Meshberg: Track Nationals Follow Up Report

Hey there team,

Here's a final update to our para track nationals adventure:  The rest of the trip to LA continued to go great.  On our day off, after we went to the track for a little spin, we headed up to Beverly Hills to look for movie stars--we didn't find any but we did get carsick driving around in the hills.

On Sunday we were so much more pro with our warm up and it felt just right.  We had decided the day before to go with a different gear than originally planned and in hindsight we think we went (way) too easy.  We were relaxed and felt great and we gave it our all but were spinning like mad.  In the end we got the silver medal by 3 milliseconds!!!  Unfortunately we missed our podium picture because we had to catch our flight.

On the whole we were quite happy.  This track stuff is so technical and it's exciting to be in that beginning phase where every time you go out you see a huge improvement.  We still feel like we have a long way to go and are looking forward to continuing this journey!!

Here's a picture of us doing our Kilo:

And here's a link to a video of a lap of our pursuit.


Nowak Report: CCC Race #2 Hopkins Park 40+

Last weekend was the second stop on the ChiCrossCup series in DeKalb @ Hopkins Park.  This is the 4th year that we have visited this stop with each year being a very different course.  This year was no different; back was the fly-over (a first in the CCC series last year) but also some new sections thru the woods.  As many of you may not know, last Thursday I was hit by a car on my bike while on my early morning training ride.  Luckily there was not a whole lot of damage to me, just some bruising, swelling, and cuts, but my new Cronus CX was not ridable. I saw my Dr. on Friday and he said that if I felt up for the race on Sunday, he was OK with me doing it.  I woke Sunday feeling better than Sat. so I decided that I would give it a shot.  Worse case is I started the race and pulled out.

Driving to DeKalb it was quite foggy once you got out by Maple Park.  At the venue, there was still a bit of fog when I arrived but it slowly burned off for the start of the 40+ race.  This however left the grass very slick and in some cases a soft upper layer of mud.  The course was a good mix of technical sections with some longer power sections (longer than Jackson Park) and really required 100% concentration throughout.

I did a few laps of the course prior to racing and felt good enough to still give it a go.  I made my way to the start chute to try to scam a start position in the second row.  The typical conversations then ensued:

Them:  "What happened to you?!?"
Me: "Got hit by a car"
Them:  "No s*#$!!!"
Me:  "Yea, but I'm doing ok"
Them:  "Did they get a ticket?!?"
Me:  "Yep."

and so on.

I did end up getting a nice spot in the second row, middle of the pack.  Now here is where I had a "learning experience".  Like I tell the kids that I coach in baseball and basketball, "Always know your competition".  In this case I did, but didn't follow the rule.  The guy in front of me (in the front row) is a notorious BAD starter.  Once again he didn't fail to please.  The whistle blew and I was clipped in right away and powering off.  He on the other hand was fiddling around trying to clip in.  I then had to put a foot down so that I didn't run into him or any others and went from a possible great start to a not so good start (in about 30th).  Over the next lap I worked on passing people (which was difficult to do) while watching the field ride away.  I was much faster than most in the technical sections which was frustrating as I felt I could have stayed with at least the 5th-10th place (or so) riders.  At one point I got as high as 15th, but eventually faded to 19th.

So I ended up picking up a few points for the series overall, but have now dropped from 11th overall to 14th.  Top 10 overall is still in sight so that is still the goal for the season.  I did start the 30+ race right after but after 2.5 laps was not mentally into it and dropped out.

As a team we are still in the top 20 overall, but lost a few points due to off performances by myself and Ben Demong.  Brian McVey had a nice 7th in the Cat 3 and Walt Stoops was 5th (or 6th) in the 60+.

Looks like most everyone else was at the Fall Fling and congrats to everyone who raced those events!!!  Hopefully ABD will begin to have a larger presence at the CCC races.  

Next race is this coming Sunday at Dan Ryan Woods.  For all the details see the CCC website (http://www.chicrosscup.com).  On Thurs. there will be a race preview for the coming Sunday's race.  DRW is a nice course with a good little hill thrown in.

Thanks for reading,

PS.  Also don't forget the ABD 'cross race.  If you are available to volunteer on Oct. 23rd, please let me know.  Still have quite a few spots still open.


And the Results Are In!

We apologize for the delay. As you know we do our best to put on a great race but just like any organization we try to save money where we can and when we found these great tabulation machines on Ebay so we thought results would be easy-peasy. Well as it turns out, they were from Florida and sure enough, we found some hanging chads!!

A huge CONGRATULATIONS goes out to Tower Racing for pulling off the big come-from-behind win to take the 2011 Fall Fling Overall Team Prize!

It looked like Bicycle Heaven had it all locked up in the final race and they were even proclaimed the winner (which we apologize for) but the results crew ten-times checked the standings and the Bike Heaven guys even sent over their hanging-chad specialists to confirm everything- and it was off the strength of Terry O'Grady's sweep of the AM40+ Cat 4/5 mass-start races that Tower won by a margin of just 4 points over Bicycle Heaven!

Congratulations again to Tower and thanks to Bike Heaven for not blowing their big check in one night!

Full results are posted at www.ABDcycling.com

 This was the first year we moved to the team format and we'll make a few
 tweaks for the future (including adding a prize for the winner of each
 category), but we really enjoyed it and would love to hear what you think.
 You can reply to this e-mail or drop us a comment on our FaceBook page at

 A special thanks to all of the ABD volunteers who helped make this happen
 and are deep in preparation for our Cyclocross race on October 23rd. Full
 details on that event are available at www.ChiCrossCup.com


Channel 7 cancelled the West Chicago filming (and results coming soon!)

Thanks everyone that volunteered to hold a mock race at Pella on Wednesday morning, but Channel 7 has cancelled the shooting.

Bummer. Maybe next time!

Thanks again.
Mary Lee

p.s. Official Fling results are coming soon!


Meshberg Update From Track Nationals

Hey team,

Hope all is going well at the fall fling and ABD is continuing to dominate the team points.

Hanging out at Track Nats is an absolute blast. Kim and I flew in on Thursday and went straight to the track, arriving exactly in time for a break in the racing where we were able to get onto the track test it out and get some openers in. This place is really cool. The track is wood, 250 meters and 45 degree banking. Several years ago I'd heard that once you got past the fear you would become addicted to this, and after the last couple training sessions at Blaine and CVC I think I'm finally here!! I think Kim feels the same way.

It's tough trying to figure out exactly when you are going to go and timing your warmup. There's a 3 hour morning session and evening session and then the events during the sessions are listed in order. So unless you are first you really have no idea when you are going to go At the track you'll see a lot of people warming up on their road bikes. In the interest of saving money, we didn't bring our individual bikes out to warm up on, so we rode the trainer together for our warm up. On Friday our first pursuit was in the morning session and the time for this one was going to be a qualifier for worlds, and (if we'd had more competitors) a seeding for the evenings finals.

Our timing for warm up was a little off, we warmed up really early and then sat for a long time waiting to go. We were nervous. We were starting with an electronic holder for the first time and also that morning we'd had to cut my aero bars because they were too far out to be UCI legal. So we went to the start with no practice in this new position, and no practice with an electronic holder. We'd practiced 3k pursuits before but never done one in competition.

Our start out of the holder was just fine, but going into turn one, the bike started wobbling and I had to come out of the aerobars. It was about a lap before I felt comfortable enough to go back into them. After we got our rhythm we felt ok and finished the race without further issue. Our time was 4:15 and we were a little disappointed with that.

The evening session was the finals, and since the time wasn't going to be a worlds qualifier if you were passed by your competitor the gun would be shot and the race would be over. We started the race so much better, relaxing into corner one, staying well within the lane, and gradually getting up to speed. Our following laps were substantially faster. We got caught about halfway through so we were disappointed not to be able to get a new (and better) time but we were thrilled with our improvement. Our next race is the Kilo on Sunday and we are chomping at the bit for that one, feeling more confident in our start and more confident all around.

Kristen Meshberg and Kim Borowicz at the Carson Velodrome

It's a really great atmosphere here. There are lots of other Chicago folks here, and our new friends that we met at Blaine when we were up there training a couple weeks ago (who are all Elena's buddies) as well as people from all over that we know just from the racing scene in general.

Chicago's Val Brostrom rode a great scratch racing, taking a 10 lap flyer. Unfortunately she was caught but it was a gutsy beautiful move. XXX fielded a men's pursuit team and they were fourth overall. Former Chicagoan and current resident at the olympic training center, paralympic rider Greta Neimanas won a gold medal in the individual pursuit last night. But probably the most thrilling race so far was Chicagoan Joe Berenyi's individual pursuit. After Joe's ride it was the general consensus of the entire stadium that it was the best pursuit win everyone had ever seen. It started out with Joe steadily losing ground to his competitor. In the final round of the pursuit, if you are caught by your competitor they shoot the gun and the race is over. It looked as if that was going to happen to Joe. But something changed and he started gaining ground. The crowd was going wild and he inched his way into the gold medal just before the finish. Everyone went nuts and Joe was thrilled.

Today we will be heading over to the track during the break to get in some laps, loosen up the legs and make sure our gear selection is right for tomorrow's Kilo.




[DeMong Report] My USGP Experience: tips from the pros, man stamps and mud


This is a chronicle or more a smattering of my USGP Cyclocross weekend. I haven't raced any Cross outside Chicago and really wanted to tackle some tough national caliber races this year, especially with Nationals and Master's Worlds being well within a drive this year. I loaded up the car last week and headed North to Madison for the USGP Cyclocross races. My goal was to race a tough course and figuratively get my butt kicked to become a better rider. Little did I know that figuratively would turn into literally in the first lap of my first race but I'll save that for later.

Friday Pre-Ride:

Friday started with a pre-ride of the course, which helped calm the nerves a bit, knowing what to expect on game day. The cool part about cross was that this pre-ride was everyone, so at the same time this middling cat 3 was battling his technical inabilities, the pros were also riding. I think that is one of the coolest things about bike racing, especially cross: you compete on the same course as the pros do and there are quite a few opportunities to interact with them. I have really struggled in the past with bike handling, one of the things that I try to do when pre-riding is try to follow folks that know what they are doing. On Friday, this took the form of Pro woman Kathy Sherwin from the Stan's No-Tubes team. I rode behind her for a few laps (I did let her know I was stalking her because I am a terrible bike handler), she laughed and welcomed me as her shadow. She was really helpful and gave this extreme amateur quite a few tips including some tire pressure tips that I would employ on Sunday.

Race 1 Saturday:

The conditions for Saturday's 2/3 race were dry and a little tacky from the morning dew. The course itself had some really long tempo sections on the flat upper section with a few technical pieces. The lower section had more off camber and a run up that was steep and unforgiving. I started about 6 rows back as I didn't register as early as I wanted to. As with most cross races, the start was a scrum and quite sketchy as it was on pavement in a pack of folks not necessarily in the right speed order. I wasn't aggressive enough from the gun and moved back a few places (my moving back in the pack would become a theme of the day). Once I found some clear air I was able to move up a little and I tried to break last in the corners to move past the slower folks. The race still was pretty packed together and as we entered a technical section, some Yahoo (read: D-Bag) plowed through apex of the corner knocking people everywhere. I took the worst of it and went down, really hard. At the time I didn't realize it but I was run over with the riding driving leaving a nice 7 inch tire mark on my tramp stamp area (no offense to those who have that tattoo, I'm sure it looks awesome). Mine however, hurts. I lost about 10 places and jumped right back on. The following lap was hard as I whacked my knee pretty good in the crash and it was starting to swell. I regained my rhythm at the start of lap 2 and was riding well, I was able to follow wheels and move up. Around one of the turns the guy I was following went down and I in turn, went down on top of him. The funny part was I couldn't liberate my Cronus (read: awesome new trek bike) from the carnage and each time I tried to pull it away I ended up further on top of the man. So after 2-3 humps of some very gentle kind middle aged man, I was finally back riding again. This didn't become humorous until later as the second crash really took the wind out of my sail for the day. The next lap was pain and annoyance but I did manage to ride it out cleanly. At that point, I just concentrated on riding technically sound, I wasn't going to win anything but needed something to focus on to get me through. It was like the feeling when the pack rides away from you and you just don't have the legs.

By the time I got back to the car, the sketch ball move by the other guy had been deemed as such by the peanut gallery of other riders and I discovered my new man stamp. Key Learnings: 1. you have to start harder and really get aggressive bc others are and if you don't match it, you're moving backwards. 2. Bandaging a man stamp alone is hard, taking a picture of it to text to family is harder.

Race 2 Sunday:

It rained all of Sunday morning. During warm-ups, I ended up under a tent courtesy of some guys from Iowa and then stood underneath a shelter as it rained really hard just before the start. I wasn't thrilled about the rain but I had had a full day contemplate Saturday's disappointment and really was hell bent on battling anything on Sunday. The course would be the main opponent. It was soaked and muddy. I utilized the tips from Kathy Sherwin on pressure and ran around 25-28 PSI for the soggy conditions. This really paid of as I was able to handle the bike better than every despite the ice rink I felt like I was riding on. I hadn't ever run anything that low but it worked for me. The start was a mess, as the guy in front of me didn't really want to pedal but I took a deep breath and chugged on. My goal was to have good clean laps and try to not rush, just stay up right and keep the bike in motion. I had an incident free first 2 laps and my spirits went up as I new I was having success riding that day. Randomly on lap 3 I did go down but I still have not idea how, all of the sudden I was sliding head first across the wet grass with the bike in the air. It was amusing, nothing hurt and I was back on my way only losing 2 positions. I went down a few other times, once on the sore knee, but it was only when I rushed did I have trouble, when I was patient and didn't try to do too much with the bike I was fine. I felt a lot better crossing the line on Sunday than Saturday as I rode the race more on my terms because I made better choices and was more resilient.

A few things I used that I hadn't in a while for the sloppy conditions that might help you in nasty conditions are: I got off the bike early and ran the technical sections that might knock folks down, it helped a ton to keep moving as other slowed down considerably with their indecisiveness. I also used the one leg out while cornering on some of the slippery sections, it helped a ton to stay on the back and not have to come to a complete stop. Last, I used not only my breaks (which didn't work that well) but the rougher less slick outside portions of the grass/course to help scrub speed before corners.

Keep in mind, I'm no expert, which is evidence by my mid pack results, but hopefully you were semi amused and if you're new to cross maybe some of the tips were helpful. The weekend was a blast on the whole and I can't wait for my next cross trip. I got to watch my first Pro cross race, with a world class field, and they put on a show. Those guys ride so hard, it's insane. The cleanup from Sunday is still going as it took 3 days to clear mud from every crevice, on my bike that is. I'm still pretty bandaged up and I can't wait for just the Powerbar logo to be the only thing adorning my man stamp area. I'm looking forward to getting back in the saddle in DeKalb on Sunday.

Big thanks to Rob at PPC for helping me get the rig in solid working order again. The support that PPC provides is awesome.

Tip your mechanic,



Fall Fling Finalé This Weekend - the Final Road Events of the Season!

The 2011 Chicagoland road season wraps up this weekend with a pair of circuit races at the Fall Fling! Saturday's race features the longest races of the series and at Sunday's finalé in Wood Dale we'll be serving up brats and mostaciolli for all the riders in celebration of a season well-raced! 

You can still register online at Active.com or just show up and register on-site. Full details and current standings are available at ABDcycling.com. After two races it's the Bicycle Heaven club with an 11 point lead for the $2,000 overall team prize!

Thanks to all of the riders who came out to kick off the Fling this past weekend. Despite the threat of rain all week we lucked out and stayed dry for the first two stages and riders put that fitness they've been building all year to good use! We hear the Category 1/2/3/40+ race averaged over 28 mph on Saturday and ABD's own Bryce Mead blitzed Sunday's TT 9.4 mile TT course in 19 minutes and 55 seconds to post the fastest time of the day. Leigh Thompson of VisionQuest posted a 22:59 for the fastest women's time of the day.

Although the road season will soon be over the cross season is just heating up! ABD's cross race at Sunrise Park will be held on Sunday, October 3rd and registration is now open.

And last but not least for those interested in getting a jump on their 2012 season- the ABD Boot Camps are back for their 7th season. After selling out every year we've *finally* opened up the camp to up to 16 riders per session, but spots are filling fast! Find out more and reserve your spot now at PrairiePathCycles.com


DeMong Jackson Park Report

Sunday's Jackson Park race was the first time for me to get a full (non-tag team cross effort) under my belt for the year.  It was a little nerve racking as this year I have put almost all my racing eggs in the `Cross basket and without any cross races in the middle of training to check form, I didn't really know what would be there for the first race.  With the help this year of an ABD Coach, Ebert, I was really happy with the racing legs on Sunday finishing 13th in my first 3s race.  My fitness seems solid so it should be a good season.

As for the race itself, it was wet and with enough technical parts to really bottle neck the field in some parts.  In the 2 warm up laps that I took I noted that with the wet course, big field and pinch about 6 turns in, the start would be really important.  So important that instead of warming up, I opted for a little extra warm embrocation and getting in line at the start shoot almost an hour before start time.  In looking at the course it was more technical first, before the tempo sections late in the first lap, that I figured with a stretch in the start shoot, I would be able to "warm up" a bit on the first lap.  I just didn't want to start at the back of a 100 person field.  The gamble paid off as I didn't pull anything and I never left the top 20 after starting in the 2 or 3rd row.  

For the ABD Cross newbies: One of the reasons I think the gamble paid off was because it was calculated.  I had scouted the first few turns thinking of how the start would go.  My notes were: lumpy long stretch off the line (stay relaxed in the elbows), a big wide right hand turn (keep the gas on as long as possible before the turn, there is plenty of room and others will break early), another wide-ish turn next, this time left (stay on gas and try to take middle line through first turn to set this one up).  After the left turn there was a singe barrier and then a few turns and then the big pinch: a hard right hand turn down a slippery hill.  In my mind I thought: I might not be able to win the race if I got to this point fast but I could certainly lose it if I didn't.  As it played out, I got off the line fast and so did Bryan.  I made it to the turn in the top 20 and never looked back.  I'm not saying that you should never warm up because that certainly isn't the case at all; that course and conditions lead me to believe that the most valuable part of the race was the race to the big pinching right hand down slippery hiller.  My advice would be: Do your research on what you think will be the deciding factor that day, figure out your plan and go hard after it. 

Once the initial chaos was over, I was able to settle in and ride an almost complete race.  I felt really comfortable setting up turns and tried to really open it up on the sections where you could really ride.  I felt my fitness was strong enough to max effort accelerate in the long straight-aways to make up for the fact that I'm not the best bike handler yet.  I went down once in a random slippery section and it lost me 2 positions, other than that, it was a solid ride for me.  I'm really looking forward to this season of the Chi Cross Cup and also a few other regional events. Flying the ABD colors in Cross was awesome, as we have a few more faces than normal out there racing and would welcome many more.  

A quick very BIG thank you to Farrell, Mary Lee, Jungels and the Prairie Path Cycles Family.  I am riding a really lite (so light I went with lite) Trek Cronus this year, on Zipp 303 wheels with Challenge tires.  All of these were procured through Prairie Path Cycles with my ABD Club discounts.  I do clean my bike meticulously but I'm not an expert mechanic, Rob has helped keep things shifting and braking well for all of my riding career (loose definition of "career").  There are very few other teams out there, if any, that have this much support from a local shop and club.  I really appreciate the products, the service and the folks that have helped me get racing this year. 

I will be tackling my first regional event next weekend in Madison at the USGP, so we'll see how that goes.  I will try to get more reports out this year. I promise. 

Patronize your local bike shop (PPC), 


Konrad's Carnage Photos from Jackson Park

Well, they say a picture is worth 1,000 words, so here are a couple of Konrad from yesterday. (You will notice that he's still smiling in the second picture....)

Konrad s Scraped Knee
Konrad After 2nd Cross Race

Fall Fling Pre-Reg Deal Ends Tonight + $2,000 Team Prize! Sunrise Park Cross & Boot Camp

- The Fall Fling Kicks Off This Weekend: Pre-Registration Deal Ends Tonight- save $25!
- One Team will take the $2,000 Overall Fling Prize!
- The Chicago Cross Cup is here! Registration for ABD's Sunrise Park race is open
- ABD Boot Camps at PPC Batavia kick off November 8th

Close Out Your Road Season with a 4-Stage Race in the Western Suburbs-
Pre-Register for all four Fall Fling races by tonight at midnight for just $95!

The "4-pack" registration deal for the entire Fling ends tonight so be sure to sign up if you want to save yourself $25 over the day-of fees. Starting tomorrow fees go up to $30 per day for this weekend's races. (You have until Sunday night to pre-reg for the 10/1 & 10/2 circuit races for $25 each). Day-of-race registration will also be available.

Full Fling Details at http://www.ABDcycling.com

Updated Fall Fling Prize Lists & One Team will take the Big Enchilada!

We've increased the daily prize lists at the Fling and removed the individual overall prize lists in favor of giving one club the opportunity to finish off their 2011 road campaign with a $2,000 overall prize!

The top club at the 2011 Fall Fling will take home $2,000 to order some new kits, support a junior program, host a training camp or just throw one heck of a year-end party!

The way that the overall prize will work is that we will calculate the maximum points received by each club's top 8 finishers on each stage in the following categories:
  • Men 1/2 combined
  • Men 3
  • Men 4
  • Cat 4/5 40+
  • Category 5 Beginner Men
  • Women 1/2/3 combined
  • Women 4
  • Women 40/50/60/70 combined
  • Masters 40+
  • Masters 50/55 combined
  • Masters 60/65/70/75/80 combined
The club with most points at the end of the final stage wins the overall. Ties will be broken by the highest number of 1st places, then the highest number of 2nd places, etc.

-Fields with 20 or more riders will be scored 20 deep (20,19,18,17, etc.)
-Fields with less than 20 riders will be scored 10 deep (10,9,8,7, etc.)

More details available at the Fling event page.

ABD Sunrise Park Cyclocross Race!

Congrats to everyone at the big Chicago Cross Cup opener in Jackson Park! We're excited to be hosting our own round of the cup on October 23rd in Bartlett! 

ABD Indoor Training Boot Camp's at Prairie Path Cycles Start November 8th!

The ABD Winter Boot Camps are now in our 7th season and after selling out the past few years we're please to announce we're upgrading to 16 stations at our Batavia location! 

Camp will run from November 8th to February 13th with a two-week break for the holidays. Riders will complete two custom-designed workouts per week and have the option for 2 to 4 hour endurance workouts on the weekend!

Full details and sign up information will be available at www.PrairiePathCycles.com later this week.

Nowak Cross Report: Jackson Park

And so it begins...

Yesterday was the first race in the ChiCrossCup series with a total of 12 races this year.

This was actually my 3rd 'cross race of the year as Ben Demong and I teamed up for the 2-Person Relay race and then I went down to Rantoul to do the Patriot CX last weekend.  Still working on my fitness level but its getting better each week.  For me personally it will be a long season of 'cross as I am looking to do Nationals and then Master Worlds in January (yep January!) so I'm working on getting fitter as the season goes on.

xXx Racing always hosts the kickoff race each year and in the 6 years of racing there I don't thing the course has ever been the same.  There are some similarities each year but they always throw in some different twists and turns.  This year they decided to explore the far west end of the park and I have got to say that the course they laid out in that section was very fun.  Lots of tight, fast turns with explosive sprinting out of them.  If you were willing to take chances you could catch and pass people in those areas.  In addition, the weather added a bit of drama as it was an off/on drizzle.  There would be sections where the grass was wet and then other where it was bone dry making it a challenge at times to figure out a line.  By the end of my second race though it was becoming a more uniform track with everything getting greasy slick.

I raced twice, the 40+ race which was the first of the day and then right after in the 30+.  Overall pretty happy with that race as I ended up 11th just missing a call up for the next race.  In the 30+ I got to the start line late and ended up starting in the very back.  It ended up being a good training race as I worked on passing people and racing in traffic.  Felt good for the first 4 laps and then the lights went out.  12 laps total done at race pace over the two races.

Overall ABD had a nice day.  Brian McVey on his HOT new tubies ended up 7th in the Cat 3, Ben Demong was 13th.  Walt Stoops in the new 60+ category was 6th, and Konrad Witt racing in only his 2nd cross race ever ended up taking 5th in the Jrs.  I talked to his Mom last night and she said he only fell 4 times on the FIRST lap!  Also saw Andy Walker, Jerry Meister and Waylon in the results.  Many more ABD'ers than in the past but I know there are many more of you out there!!!

Next race is in two weeks, Oct 2nd at Hopkins Park in DeKalb.  For us Western 'burbs, this is an easy drive down Rt. 38.

For those of you heading up to Madison next weekend for USGP, Good Luck!!

I'm not going to Madison next weekend.  Not sure if there will be any Bandit CX next weekend, but I'll pass anything along if/when I find out.  Worse case is that there will be a practice on Saturday.



Jeannie Report: Tour de Gaslight

While this race report is well overdue, accounts of our US visit just wouldn’t be complete without a report on our last race, Tour de Gaslight. We’re back in New Zealand now, back to work—the main reason for the long delay in writing this report!—and nearly adjusted to the chilly spring temps (in contrast to the sultry heat of a Midwest summer). The venue for Tour de Gaslight was East Grand Rapids...


Meshberg Gateway Cup Report

Kristin Meshberg has poster her report from the Gateway Cup series over Labor Day…missing teeth and all.

Mark Lemke Sub 5 Century Report

Thought I'd share my Ride/Race report Sub 5 Century (for Parkinson Disease Research) Sunday Sept 11th.

Fellow ABDer's you missed a great event, and what a great idea to race a 100 miles with a team. Thanks to our own Jerry (team leader) Meister for putting together this team of 17 riders, which included myself and ABD's own Chris (no ABD man left behind) Tepas volunteer Steve (great job) Greene.

Ride was in the farmlands of Hampshire IL,  a 33.3 mile loop, we did this three times to make the Century. Our goal time was 4:50, we had timing chips on our bikes and had number of practice rides on the course in the prior weeks. About 10 teams gather at 7:30 am, each team was started 5 mins apart, (Christain Vander Belt Father started the teams off) based on estimate finish time. We all had to sign the race board just like the pro's need to do, our team left at 7:55, all 17 of us, with our personal Sag car following behind us for the full 100 miles.

Double pace line for the first lap, I think we dropped off  just 2 riders, only one road kill we had to go around, it didn't smell to bad..(more on this later). We pulled in to the feed zone, where the (Pit crew service began!) volunteers filled our water bottles brought us sandwich, power bars, banana's you name it. Our stop was just 4 min's long or should I say short,  it felt allot like an Indy car pit stop, with all these volunteers running around servicing us, one guy asked to clean my sunglasses and check my tire pressure.  Off for lap 2. Uneventful, I think we lost just one rider off the back. Everyone's taking turns pulling, no sitting in. Road kill is starting to smell as we past it.

Pulled in to the feed zone again, last time! Noticed the team a head of us were rushing to get going out of the feed zone. I over herd them say "lets hurry up we don't want to be caught". Once again, Indy Car like pit stop, water topped off, food deliveries to your bike, even people to hold your bike up while you used the flushing port o potties. Sub 5 Century organizers spare's no expenses for us riders.

Lap 3 last lap, stronger head wind this time from the northwest and we were headed yep Northwest. Jerry called out single pace line and with 13 riders, turns at the front were every  5 mins apart. 30 seconds max (keep in mind the target pace was 22 mph) . This worked well  and so well, at about mile 80 we caught the team ahead of us, of course we had to go by them double pace line about 3 miles per hour faster and talking like it was a social outing."they commented "wow you guys are fast!"  Bad news was we dropped 7 riders off the back shortly afterwards, I think they all jumped ship at the same time? . "So then there were six!. " I told Jerry, four 45 year  plus guys and two 30 something guys. One whom just got his belt buckle at Leadville Co. last month . Worst news is that road kill was now no longer in the shade  but in the sun, smelled really bad by now.. One guy started to fall off the back, and one guy started to let a gap go off the front. But in true ABD colors (no ABDer's left behind) we had each others back, brought the guy up and brought us back to the front.and then (Chris) took a monster long pull and let the 6 of us recover some.

The six of us finished as one 4:43:31. Jerry says we beat last years team time!. What an awesome event, most organized I've attend (well beside an ABD events)  and fun idea, one guy from Chicago said he's never seen so many corn fields, I said what corn fields, I just saw the guys wheel in front of me, or my gps, slowing counting up the miles.

Hats off to the Sub 5 century folks, and ABD teammates please consider this event in 2012 as a team effort. Got a challenge from Bicycle Heaven as they clocked in at 4:13 for a time best time of the day.

Great way to spend a Sunday and Sept 11th  in this great nation!

Mark (sub 5 finisher) Lemke


Winfield Criterium Weekend Wrap: Results and Photos Are Posted; Fall Fling and Sunrise Park Cross Dates!

And that's a wrap! A huge thank you to the 400+ riders that joined us this past weekend for the 12th Annual Weekend, and to the sponsors, volunteers, officials and Winfield residents that made it happen. Results and photos are posted at www.ABDcycling.com

Props to the riders that braved the threat of weather on Saturday and major props to the Category 2/3 riders that finished in a hailstorm! This year's "King & Queen of the Hill" party was wild as ever and Winfield resident Tim Allen raised over $500 in cash plus prizes for the various categories. The Saturday Winners included:

- David Pratt, Bicycle Heaven [Beginner/Cat 5]
- Gareth Reeves, EMC2 [Men 4]
- Tim Speciale, Psimet [Men 3]
- Andy Kerr, Bicycle Heaven [Men 50/55]
- Jeannie Kuhajek, ABD [Women Open]
- Ryan Freund, ABD [M/I Homes "Move Up" Men 1/2 ]

On Sunday we had clear skies, fast fields and crowned the 2011 ABR National Crit Champs. All of the podium pics are up at the website and a congratulations to our winners:

- Thomas Lobdell, Scarletfire [Men 60+]
- Michael Ozment, Mack [Men 65+]
- Robert Burns, Mack [Men 70+]
- Gerald Beam, ABD [Men 75+]
- Cathy Edgar [Women 4]
- Sue Semaszczuk, Bellum Racing [Women 30]
- Amber Gideon, ABD [Women 40]
- Marilyn Powell, Project 5 [Women 50]
- Kathleen Corbett, Midwest Masters [Women 60]
- Patricia Beam, ABD [Women 70]
- Sean McCarthy, South Chicago Wheelmen [Men 10-12]
- Sam Beste, Nova Cycling/ISCorp [Men 13-14]
- Konrad Witt, ABD [Men 15-16]
- Nathan Labecki, IS Corp [Men 17-18]
- Emilia Field, IS Corp [Women 10-12]
- Gina Johnson, Village Verdigris [Women 13-14]
- Shelby Kron, Team Mack [Women 15-16]
- Kris Wiater, Plus Cycling [Athletes By Design Men 40+ 4]
- David Pratt, Bicycle Heaven [Beginner Men 5 <40]
- Greg Gale, ABD [Beginner Men 5 40+]
- Jessi Prinner, ABD [OAD Orthopaedics Women 1/2/3]
- John Fleckenstein, Mack [Men 50+]
- Fabio Orlandi, PYOC [Men 55+]
- Fernando Barraza, On The Route [Winfield Community Bank Men 4]
- Keith McMahon, VanWagner [Prairie Path Cycles Men 30+]
- Gene Tolli, Enzo-PZIMET [Men 40+]
- Nathan Labecki, IS Corp [Men 3]
- Bryan McVey, ABD [Central DuPage Hospital Men 1/2]

Thank you again riders! Our final road event of the year, the 2011 Fall Fling is scheduled for September 24-25 & October 1-2 (stay tuned for details), and the Sunrise Park Cross event will be held on October 23rd.


Pre-Registration for the Winfield Criterium Closes Tonight!

The 2011 Winfield Criterium Weekend returns for its 12th run this Saturday and Sunday- featuring over $8500 in cash prizes plus merchandise prizes and primes. Find out the full details and registration link at www.ABDcycling.com

We have racing for all ages and abilities and both courses feature their own unique, challenging climbs. Saturday is a long drag to the top of the course with a fast, twisty run to the finish and Sunday features a steep kicker followed by a quick drop and then a long, smooth run to the finish that's foiled many an ill-timed sprint.

Saturday night also features the return of the "King of the Hill" Prizes and Primes and this year Winfield resident Tim Allen is stepping it up even more! There will also be the FREE Kids' "Parade of Bikes" at 5:30 and live music immediately following the 1/2 race.

On Sunday we've condensed the schedule a bit but kept all the same prize money- and for the first time ever the Cat 3's will have a shot at the ABR National Championship jersey and will be racing 40 miles with 1/2's. The always popular Kid's Races are at 1:10 p.m. - right before the Men's 4 event.

Again, the pre-registration deal closes tonight- but online registration will remain open through Wednesday and on-site registration is also available.

Up for the challenge? Ready to use all that summer fitness you gained? We hope to see you there! And if any teams want to set up tents we invite you to do so— just shoot an e-mail to abdcycling-at-gmail.com for details.


Jeannie's Superweek Report

My Super Week report, now up on my blog.
Check it out before it becomes old news.
Oh, wait…
OK, check it out before I post my next report--coming soon!
Many thanks from the whole team to ABD members for all the cheers, time checks, and awesome support.


Jeannie's West Michigan Race Report

Jeannie, Sarah and Jessi tackled some racing across the pond, the Lake Michigan pond, that is.

Read Jeannie's Report Here


The Winfield Criterium Weekend: August 13 & 14

The 12th Annual Winfield Criterium Weekend- featuring two days of racing on some of Chicagoland’s hilliest courses and over $8500 in cash and prizes- is coming up on August 13th and 14th!

Registration is open and full details are posted at www.ABDcycling.com.

Saturday is the Winfield Twilight Criterium and the “King of the Hill” Party and Prizes are back! Winfield resident Tim Allen has taken it upon himself to bring the party to the top of the course and reward those riders who like the vertical gain. Saturday night also features:

  • An increased Prize List for the 1/2/3 Women
  • A FREE Kids’ Parade at 5:30 for all children who’d like to ride their bikes on the course.
  • A Kids’ Zone with moonwalks.
  • Food and refreshments served by the Winfield Knights of Columbus
  • Live music in the park immediately following the M/I Homes Men’s 1/2 Pro event.

Sunday marks the return of the ABR National Championship to downtown Winfield and the feared Summit Hill. There will be racing for all ages and abilities, and we’ve combined the Men’s championship event to include the 1/2 & 3 men so that all categories are eligible for the jersey (PLUS 3 men get their own separate prize list that is equal to years’ past. Sunday features also include:

  • An increased prize list for the Women’s 1/2/3 event.
  • Kids’ races at 1:10 p.m.
  • The Kids’ Zone courtesy of Winfield United
  • Food and refreshments from the K of C.

We are pleased to announce that $2 of every entry fee will go towards the Special Olympics.

We want to give a big shout out to all of the ABD volunteers and sponsors and partners that help make this weekend happen:

Village of Winfield
Central DuPage Hospital
M/I Homes
Prairie Path Cycles
OAD Orthaepedics
Winfield Community Bank
Winfield United
Packey Webb Ford


ABR Upgrade Rules

Just a quick note to pass along from ABR. This seemed relevant ahead of the ABR National Championship Criterium on August 13-14

ABR upgrading/downgrading of race ability category
ABR will accept for review race results from any of these organizations:

1. Within USA - ABR, ACA, CBR, OBRA, FIAC, HPRA, IHPVA, NATrials, RAAM, Racers & Chasers, UMCA, UCI, USACycling, WIsport & WORS.

2. Bicycle race organizations from other countries such as Australia, Canada, Columbia, Danmark, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, UCI, Ukraine, and many others.

Rider submits race results to ABR by email or mail for review and determination.

Bob L.


West Michigan Stage Race Report

Since recovering from her illness through the Nature Valley Grand Prix and ToAD Elite Women's Team member Jeannie Kuhajek has been racing almost every weekend. She's catching up reports and has posted her story from the West Michigan Stage Race July 2nd and 3rd at http://jeanniescookies.blogspot.com/


Monday Night "Back to the Roots" Ride Rules

If you are planning on riding with us on the Monday Night Ride please read below. The Monday night ride is what is informally known as a "Gentlemen's 2x2 Ride" and these rules will be strictly enforced, if you do not think you can follow these rules then please choose another ride.

This is a repost of some of the rules for the Monday Night Recovery Ride. These rules are for all of our safety, and remember that when you are wearing the ABD colors you are representing not only ABD but also Prairie Path Cycles. Let's show the rest of the world what cyclists are about and earn their respect!

One more thing, if when we are riding the pack gets wider than 2 riders the local police can hand out tickets, just ask a single cyclist from the Elmhurst Bike Club who was riding on Butterfield road in Oakbrook Terrace that received a $75.00 traffic ticket for "impeding traffic".

Now for the repost:

The following is to be observed on all Monday Night Rides and will be repeated in some form by the designated ride leader(s) before we roll out.

The Monday ride is held as a casual, social and safe ride for riders to fine tune their pack riding skills and/or recover from a tough weekend of racing.

If you are not comfortable riding side by side in approximately ONE-HALF LANE OF THE ROAD AT a 16 mph to 18 mph PACE (a little slower on the uphills/a little faster on the downhills), then please practice sitting on the back in a single file line until you are ready.

Any riders found drifting too far towards the yellow line or not respecting pace/speed restrictions will be asked to go to the back. Don't take it personally, it's just the rules.

Last but not least, competitiveness has no place on a "social spin" such as the Monday Night ride. If you are looking to get a workout or challenge other riders, please look elsewhere.

I hope to see you out there and welcoming any new road bike riders and helping them with becoming familiar with riding in a group and showing them what pack-style riding can be about.


Elena Dorr: Superweek Stage 8 Report

Sorry for the silence on this end, I've been in a bit of a rut lately with bike racing and took some time off, but I think I finally crawled my way out! Yesterday all I can think was "Wow, racing bikes is fun!" I suppose it helps having amazing teammates and a incredible team!!!

It was a hot one, 95 degrees! And with 5 of the 6 of us there we were excited!

Jeannie, Jessie, Kristen, Sarah and I raced hard yesterday attacking off the front and trying to secure 3rd in the overall for Jeannie. Unfortunately it was a fast race and a few of us were not there at the end to help Jeannie out, and had a bit of miscommunication, but it was a learning experience for all. Jeannie ended up 8th that day, 5th in the overall. 12th for the day and 12th in the overall for Kristen, 15th in the overall for Stacy, 26th for Sarah.

The highlight of my day was attacking off the front to try and break things up/hurt some legs for Jeannie, but it turned out to be on a sprint lap so I got 2nd in that sprint behind Carrie Cash. Unfortunately after that I popped, but I think i broke things up a bit and confused some girls and wow, I had so much fun!!!

I am so proud of all the awesome racing my teammates have done during Superweek, you are all incredible!


Bryan McVey Season Update

I think I would like to keep my five sentence writing limit to emails.

And so, I'm currently in the middle of Superweek, sitting at my gracious host's house in Mequon, WI, just north of Milwaukee. The season has been going fairly well and I am happy with some of my performances. Here are some quick notes about the major races I have been doing.

Joe Martin stage race at the beginning of May was exactly what I needed to bring my form around. It started with a challenging TT the first day in which I rode the same exact time as the year before. The racing after that must have been much faster than previous years, because I was in the pain cave both road days and got time cut the 2nd to last day, so was not able to compete in the final crit on Sunday. I still don't know if the racing was just faster this year, or if I was slower, or maybe a combo of both. The previous 2 years I finished the entire series, but unlike those years, the second road day was completely blown apart, which could show the difficulty of the new course and how teams rode it. I did get some great training in at least, and the whole week the weather was awesome.

The memorial day races were again good for my form, and I was consistent each day (minus the snake, which I still cannot figure out). Unfortunately I kept finishing a few places out of the money, which always stings a bit.

Tour of Galena brought some fantastic racing to hilly Illinois (I never would have thought) and I look forward to this race growing over the years. When I first rolled into town, the first thing it reminded me of was the rolling terrain of the Ardennes of southern Belgium, when I did the tour of Liege there in 2008. We also had a decent squad there both days, which was great since we were able to ride in support of Ben. After he smoked the time trial the first day, we were able to set him up well in the road race, in which he crushed and won. The final day crit saw many attacks but Ben did a great job of hanging tough and staying safe while the rest of us tried to keep everything together, and he took the overall!

The T.O.A.D. series again brought some very organized and fast racing to the Milwaukee area. This is definitely the race series of the future in the Midwest. I rode almost all the days (10 of the 11), finished in the money some and again enjoyed some fantastic weather. If they can add one or 2 more road days, this will series will be perfect.

The next 2 weeks off consisted of a trip around lake Michigan with Kim for a 4th of July vacation, which was Pure Michigan™ fun.

Now it's back to Superweek. The dynamic of the Superweek series this year has been different than in years past, with smaller field sizes and not quite as much power it seems in the field. Regardless, the racing has still been fast and it's great to be able to race so much in July, so close to home!

The first day of Superweek at Beverly I saw the winning break roll off the front, but was able to make a 1 lap bridge to make contact. After 3 more guys joined us, it was 9 total and we eventually lapped the field. It was a good thing, because I fell apart in the last 5 laps, getting dropped from the field and almost lost my lap lead. Luckily another rider helped pace me the final few laps so I retained my 9th place position and I kindly paid him for his services from my winnings.

Day 2 at the Geneva crit was another great day for ABD, as we did the ole 1-2 punch with Freund countering my solo move and lapping the field with Chad B. from Texas roadhouse. I know Ryan has been wanting that top step bad and I felt bad that I wasn't able to help lead him out more in the sprint, but my legs were fried and Texas roadhouse has some strong guys.

Richton I was 2nd at last year, so I wanted to do well again. After I missed the first break of 3 that lapped the field, I found myself in no man's land for 1.5 hrs of hard riding in a break with 2 others. It was a very hard way to take 6th place, but I managed.

The Willow Springs road race is a great course, and one that I also did well at last year. I got into an early break of 4 that put a minute into the field, but we were missing a couple key team representatives, so we got chased down. After a slurry of attacks went and got brought back, one finally stuck, but I was absent from it. I managed a 23rd overall, after the break of 10 stayed up the road with a few more hanging in the middle. Ben was with me today as well, but neither of us could manage to pick the right move.

Thursday and Friday took me up to the greater Milwaukee area for 2 races in which i took 24th in both, barely making some $$. The races so far in Wisconsin have seen double the numbers in field size, with the typical Superweek dyanmics of many attacks, and strong breaks getting away. Last night in Brookfield was especially hard, with a course that was both technical with a very long start/finish straightaway that saw very fast speeds. After the initial break of 8 got away the pace went down some, and I missed another large group off the front. Luckily the previous nights winner missed this move as well, and he put a huge bridge in, which I followed to regain contact to this massive group of about 20 riders. We stayed clear of the field, and this group broke in 2 before the finish. I finished in between both groups as I tried to make a late bridge to the first chase, but couldn't quite make the catch.

Downer ave is tonight, which is always a great venue! Oh and Voeckler is a beast.

Also, I wanted to give a huge thanks to the support this year from ABD, Prairie Path Cycles, Mike Farrell and Mike Ebert, and of course as always, my parents and my girlfriend Kim!


Originally I wasn’t planning on racing any of Superweek, especially after returning from Altoona with my legs in tatters, but coach Ebert had his say and Saturday I once again found myself on the streets of Milwalkee. His most convincing argument was that Jeannie was in need of assistance as she was currently tied for 3rd overall and in 2nd for the sprint competition. Not only that but it sounded like the team was in need of fresh legs as some of the others were spent after a week straight of racing.

The team kept emphasizing how stagnant the peloton had been the past week, with teams keeping lazily on the defensive and doing little work in developing breaks. So the first order of business was to make Downer’s Avenue aggressive and fast, use our sheer numbers to get a rider off the front, and if nothing else, wear down the field. I was stoked because this gave me permission to attack and ride like a maniac which is my default racing style. I feel repressed when I have to race conservatively.

Me, attacking.

Just seven laps into the race Kristen and I lined up at the front to deliver Jeannie into the points sprint, and I being the last one to peel off had the field blow by me and got to hang off the back for the next two laps.I think

I'm leading Jeannie out or something here.

It was game on from there as ABD punched the field with attack after attack, never allowing so much as 30 seconds of rest for the peloton. I remember the annoouncer declaring at one point how "ABD was dominating the race". Multiple other spectators commeted later how it was such an entertaining race. My life, your entertainment.

Kristen's solo prime lap

Kristen soloed for an entire lap with Stacy and Jeannie blocking at the front to win a $40 prime, but it was Stacy who finally delivered the knockout punch with 6 laps to go as she rode off the front to take a victory for ABD. Meanwhile I took it upon myself in the final few laps to keep the field together as I chased down every attempt to escape. Kristen and I finally came together with one lap to go to lead out Jeannie, which was a bit rocky to say the least. From my view way off the back in the final stretch I think I saw her get top ten, but it was a difficult sprint against the Hong Kong and Taiwan riders who are primarily track riders (that’s typically how Asian riders participate in the sport of cycling). I pretty much got 2nd to last place, but it doesn’t bother me since my performance was not manifested on the results sheet, but in the success of my teammates.

Stacy, victorious.


The Prinner Toona Report

While her teammates battle it out at Superweek, Jessi Prinner had the opportunity to guest ride for Team Danbury Audi at the Tour de Toona. Following is Jessi's report from The Prinner Posts

Sometimes the most entertaining part of bike racing is not even the racing itself, but the other trials one must endure in the sport. One such trial for me was trying to get to Pennsylvania, which I ended up driving the 600 miles from Chicago by myself. I departed from home at a brisk 6am and made my way along interstate 88. All was fine and dandy until 88 disappeared. Just like that the road turned into 290 and 294 and 290-something else and my trip suddenly turned into a cluster. Was I even headed the right general direction anymore? Was I even in Illinois anymore??? Was I even in the United States?????? I don’t know but I ended up going straight into downtown Chicago, right in the middle of rush hour and confusing roads splitting in a million different directions. And then I found the Skyway. Just about everyone and their cousin were jammed going into the right split and I curved left onto a gorgeous piece of pavement that one could look for miles without seeing another car. So I put the car in cruise control, sat back and cruised my way out of Illinois and through about a fortunes worth of tolls in Indiana, Ohio, and finally Pennsylvania.

When I finally got close to the house the team rented, my car’s muffler decided to stop working, which would have been bearable if it had not been for the steep, brutal climbs that lead up to the top of Blue Knob Mountain Park. I apologized to the locals ahead of time for any inconvenient noises my 1998 struggling Saab was making. It took me several tries to find the cabin atop the mountain along a gravel twisty road in the woods. After arriving I immediately went for a spin to get the juices flowing after 10 hrs in the car, and my only option was a swift descent that made me climb for about an hour to get back to the house. Like I said, easy spin.

The Tour de Toona required only 5-8 rider teams in order to race, so all during Nationals I was networking and meeting Pro Women’s Teams to see who could accept a young guest rider for this race. Luckily Danbury-Audi agreed to pick me up, directed by Greg Wolf.

After spending just a day and a half with the team I was already feeling comfortable and welcome, as everyone was exceptionally friendly and fun to be around. The team consisted of Kathleen Billington and Rebecca Wellins (who were permanent riders for the team) and guest riders Emily Collins, Alisha Welsh and Liza Rachetto.

The first race was a 3 mile prologue on Wednesday beginning at 6:50pm around a fast, exciting course that featured quick, steep hills, fast downhill turns, and a downtown crit-like finish with about 10 turns. It was more like a punchy sprint interval workout without any real consistent effort, perfect for the fast-twitch riders like Tara Whitten who ended up winning the race. And not so perfect for the not so fast twitch riders like me who came in half-way down the results sheet, only 34 seconds off the winning time.

Luckily our cabin atop a mountain happened to be about 200 feet from the finish of Stage 2, which is priceless to an exhausted cyclist that just climbed 6 km after a 70 mile race. Early on it was our goal to keep the race fast and aggressive, which called for attacks, chases and counterattacks on my part. I was quite surprised at how well I rode up the first few QOM climbs, staying in the first 20 riders on the steep Pennsylavanian hillside. Of course I can’t say the same about the last long climb, but I was quite satisfied to finish in 28th place, with teammate Alisha Welsh in 2nd for the day, all 30 lbs of her somehow taking the green sprinters jersey. Not sure how they worked that one out.

Friday was a rest day, and I was awarded the Dirtiest Bike Award for having the director take a scrub brush to my frame. I honestly cannot fathom how my bike always comes out so much filthier than everyone else’s. I would think it was a fluke if it weren’t for the fact that I also won the Dirtiest Bike Award just about every day at Nature Valley too.

We had to wake up at a painful 5:30am on Saturday for an 8:10 am start, to which I insisted we protest such a ridiculous decision on the promoters’ part and go back to bed until noon. Unfortunately no one else seemed as reluctant to wake so early as me. The stage was supposed to be 91 miles with at least three longish climbs, including a 6 km one that simply went up the opposite side of the mountain that we climbed at the end of the Thursday stage. I wasted myself early on, keeping the field together as one of our riders had gotten up the road in a break. Tibco was especially keen on getting a rider to bridge to the break as they kept hitting the field left and right with attack after counter attack. It wasn’t hard to pick up on the pattern and soon I simply began following Tibco rider wheels knowing that they would probably fly next. I made the mistake of trying to cover Tara Whitten’s wheel, who happens to be track omnium World Champion. For me it was basically the hardest 700 meter pursuit I’ve ever done in my life that ended in me hovering about 30 feet off her wheel straining every muscle in my body at a perceived effort of about 10 for about 20 seconds before physiology dictated that my VO2 max was not up to the task and I sat up only to have a half-mile long, strung out field blow by me with no mercy whatsoever. I think it took me about 5 minutes to recover to the point I could finally see straight.

And then just when I’d about pulled a muscle trying to stay on the Whitten train, the motos pulled over the entire field and informed us we had gone the wrong way. So we got turned around and began racing again when about 15 minutes later we came to another screeching halt only to be informed that we had once again gone off course and had to turn around in the middle of the road. By that point the race petty much seemed like a huge joke, and I’d have been laughing if it weren’t for the fact that our 91 mile race suddenly turned into a 99 mile race.

After getting dropped on the mid-race 6 km climb, I settled into an 8 woman group that rode steadily to the finish over another two climbs, one of which had what seemed like a 30% grade on a gravel surface. For the first time in my cycling career I actually worried I might not make it to the top of a climb without falling over from 20 rpms and blown out knees and an inability to track stand. Fortunately my fear of looking like a fool prompted me to wring out my legs and make it to the top. After what seemed like 12 hours I crossed the finish line with a stomach ache. It turned out Alisha Welsh had an unfortunate crash and lost her 2nd place in GC, while the break up the road with our teammate got caught before the end. It was a brutal day for everyone, to say the least.

The next day was a 30 mile criterium, and I was secretly hoping they might shorten it the same distance our road race was increased by. Nope. Cycling is a merciless sport. My legs were trashed and it didn’t help that it was a technical course with an uphill and a fast downhill section with turns that would string out the field.

My first failure was not getting to the front on the line, which subjected me to the miserable back of the strung out mess with all the exhausted riders that kept opening up gaps and the riders that couldn’t corner to save their lives. And then on about lap three a crash happened in one of the turns and just like that I was off the back and my race was sadly over. I only lasted about another six laps before they pulled me.

But it turned out that I wasn’t the only one who had a weirdly miserable race. The yellow jersey wearer’s group got lapped by the field, and lost her minute lead and her jersey. Three of my teammates managed to stay in the front group and despite all their obvious pain faces got a top ten finish at the end. I’m disappointed I couldn’t finish but on the other hand it’s been perhaps one of the hardest physical challenges of my life. My mind said “GO GO GO!!” but my body said “hell no”.

Thanks again to team Danbury-Audi for supporting me in this race, as well as ABD (whose socks I wore for some events) because I couldn’t have done it without that sweet Madone.

See the second rider in the photo? Yup, that's me.


Meshberg Report: State Criterium Championship

Hi team!

So sorry for the delay of this report, I know you've been sitting on pins and needles awaiting it. So without further delay, here it is......

After Nature Valley, we had planned to do a couple ToAD races, and then do Glencoe on Saturday. The promoter, Jon Knouse, has always done right by the women by giving us decent prize money and race lengths, so we wanted to support the race. Plus it was the Illinois State Criterium Championships!!!

Jeannie was under the weather, Jessi was at nationals, and Elena was in search of upgrade points at the ToAD race that day. Sarah made the drive from Michigan to line up with Stacy and I, so we had a team of 3. It was a small field, but we knew it would be hard because there were a handful of Tibco and Vanderkitten pros there as well as some other big names we knew, as well as all of the locals going for the top Illinois spot. Our goal was to make sure that Stacy or I took that position. The course is fairly long with a nice little technical descent heading into a little kicker of a hill that was enough to hurt. It was critical to maintain speed in the technical downhill to be able to have momentum for the uphill. Almost immediately riders were opening gaps and if you were behind them, you were done! Sarah got stuck behind such a gap but rode hard enough for the rest of the race to still finish in the $$$.

Stacy did quite a bit of work throughout the race and tried several times to initiate a small break containing a Tibco and a Vanderkitten, which would have been the magic combination but it was immediately apparent that Tibco was confident in their chances against us in the sprint because every time they chased it down. As a result we came to the finish as a group and on the last lap I was able to be in awesome position; about 4th. Unfortunately I let a small gap open up somewhere and then had no gas for a full sprint. I got passed by a couple riders to end up 7th overall and Stacy was right behind me yelling "go for it!!" to finish 8th. I was the FIRST ILLINOIS RIDER!!! Which was super cool. I was pretty happy about getting the Illinois State Jersey for ABD, even though I would have liked us to have a higher placing in the race. Turns out Tibco made the right strategy choice as they finished first and third with Vanderkitten sneaking in for second.

In the end Stacy, Sarah and I raced well together and I'm cautiously optimistic that I might be able to see an improvement in my year!! We even got some props from Tibco's winner Emma Mackie in their post race write up listed on the GGP website: “Some of the girls from the area were doing some great attacks and definitely keeping the pace high as well..... I tried a couple times on the hill (to break) and everything stayed together so we just waited for the sprint and stuck to our plan.”

Many thanks to Steve Crane and Rich Johnson for cheering us on EVERY SINGLE LAP!! It was awesome. :)

Can't wait to hear the updates from Altoona--Go Jessi!-- and up next for Sarah, Stacy, Elena, Jeannie and I..... my all time favorite time of the year: SUPERWEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not sure what will happen in the results, but I do know this: It will be fun and it will be hot. See you all out there!!!




It's the Number 3 for Konrad Witt!

After a third place overall finish in the Men’s 4/5 series of the Tour of America’s Dairyland 16-year old ABD rider Konrad Witt is ready to officially jump up to the Men’s Category 3!

Konrad raced all 10 days of ToAD and finished in the top 10 six times including second place finishes at both the Sheboygan stage and the Downer Avenue stage. Here’s a quick summary of each stage from “Team Witt”:

  • Thiensville - Was doing great, in the top 10 with one lap to go.  Crash right in front of him brought him down and he finished, but way down at the bottom.
  • Grafton - 4th place; nice recovery after a somewhat disastrous first day.
  • Waukesha - At this point Konrad was apparently not worried about the overall at all, and spent several laps way out front of the pack; he also picked up a nice $75 prime and then finished 31st.
  • Greenbush (road race) - 6th place.
  • Schlitz Park - 5th place.
  • Ripon (time trial) - Konrad's hates time trials and never does that well in them, but because he was actually in the top 5 overall, he did the time trial and managed to squeek out 2 measly point by coming in 20th.
  • Sheboygan - 2nd place!!  Podium at last!
  • Fond du Lac - 4th place.
  • Downer Avenue - 2nd place! in a very full, very tough field; awesome finish that his mom and uncle were able to witness as they joined the guys Saturday in Milwaukee; more importantly, this took him from 5th place overall to 3rd.
  • Madison - He rode with the pack for the entire race on very short, three-downhill, one-uphill course, but got a flat in the last couple of laps and finished behind the pack; fortunately there was no one challenging his 3rd place position at this point, so he was on the podium once again accepting a trophy/placque for 3rd overall in the 4/5 category.

Way to go Konrad!!!

Konrad Witt finished third overall at the 2011 Tour of America's Dairyland.


Prinner Report From her Bronze Medal TT Ride

This report originally appeared at "The Prinner Posts"

Here is a perfect example of the messed up schedule of a competitive cyclist;

  • Wed-Sun race Nature Valley Grand Prix,
  • Sun drive 6 hours home after an agonizing 8 laps of Stillwater crit,
  • Mon get everything done you’ve put off during NVGP and pack for Nationals,
  • Mon night drive to Champaign,
  • Tues morning (uncomfortably early) meet Hogan Sills and Ben Damhoff/ girlfriend Molly and drive 12 hours to Augusta Georgia,
  • Wed preview TT course twice and cramp up because it’s about 100 degrees with 100% humidity,
  • Thurs morning race the U23 Women’s National Championship Time Trial...

The course was definitely one that needed no brakes and absolutely no technical skill whatsoever. It was 30km (~19 miles for those of you stubborn Americans) of rolling hills and the type of muggy heat that leaves no hope of ever getting dry again. I had spent 2 days searching high and low for an individual who would lend me a disk wheel with no success, and I was continually told that having a disk was vital for this particular course. With just 1.5 hours before my start time I was getting desperate asking random pro teams and people I knew if they had a disk to spare. Unfortunately, there seems to be a shortage of disks here in Georgia because no one would lend me one (or it might have to do with the fact that they didn’t want to give some random girl a disk that costs almost as much as a car). After downing three Gatorade bottles in my warm-up and sticking a pantyhose full of ice down the back of my skinsuit, I was as ready to go as I would ever be. And just as I was dismounting my trainer to roll over to the starting gate, USA National Team director Jackson Stewart appeared at our team tent touting a disk wheel that he had gotten from someone else that had gotten it from some junior. It was a moment that epitomized my usual last-minuteness. I never even got to meet this junior who lent me a ridiculously expensive bike wheel. Needless to say the shifting was not all that great and I could not reach my lowest cog in the back (which for a while made me believe, to my horror, I was riding junior gearing in the race).

I wasn’t nervous until two U23 women in front of me fell off the ramp in their starts. I couldn’t help but worry if there was something wrong with the ramp, or the holder. One chick even took out the time clock on the left hand side (quite ironic if you think about it). After seeing a bunch of chicks falling over I punched it super hard from the gun and shot off the ramp as straight and true as an arrow. The rest pretty much goes without saying. I suffered for 30 km, crossed the finish line thinking my face had caught on fire, and sat around in damp clothes until results were posted. For my first year in the U23 category, I came in a respectable 3rd place, 55 seconds off the winner, Tayler Wiles.


In lieu of Wednesday Night Racing- a Wed Night/Northbrook Report

Ed. Note: Here's a great report that Stacy Appelwick filed a couple of weeks ago.

Whoo hoo!

What fun I've been missing! The ABD women's team showed up en masse (except Jeannie-she's in IA) last night for the Wednesday training crit in West Chicago at the Pelladrome! Fabulous time and great training. It's so darn hard racing with the boys. Thanks to everyone for volunteering your time and organizing this every week! I'll for sure be back! If you haven't made it out to the Pelladrome yet, give it a try!

Thanks to Kristen for her recap of the Spring Prairie RR last Sunday up in WI. http://pwppedalingwithapurpose.blogspot.com This course is 6.4 miles of rolling terrain with a 18% grade finishing straight. We had the pleasure of going up it 6 times for a total of 39 miles. After the second climb, I just rolled through the downhill section and got about a 6 bike length gap and Lindsey Durst of IS Corp attacked and I caught her wheel. We went through turn one, I looked back and we had Kelly Hess of Kenda and Holly Matthews also of IS Corp with us. It was the right combo of teams represented, so it stuck. In a nutshell, Lindsey was protecting Holly's position, so she was doing most of Holly's work, so Kelly and I set about to attempt to escape from them. We started attacking. On the 5th lap, I put in a pretty hard dig, but it was on the wrong spot of the course. Live and learn. After dangling for awhile, I got caught and Kelly attacked hard. She rode away as I was too gassed to catch her wheel. We rolled around for another lap and after the last climb, Holly and I dropped Lindsey. My goal then was to attempt to drop Holly. It didn't work. That girl is strong! Since I was attacking her, she went into defensive mode and slowed to let Lindsey catch back on. When I saw this was happening, I finally sat up and realized I'd better save something for the sprint. Sure enough once we turned the corner for the final climb, I caught Holly's wheel, but those sprinter thighs of hers dropped me after all the previous wasted effort. It really wasn't wasted though, because more lessons were learned!

Kelly won it by a large margin, Holly was 2nd, I was 3rd and Lindsey rolled in behind me after all the work she did for Holly.

There were many interesting things that went on in this break, but it would take way too long to talk about them all. All I can say is that this bike racing business is the just the coolest thing ever!

Thank you to ABD for supporting our team! We really appreciate all you do to support cycling and racing. This is such a great community of people!!

Chris, Elena and I are now off to Minneapolis to race on the track at the Fixed Gear Classic this weekend. Jeannie, Kristen and Jessi are racing the Galena stage race and Sarah's racing locally in MI. Good luck girls! We'll see you in MN for the Nature Valley Grand Prix next Wednesday.