Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! DeMong's Cross Primer

What Does ABD Cyclocross look like:
I've been slacking on race reporting during this cross season but wanted get something out there for the group before we hold our Cyclocross race on Sunday in Bartlett.  Your ABD Cross unit consists of mostly Masters Men and Woman.  Currently a strong portion of our Woman's Team is on the disabled list with some injuries, heal up ladies.  Our team would easily accept anyone on 2 wheels Sunday as it promises to be a fun event.  As for performance, we have had some decent results and you are more likely to see us in the front 1/3 of the race than the back 2/3rds.  

What Cross is:
For those of you who didn't get the bug or gist of cross from Rich's previous account, which described the event and evidently Jason and my "slow" efforts over some dirt mounds.  I would love to judge Rich's style of riding but for the record I have never actually seen him pedal a bike. (JOKE, kind of)  CycloCross is the intersecting point of Road and Mountain biking and each of them have brought a friend to the party:  Pain and Suffering.  It's redline from the gun, it's a pretty tough workout but it is probably the most fun I have had on 2 wheels.  The crowds are great and the smile they bring to your face helps numb the pain.  For example last year, the small mound in the middle of the course in Bartlett last year was topped with a couch, people on megaphones and enough hipsters to consider it a rally.  It has unofficially been referred to as "Heckler Hill" recently.  They spent there day cheering, handing out bacon, dollar bills or insults; and if you were lucky, all of the above.  At Cross races you are always allowed to let your freak flag fly.  Whether you are someone who enjoys the thrill of a great race or the carnage of a series of crashes; you can have it all in Bartlett on Sunday.

If you wanted to race cross and don't know where to start:
It doesn't take much to toe the start line!  All it really takes is a mountain bike or if you really feel like it a cross bike.  Although no bike company has tons of different models of Cross bikes, Trek/Gary Fisher have numerous Cross bikes at various price points.  I have gotten everything that I am riding on (Bike, Wheels, Tires) through Prairie Path and I know Mike, Mary Lee and the Gang would be happy to get you rolling.  I think you would be surprised at how low the cost of getting rolling is if you don't have a mountain bike hanging in the garage.  Also, for you time trialists out there, the dominant cycling clothing involved in Cross is the Skinsuit and what better way is there to increase the ROI on that sexy Onesie than a few more races.  In all honesty, you could actually just wear you skinsuit to watch, you wouldn't be the most unusually dressed person.  

See you Sunday!
The 2 enduring factors that go along with ABD are the top notch events we put on and the people that make up our club.  The Captain of ABD Cyclocross Jim Nowak will have the course set for the throw down on Sunday, so we know the event will be great.  We would love to see everyone out there cheering, heckling, racing or volunteering; come take a look to see what it is all about.  It is an extremely family friendly good time.

Take care,

Bob Marshall Report: Crystal Lake Duathlon

After battling a soleus injury pretty much all season, and even though I had been doing only one treadmill run per week over the last 10 weeks, I thought I would try an end-of-season Duathlon.

ABD newby, Mark Lemke, close friend of Andy Kerr, had mentioned a few weeks back that he had entered the Crystal Lake Duathlon. So, after testing my soleues (lower calf) with my first outdoor run last week, a 4.5 miler, with positive results, I entered the Du as well.

So, after picking up my race packet, I get the TT bike over to transition area, with TT helmet, etc. After, a short warmup spin on my Cyclops trainer, I get over to starting area.

The game plan was to hold back on first running leg, 2 miles 12:59 held back as planned, maybe way too much. Then over to transition area, put on TT helmet, shoes and proceeded out of transition onto bike course.

I felt very good, and was ready to pick guys off one-by-one as planned. Then ~1 mile out & notice a wierd sound comming from my rear disc wheel, so I tried shifting down a cog, no problems there, then continued on. I now realized something serious was wrong with the bike, as I couldn't get up to speed, and kept hearing an odd
sound comming from the back of the bike. So, somewhere around the 1.5 mile mark, I pull over to the side of the road, and take a closer look and notice my rear disc wheel is completely flat.

After blurting out some fowl language, similiar to the old man's on the movie, "The Christmas Story", when the dogs raid the turkey in the kitchen, I turn around and head back to transition area. I tell race officials what happened and then proceed over to my car, pull out my spare 404, and get it partially on, then notice it's very low in air as well. So, I pull my road bike out of my van and take off the CPX-30, and put it on.

Finally after about 10 minutes or so, I'm back out onto the bike course, and wieving in-and-out, around all kinds slower cyclists. Now I know how Rob Jungles felt a couple years ago, (we did a Team Du in Tinley Park) going around people at speed...very scary! After, completing the somewhat hilly 20k bike, I go back thru transition, change shoes, etc, and out onto the final 2 mile run leg.

I managed to finish the race, 85th place overall, and after reviewing the posted results, realized that if I hadn't flatted, the worst I would have finished was 3rd place overall, in fact if I had a hammered the bike leg, as planned, I may have won the race.

I did have fun, enjoyed the post race activities, spoke with Derrick Ungaro, WDT, whom won the Team Du quite easily with Brain Ackers on the bike leg. Despite the disaster, I'm glad I completed the race anyhow, after all, I just couldn't let ABD newby, Mark Lemke down, I had to finish this one.

So, what did I learn from this day..."there is always another day"! You can shuffle the cards all day long, and sometimes, you just get a bad hand!

P.S. - I couple weeks ago, I remember seeing a facebook post from Mike Sherer, regarding his disaster in one of his early Cross Season races in Wisconsin.

See ya next season,

Bob Marshall/
ABD Multisport