[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

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