Photo: Bill Draper

– Well you’ve asked for it for years and this past weekend you finally got some real CX weather worthy of those long sleeve skinsuits. Thankfully it wasn’t too cold, but the rains came and went and came again… and then it rained some more. Even through all of muckity muck over 680 of you toed the line to start the CCC series. The CCC has never concentrated specifically on increasing CCC rider counts, but even we were amazed by how many of you came out to race, heckle, and have fun… especially in the rain.

– Thanks again to xXx Racing for hosting such a great event and specifically race promoters Brian Parker and Blayne Greiner and their right hand man and CX Relay promoter Alan Treuthart. Hosting such a big race is tough enough much less in the soaking rain, and all of xXx pulled together to make the first stop of the CCC a great success.

– Some of you loved her, most of you not so much… but we ‘d like to say a very special thank you to Victoria Seliger for helping us pick numbers for the top 10 call ups all day long in the rain.

– Next up in two weeks is CCC stop #2 Hopkins Park in beautiful Dekalb, IL. All categories are still open, but the Cat 4A’s and B’s are starting to fill up. See below for more exciting details about this year’s race that just can’t wait until next Thursday’s course preview.

– Is your CX bike durty after Jackson Park? Of course it is. Thankfully 2011 CCC Series Title Sponsor Iron Cycles comes to the rescue with a super duper cleaning special.

$45 CX-specific clean includes:
– Chain and cassette removed and cleaned (customer may need a new quick link depending on chain, slight upcharge)
– Bottom bracket and headset bearings cleaned whenever possible (sealed bottom brackets are limited somewhat)
– Clean/true wheels
– Clean frame
– 48-hour turnaround time or less

This is essentially Iron Cycles’ “Paceline” tuneup for 40% off with added removal of the chain and cassette for cleaning purposes. Rider must have raced a CCC race in the last week. Iron Cycles will take your bike in on Monday or Tuesday and get it primed for the next weekend’s racing, or your favorite CX practice on Wednesday.

– Speaking of series sponsors extending discounts to CCC racers. MNO Sport Chiropractic is offering a $50 account credit to any/all CCC riders who schedule and bring in their race number.  The account credit can be used toward chiropractic services regardless if the patient has insurance or not.  The credit is only redeemable once regardless of how many races you participate in. MNO is also offering a one-time $10 discount towards an hour massage for CCC racers and staff.  Mention this deal when calling to schedule your appointment.

– The next race in the CCC series is Hopkins Park  hosted by North Central Cyclery, Half Acre Cycling, and Robots Powered by Love. In addition to the full CCC schedule of races Hopkins Park will again be the venue for the OUILSSSCXC immediately after the Cat 4B race. This race is NOT USAC sanctioned but will be loads of fun. See details here. As an added bonus the men’s and women’s SS winners earn a complimentary entry into the Single Speed Cyclocross World Championship weekend being held November 18-20 in San Francisco, CA. In addition to their entry, the OUILSSSCXC organizers are providing round-trip airfare to the winners, all inclusive! See more details here.

– The trio of Hopkins Park promoters are also upping the ante with payouts in a fun way. The prize for top men and women Cat 3’s in the Cat 1/2/3 races will sort out like this:

– M123: Top Cat 3 that also raced the regular Cat 3 race gets a $250 gift certificate courtesy Johnny Sprockets.
– W123: Top Cat 3 gets $250 gift certificate courtesy Johnny Sprockets.

– Speaking of race announcements, late last week we received an email from our friends up North extending a welcome to this weekend’s USGP in Madison, WI. Apparently word of the CCC’s brand of fun is spreading far and wide. From the USGP Planet Bike Cup Regional Director Renee Callaway:

The USGP’s Planet Bike Cup would like to invite all the Chicago Cross Cup racers and fans to cross over the Cheddar Curtain and head to Sun Prairie, Wisconsin to race, spectate, heckle and generally bring your brand of merriment to the event.  The USGP brings together many of the world’s top racers with US riders like Tim Johnson, Jeremy Powers, Georgia Gould, Kaitie Antonneau, and Jonathan Page racing against Europeans like Bart Wellens, Christian Huele and Caroline Mani.  Watching the best in the world duke it out here in the Midwest is a great way to get the season going as is racing on the same course as the pros!  The USGP Race Directors know Chicagoland racers bring their own style of fun to cyclocross and we think nothing could make the weekend better than having Wisconsin, Chicago, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota all together in Sun Priaire showing the rest of the country that the upper Midwest isn’t flyover country.  Instead this is where you’ll find great cycloross scenes with their own fun loving style of cross racing.  Bring your buses, your spam, pancake and bacon hand-ups and make this a USGP everyone will remember.  For more info check out or

– Also up North… My Wife, Inc. and Crank Daddy’s Bicycle Works in Milwaukee are promoting the WCA Cyclocross Series kick-off race – Cross the Domes the day before Hopkins Park. MWI is again offering IL riders an $8.00 discount off of reg fees when they pre-reg. Use discount code “ITR” for: Illinois Toll Rebate.

– And finally… after this crazy past weekend we figured we could have told you about people falling off their bikes… or just leaving them behind… or movies about bikes… or how excited we were to see Flannel Mike back in action… or all the hand-ups we didn’t see… or how ecstatic we were to see 5 rows deep of Women Cat 4’s… and the same number of juniors… or record numbers of Cat 1/2/3 women… and Cat 3’s… and Masters… or that The Hemme revealed his newest Blue Steel.

But unless you were on the start line of the Cat 4 Women you probably didn’t hear that Vanessa Buccella (Iron Cycles) won the 2011 series T-Shirt design contest and Katie Mann (Tati) designed the series socks. Congratulations to both ladies! It now up to the rest of your to cheer heckle these ladies and all of their fellow Cat 4 women competitors as they race throughout the season. Both shirts and socks are currently on pre-sale on our Store Page. Shirts will be available at Hopkins Park and socks will be available at ABD Sunrise Park. Shirts will only be on pre-sale through next week and when they are sold out… they’re sold out. So if you want a shirt you need to order it now!