat 4 break to actually stay away so long and to be part of it...Zabel helped me fold chairs and we headed home, a few more points in the bin and ready for cat 3 (...i hope).

-Tim Keeley


[UPDATED] Corgiat Report: Sherman Park's Mayor Speedy

While Keeley continues to amaze me with his ability to propel himself forward quickly on a bike, his prose need work. So I thought I would beat him to the punch on the race report for Sherman Park.

In typical Keeley/Corgiat fashion, we planned an early departure – 5:45 AM – to make the 8:00 AM Masters 30+ 4,5 (Turns out the race didn’t start till 8:45 AM - My bad – Tim tried to call me off the early departure time but I was in bed when he rang). Both of us are nervous as cats on race day and we both like to be there early to “warm up” and “scout the course”, but what I typically do is wander about aimlessly while Mayor Speedy meets and greets his many constituents. When I picked up Tim, it was raining. It rained the whole way down there. It rained while I wandered and Tim schmoozed. It stopped raining about an hour before the race(!).

The xXx boys don’t lie; Sherman Park is a great race venue, especially for new racers. The course is about a one mile oval with relatively good pavement and is plenty wide to accommodate the size of the fields that were racing. The only real hazard was some large and deep looking puddles that the xXx boys were working feverishly to shrink with a well-organized bucket brigade. The neighborhood looked a bit sketchy but everyone was very nice and I was comfortable the whole time. The biggest danger was glass on the roads surrounding the course – I saw at least two people puncture warming up and Tim ended up picking glass out of his tire at the end of the race. If you or a friend are ever thinking about racing for the first time, this is the course to cut your teeth on.

At the start line, there were about 30 racers. The Sarge was present and accounted for (you know all will be alright when you see the Sarge roll up) and Jason Parra, our stealth ABD rider, but otherwise ABD was light. Our three favorite Spin Drs, Scott, Paul, and Mike, were there as was Chris from WDT, and Matt from Big Shark. It seemed like the rest were sporting the white jerseys of xXx racing although I know there were others (I am sure Tim knows them).

The race whistle blew and I clipped in on the first try which is a small miracle based on my most recent races (it’s so nice not to have people swearing at you right from the start). The xXx boys went right to the front and drilled it. And this is pretty much how the whole race went. Like any good race, there was plenty of in-ride drama with a few breakaways, some near misses but no wrecks, hotly contested sprints for primes, and even some hotly contested sprints for primes when there were no primes (for the record, Scott V won that non-prime with a well-timed attack). When the end came, Mayor Speedy continued his recent unbeaten streak with Matt from Big Shark taking second and Chris from WDT taking third. I got sixth and won a prime. More importantly, I continued my unabated winning streak in the Men’s 40-44, Unincorporated Wheaton, Full Time Job, Three Kids, Hairy Legs, and a Beat Up Ridley Division, the only category that truly counts.

After the race, while waiting for Tim’s podium appearance (his hair was perfect!), we learned that the field was split with separate prizes for the 30+ and 40+. I thought I had heard an in-race announcement to that effect, but just attributed to the many voices I hear when I am in the throws of a lactic-acid induced haze. So, lo and behold, I got a check for a second place finish. Also caught out by the surprise split, Spin Doctor Paul was hanging out at his car while they were calling his name for the podium (Bueller…Bueller…….Bueller).

With regard to Mayor Speedy, he has been racing brilliantly. While he has always been fast, he is now racing-fit, more experienced, and, most importantly, confident. He knows he belongs at the front and he knows he can win the sprint. He follows wheels like a shadow and now has the experience and patience to sprint when it is time to sprint. CAT 3 racers, you have been warned.

Aside from the Mayor’s continued winning streak, the highlight of the day was meeting Luke, the webmaster for CBR, and catching up with Jeff Kao, celebrity cyclocross racer and mass media star. Great guys both, representing what is righteous and good about amateur bike racing. Their message is inclusive and fun, which is what bike racing and riding should be all about.

[Apparently, I had not yet cleared all the lactic acid when I wrote my race report. Mayor Speedy kindly phoned and corrected my ABD roll call. I somehow forgot John Stoltzfus, who lined up directly behind me at the start. John forgot his extra race wheels and flatted about four laps in. Then, to add insult to injury, he got left off my race report. The younger Stoltzfus (Justin) was able to restore the family’s good name with a win in the Juniors (I’ll bet he had extra race wheels in the pit…).
I also mixed up my Jasons, which is actually easy to do as both are really great guys. Jason Para rides for 2CC and is a cyclocross buddy. Jason Addante is our stealth ABD rider who works at Endure It Sports in Naperville.
A waste is a terrible thing to mind…]

Jay Corgiat


Cooper Report: Downers Grove

Last year was my first time at Downers and I was really looking foward to racing this fun course again. I got there early and set up and watched the rain clouds roll in. Ending my warm up while watching the womens race I decided (due to the rain) to not race my good wheels incase I get caught up in some carnage. I slapped my back ups on and rolled out to get a good position. We soon were off (unexpectdaly) and I clipped in, shoved down on the pedals and my chain was flying all over the rear cassette.... My good position was washed away in the rain as every one flew by while I tried and hoped the chain would catch a cog. I spent almost an entire lap riding like this till I found a cog and left it in. By this time I was in the rear with the gear and frustrated as I looked up to see a long stran of riders. I thought, man what luck, should I even contiue? Yeah I decided just don't shift. So I held on weaving in and out, following riders up and passing while riders started up the hill. When people would soft pedal down the hill catching their breath I was still hard charging, sprinting out of every turn. Soon enough I found my self in the top five with a few laps to go. With 2 to go I saw a guy take a flyer and not knowing there was a guy way out front I chased the flyer down thinking it was the decisive break. When it was my turn to pull going up hill I pedaled like I was stuck in the mud and not thinking I shifted. There goes all the mess again. The chain was flying all over the cassette. I sat up and fouind my self in 20th or so. I caught a cog and just left it weaved in and out again and when it came down to the wire I sprinted acrross the line in the top 10-15. I found out later that I misplaced a spacer when I changed the cassette the day before putting it in the wrong spot of the cog set leaving my 15+16t cog pressed together and throwing everything out of wack. If you are still reading this and you know how to get a hold of the people that made the results can you point me to them. I am no where in the results..... I emailed USCF in Libertyville but that is all I really know to do.

Talk to you later-Ryan

Keeley Report: Downer's Grove

So I have not written a race report since I was asked at the Winfield
registration "Hey, aren't you the guy that writes all of the long
But, I realize that it is just as easy to delete this muck if you do
not want to read it. Plus, I have always been interested in other's
race stories, so here goes:

DG Race Highlights:
First of all, ABD tent and ABD group: Way cool, good to see so many
clubbers out for the race!

Cat 3/4 Race: I am bad at estimating a field size, but know that we
did not have all of the 100 that signed up for the race at the line.
It was dry up until about 20 mins. before the race began, then came
the rains. I let some air out of my tires and lined up for the race.
I was chatting up a xxx rider in about the 5th row when we noticed
the race was beginning (no whistle and many others were not aware of
the start). I took about 3 attempts to clip in, which I am usually
good at. I finally got chugging and found myself mid-pack. I took it
pretty conservative for the first 2 laps, sizing up the field and more
importantly, the slick turns. I was beginning to make up some spots
and would say I was probably about 20-30 deep when a wreck occurred in
turn 1. I was thinking of laying it down to take the free lap, as I
practically had to stop to avoid the carnage, but thought better and
weaved my way through. It took about a lap and a half, but I did
rejoin the field. by then I was good and cooked and was just happy to
finish the race off with a bit of a sprint, but was not really
contesting much and took 26th. I felt good about it though, as I am
never good at holding a hard pace for long and that is what I had to
do to catch back on.

Cat 4/5 30+: I had told my wife earlier in the week that if she had
to pick a race to watch, this would be it. After the debacle in Elk
Grove, I had little confidence that I could navigate my way with the
3/4 field. I had discussed with Jay Corgiat about leading him out
into a flyer on the stretch between turns 2 and 3 about 15 mins. into
the race and then hoping for some help on the blocking front, beyond
that I was looking to stay up front out of trouble and look for
openings in the field sprint. I started right on the line in a large
field, but again not quite the 100 that signed up. I luckily had
brought 2 full kits so I was somewhat dry at the onset of the race
(except my shoes had about 3 gallons of water in them still). I again
had issues with the clip-in, oh well. By turn 2 I was back at the
front and I led over the hill at turn 3 and through the rest of the
first lap. I actually had a small gap coming out of turn 8 and
decided to give a few kicks to see if the gap may grow. It did not,
but I did get my name announced as I crossed first (if only Busteed
and his smooth vocals were doing the race...). The next 6 or so laps
saw a couple of breaks form, but nothing too special and I kept myself
in the top 5 the whole time, which was nice, as we took the turns
smooth and quick. Jay had moved into the top 8 riders and I asked him
a few times if he was ready, he kept saying "not yet." I guess on the
next lap he said "let's go now," but i was getting a drink and gave
him a "deer in the headlights" look. So, we did our fancy little move
on the next lap. i jumped too hard, backed off, jay latched on, we
went again and I pull aside right before the hill on turn 3. Jay got
about 30 meters and held it for 1/2 a lap and then a massive chase
began on both sides of me. All i could do was jump with them and
watch as Jay pulled back into about 8th wheel. Almost immediately xxx
did the same thing that Jay and I did, but most of the folks up front
were either too tired or not concerned enough to chase. The one guy
got off and built close to a 10 second lead on us with 2 to go. Jay
marched back to the front, I sat on his wheel and he pulled all of us
right back to the breaker. It was nice to have someone with the
stones to throw his finish chances in the trash for the sake of
brining the field back. Once I saw that, I knew I had to play my
cards right and make sure his work was not in vain. With one to go,
he was swarmed and we both dropped back a bit. I was able to regain
position and was top 5 by the top of the hill on the back stretch.
Coming out of turn 6, Voytek from WDT came charging up the inside from
about 10th position, I latched on and we were able to take the front
prior to turn 7. We took a wide, fast line through the last two turns
and had a nice 10 meter gap as we entered the finishing straight.
When I saw the gap, I knew I had a chance, especially since I had done
0 work to get there. I stood up and gave 3 strong cranks, each
resulting in a wild fishtail of my rear wheel. I then settled down
and slowly ramped it up, moving around him with about 100 meters to go
and finished about 2-3 bikes up. Had it been dry, i may have raised
my arms, but I opted for a few fist pumps and a smile...never before
has 65 and rainy felt so good. I won some money and a medal and the
even interviewed me on the podium. I am not sure anyone really cares
what the cat 4/5 30+ under 6 ft. tall crit champ has to say, but it
was cool nonetheless. Till next time...


Keeley Report: Elk Grove Village

I have not posted a race report in a while, so I may lack the style and grace which the likes of a Jessi may write, but here goes:

(no, i did not improperly cut and paste this report, that is all I can say about the race).

Oh, and kudos to Joel Crouch, 10th place in a field of 130+ mostly frothing at the mouth 3/4's, are you kidding me!?!!?? The dude has a nose for the front of the pack.

Tim K.


Prinner Report: Superweek

Hey all,

There is nothing that fulfills a bike racer’s dream more than two weeks of nonstop racing on the most flat, hilly, dangerous, fast, tricky and exciting courses you might ever find in the U.S. against fiercest competitors and most torrential weather to contend with. One can just simply wake up in the morning and have the strongest urge to hurt themselves and decide to head on down the road to the race-of-the- day and find themselves in a whole world of pain beyond any masochist’s wildest dream. Welcome to Superweek.

The person who decided to call it Superweek is a horrible liar. It’s not as if one week of muscle-grinding, lung-wrenching pain is enough to send any cyclist off into Crazy World. Oh no, the title Superweek is beyond cruel in that it is actually over two weeks long, enough to drive a cyclist so insane they’re nearly three times as likely to be found singing their bicycles to sleep with lullabies or reading to it a happy little storybook. Not that I don’t do that already…

Anyway, my first race of the “week” started in Evanston, with the women’s Pro, cat. 1,2,3 race. To say that the race was “pretty fast” would be an understatement, because in truth it was so blazing fast that scorch marks could be seen on the road after our race. Or maybe that’s just how I viewed it. There were definitely some blazing fast women there, though, and even a squad of Australian women with names like Skye-Lee Armstrong and She-Man (or at least that’s what she should have been named). I clawed on for dear life but soon found myself at the back growing more and more cross-eyed with each lap, panting with dismay as I glanced at the speed-machine bl inking 27mph-29mph- 28mph with each lap. Hey, there’s a reason I don’t look at my own speedometer during a race. With two laps to go I pulled out as the pack disappeared in the far distance, waving my fist at the sky and swearing to be back next year.

Two days later I was hammering up a hill in the women’s 3/4 crit in Cedarburg. It was at this race that I finally trashed my old nickname of Crashzalot and earned a new one—the Attackanator. Of all the attacks that occurred in this race, I accounted for roughly half of them. After about the fifth or sixth attack my competitors were starting to comment in a bored tone, “ *sigh* There she goes again ladies”. By the end my competitors were calling me “That Crazy Girl”, but I prefer The Attackanator. It just seems to have a certain malicious ring to it, wouldn’t you agree? ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas- microsoft- com:office: office" />

In the end, none of my 184 attacks had prevailed, so it came down to a sprint where I took fourth place.

Another two days after that I was sitting on the line of the flat Kenosha course, or more commonly known as Fast Food Folks and Spokes. The race started at 48 laps. Would anybody like to guess when I attacked? That’s right! 45 laps to go! Now would anybody like to guess how many laps I was off the front with a small breakaway group? That’s right again! 45 laps! The next time I attack with 45 laps to go would somebody do me a huge favor and perhaps stick a metal rod in my spokes?

Anyway, it was roughly 15 laps to go that a chase group of two caught our break of three, making a breakaway of five in total. As it came down to the final laps of the race, the peloton came into view, and everyone in the break agreed not to catch the field because it would surely be extremely squirrelly one the last lap. There were two super strong sprinters in the break with me, so felt a daring move would be necessary for the win, and with 1.5 laps to go I attacked and gapped the four other riders. Victory was just in sight—one lap to go, half a lap to go

…I wish I could stop here where I sound like an absolute superstar, but I’ll make the ending as quick as possible…

but the group caught me and I got fifth. Better luck next time.

The next day I lined up for the Heritage square crit in Milwalkee, ambitious to succeed this time. So I’m racing along and bump handlebars with another lady; no problem, right? Wrong. She panicked and took us both down. So much for The Attackanator.

I’m not disappointed, though, it’s been a good week of racing, and now I’m on lucky helmet number seven (whoohoo!).

And this weekend I look forward to Greyslake and Elgin crits!