Photo: Luke Seemann


– Thanks again to Rob Kelley and Bicycle Heaven for upping the ante another year at Campton Cross. A slightly new course used many of the favorite and classic parts of the park, while a few new sections challenged and delighted… as did the bag piper! There were costumes in nearly every category, and 454 racers toed the line. Rob and Bicycle Heaven also chipped in an extra $500 to the WBR pot, helping us get even closer to our season long goal of raising $5k!

Weekend Update: We’re sorry we can’t find links to everyone’s costumes… but you all looked amazing… much better than these peopleSister Sprocket got knocked up, while ghosts roamed the course. We’re not sure what happened to this guy, but you really don’t want to know what’s in that bottle. Luke Skywalker (above left) showed up and won the best costume award (thanks for making sure Yoda was safe with a helmet) and we heard he was headed to the Death Star Canteen shortly afterwards for some Penne alla Arrabiata. Frenchy upgraded and went straight to the front middle of the Cat 1/2/3’s, while eventual race winner Mike Phillips showed off his mtb skills by bunny hopping the barriers! The Hemme is back and showed Rassi how’s to show off Blue SteelBrandon Leach made his final CCC appearance before shipping off to Norway (we’ll miss you B!) and Soda Popinksi fought his way to his first CCC Cat 3 podium. Gumby stayed at home, but Pokey made it to the race. Buzz Lightyear flew to the top of the juniors podium, even after a 2nd turn tumble… but this weekend’s sportswomanship award definitely goes to Tess Anderson… check out Spin Doctor Cyclewerks’ FB page for the reason why. Meanwhile an Ooompa Loompa was dancing through the Women 1/2/3’s but couldn’t quite make it to the podium to enjoy a CCC Snuggie! The scarecrow used his brain to win some Mad Alchemy and Tati-bot made his debut. Nixternal is always willing to lend a hand to the 4B’s, even if its only a liquid bandage (when is someone going to bring score cards for face plants??)… but Dave Knauff is a true man for others. As far as we know, #532 kept his cookies down… but it looks like he had some trouble with another sensitive area. Magnum P.I. flew in from Hawaii, but still couldn’t win the heaviest bike award… which went to Junior Ryley Zeller.

– Up next this coming weekend, the CCC heads North to Woodstock where Dr. Jim Kearns and the crew from Psimet Custom Wheels have a few new tricks (and maybe treats) up their collective sleeves. Just a reminder that alcohol is “NOT allowed” in Emricson Park. We know some of you will still sneak in an Old Style or PBR… so please be on your best behavior and clean up after yourselves. Look for the course preview on Thursday at 9am.

– There’s quite a spread in the November Chicago Athlete about the CCC… in fact we’re on the cover! Gihugimous thanks to ABD’s Gina Kenny for helping with our response to the magazine.

– For those of you into photography and bikes (we think there are a few of you out there) Thought You Knew has shot and will be selling their TyK 2011 Men & Women PinUp calendars soon. Check out the FB page here. As the name implies, these aren’t your typical pin-ups and Johnny Sprocket‘s own Becky Welbes is Ms. October. 100% of sales go straight to the Chicago Women’s Health Center in Wrigleyville, a non-profit health care and education center that  has been providing sliding scale care to women since 1975. TyK’s Gala launch party will be held at COOP on Fulton Market on Friday November 19th, followed by a Sadie Hawkins Style Ride on Saturday, and then Bike Polo Friendlies in Garfield Park late afternoon Sunday. So if you’re stuck in the city and not able to race Northbrook, swing down and say hello to TyK.

– In case you were living under a rock last week, we’re sure you’ve all heard that the USAC CX national championships will be held just North of the Cheddar Curtain in Madison, WI in 2012 & 2013. Nationals are also being pushed back to January (they are currently held in December). 2012 races will be held January 4th-8th in the Badger Prairie/Reddan Park. We’re not yet sure what that means for the CCC, but if we were betting people (we’re really not) we’d bet there might be a few more races in the Chicagoland area in December and January to keep everyone’s CX legs sharp and entice non-locals to see how we roll here in the Midwest. More to come later.

– VeloNews recently ran a great article from Leonard Zinn on fork chatter and cantilever brake set-up (specifically series sponsor Avid’s new Shorty Ultimates). VeloNews and others also ran an article detailing a bunch of changes being made to the USAC rulebook. Juniors, Helmet Cam-er’s and Single Speeders will want to take notice.

– And finally… speaking of USAC rules… let’s have a quick chat about hand-ups. Our USAC officials have asked us to remind you that food and drink hand-ups are technically considered feeds in CX, which are specifically forbidden in the USAC rulebook unless allowed and announced by the chief referee prior to the race start due to high temperatures. However we all know hand-ups happen in the CCC and we’re not naive enough to pretend the CCC’s success in the past few years isn’t owed in at least some way to the fun, excitement, and shenanigans that the 4B’s bring to each event.

We here at the CCC think know that cyclocross is supposed to be hard yet fun at the same time… but there always needs to be a good balance between the two to ensure rider safety and to make sure no rider is given an unfair advantage. However, that balance doesn’t necessarily need to be the same in every category due to the speeds (or lack there of) involved. So how do we justify letting Cat 4’s take hand-ups but not the Cat 1/2/3’s? We think neither the “rider safety” nor the “competitive advantage” issues are being violated in the less experienced categories and we and the USAC officials are usually watching closely to make sure things don’t get out of hand… and quite frankly you all do a great job of policing yourselves anyway.

So for those people who may gripe about not allowing illegal hand-ups in the Masters, W123, 3’s, and Men 1/2/3’s… we’ll remind you first that our USAC officials don’t have to allow them at all in any race, and 2nd, there are many races around the country where hand-ups are not allowed at all… even in the 4’s… so we’re all pretty lucky here in Chicagoland. We’ll also remind everyone that non-food hand-ups are technically not illegal (since just about anyone would have a hard time reasoning that a dollar bill is considered a feed)… and from some other grumblings we’ve heard, we’re pretty sure the fast guys and gals would appreciate $20 and $50 hand-ups anyway.

So, to be clear as mud…
Categories higher than 4 = hand-ups not okay
Cat 4 = what hand-ups… we didn’t see any hand-ups…

Great… now that we have that out of the way… let’s go race our bikes and have fun!