Our STAY MOVING Clinic was a good time.

We had a great turn out. It was a good mix of people looking to extend their riding season, get into snowshoes, or just happy to be in a room full of like-minded lunatics.




We’ve got our photos up on Flickr here.

Thanks to James from Louis Garneau and many thanks to all the nice folks who came and hung out with us.



This may be old news by now, but better late than never.

Last weekends race at Hopkins Park was just about a perfect. This is our third year and the event just keeps getting smoother and smoother. This year, we decided to make things more interesting (for us and for the racers) by building the now famous Flyover.

The Flyover was brilliant. Mr. John Arends, father of “Crash” Arends, was the genius that took the crayola blueprint and made it reality – a stout, heavy, sectional and smart reality. We could not have done without him and the rest of the Arends family.


Getting the flyover to the park was much easier than we had anticipated due to the generous manpower that showed up that Saturday morning. It was a proud moment to see so many friends show up at 7am on a crisp fall morning – most of whom weren’t racers or staff of the bike shop. We also had the assistance of Arik Gum who has made a minor career of saving our butts.

We had the flyover moved to the park and sitting mostly upright by noon. It was amazing. Then we had an incredible lunch presented by the Queen of Checkpoint #3, Anna Anderson.  The picture didn’t show this, but she’d brought fresh cookies, Apples & Caramel, a veggie plate, and yummy sodas, too.

The ladies from HAC made the flyover pretty with consistent colors and phrases – it literally took the whole day to figure out the phrases to paint on the steps. One can’t be too hasty when it comes to spray paint…

We staked and taped all day while the flyover crew finished the details. The course came together quite well – we added some twists and took out some straights. Marking the course always brings out a little evil in me. I like making it tough, and every time I think I should change it to make it easier, I’m talked out of it (sometimes by someone else). All the volunteers on Saturday worked hard to get it done.

The Park District allowed us to bring the flyover as long as we had someone guarding it the whole night. This was something that sounded fun up until the actual moment it was required. It was supposed to dip into the 30s that night. The ubiquitous Jeremiah from HAC stood guard into the night and Josh finished the job – sleeping out on top of the flyover until daybreak.


We were back at the park at 7am and there were already people rolling in. The races started earlier this year, so we had to be up and running by 8am. Chris and his team of registration wizards made it happen. I was exceedingly thankful for a few helpers at the reg table to were familiar with the process and made things run smoothly.

As were were getting the officials set up, there was a few murmurs about the safety of the flyover. The transition from the ramp to the ground was a little “abrupt” and they feared it could be an issue for less skilled riders. The first few races went over it well, but we were noticing some nasty sounds coming from the riders and their bikes as they rolled off the ramp. Quick like a bunny, Brian Van and Josh whipped up a 8×8 transition piece to mellow it out. The only casualties from the flyover were a few snapped seatposts, a few spokes, and a bruised ego or two. Everyone else loved it.

The response to the course was phenomenal. It was a tough course, but it was fun. We removed some of the “recovery sections”, but kept it flowy.

Here are videos of the 4B race, courtesy of Omar:

That gives you a nice feel for the flow of the course. Now if you can only imagine riding that cross-eyed with a parched mouth and a reoccurring urge to barf – you got yourself a cross race.

Even the pro’s liked it. Barry Wicks and James Lalonde, deadly racers on any ground, showed up and dominated Hopkins Park.

The OUISSCXSC was a success again this year. Here’s the podium, sans Lalonde.

By the end of the day, the flyover hecklers were in true form. It was fun to be on both ends of that madness. There were handups galore, some healthy, some… notsomuch.

The pictures tell the rest of the stories – who won, who lost, who fell, who fainted. I’ll let those finish the tale. You can find a healthy list of galleries here and find our modest collection, courtesy of Eric, Chad, and JD here.

I will take a moment to list some heroes of the day – Chris Jenson, Josh Arends, Al Thom, The NCC Crew, this girl, Jeremiah, Gavin, Erica and the HAC Paint Crew, Arik Gum, all the Saturday volunteers, Pop’s & his grill, Cousin Mike, Broken Leg Reg Lady, HAC Bake Sale Crew, everyone else who volunteered, and Evan.

Also, a rad hand to Surly, Louis Garneau, Trek, Lazer, Ridley, and QBP for their generosities.

At the end of the day, we dismantled the flyover and hauled it over to storage. We had another kind crew of volunteers and it took no time to get it stored. We were all ready for the day to be done. It was a great day. Here’s the last image of the day – three ridiculously exhausted men sitting on a pile of wooden glory.

Last night was the last CC of the year and the second in a row to be ruined by a very precise downpour. It’s sunny at 4, sunny at 5:30, is that a cloud at 6?, 6:20 – it’s raining. And at 6:45? A bright sunset and 100 rainbows.

I have to wonder if God doesn’t have it in for the Custard Cruise, but I just can’t figure out why.

It’s a perfect idea. Perfect!

It’s family friendly and safe. It’s a short ride – attainable by even the most infrequent of riders. It’s a small independent business directly supporting another local independent business. It’s FREE! and it’s OLLIES!

This is the third year of attempting the event and we’re going back to the drawing board next season. An event with this formula (family+friends+bikes+FREE OLLIES) should attract legions. Somehow, though, we’re missing something. If you can help us figure that out, we’ll be happy to buy you some custard.

I thought I’d take a minute to clear up our current Group Ride schedule.

Believe it or not, organizing and sustaining a solid group ride is one of the trickiest parts on my job. It’s very hard to corral riders to be at the same place at the same time. Even if you do, it’s still a task to try and get everyone to understand each other. It requires an inordinate amount of communication.

But it is very, very worth it.

Riding with a group is an excellent way to expand the sport of cycling – even if you don’t compete. I’m speaking mostly about group road riding. Group rides help you excel as a rider in many ways. You become a better bike handler when riding with other people – as a matter of survival. Group riding is a good way to meet other riders of similar riding skill and interest. It is also a great way to test and increase your fitness.

Our goal in publicizing group rides is to grow the cycling community. We want riders to meet each other and inspire each other to ride more. Bring a helmet, bring a friend, and come on out.

Tuesday Nights – 5:15pm – 25-35 miles, 20mph avg. 

Tuesday nights attract avid road cyclists, most of whom are training for road racing or triathlon. The average speed when the ride is over is around 20mph, but that means the average speed is truly 22-24mph during the ride. Riders on this ride are accustomed to riding as a group and often work together in an echelon when the wind is up. (There is always wind in DeKalb). Typically the ride is “no drop” until the wind is at your back.

Thursday Nights – 5:15pm – 20mi, 17mph avg.

Thursday nights are road rides aimed at more casual or newer road riders. Experienced riders help newer riders learn the skills necessary to ride in a group. While this is not exactly a “No Drop” ride, there is an effort to keep the group together. It is more likely to have riders fall off the front of this group – which you are free to do if the pace is not to your liking.

Saturday Mornings – 7:30am – Whoever shows is how it goes

Saturday mornings are often a more relaxed ride, 18-25mi, with the occasional stop at Shaun’s Deli in Sycamore. There are days when the majority will vote for a longer, faster ride, but people will generally agree on a route and split up if they don’t.

Saturday Mornings – 9am – Ladies’ Road Ride w/ Emily

The Ladies Road Ride is hosted by Emily Anderson and is open to women riders of all skill levels. Come on out, ladies!

Despite having 8 days to plan and promote the event, I think the Salsa Cycles Preview Night was a success. Dave G had come a long way in a short time and rolled into town around 3pm. We rearranged the floor to exhibit the new goods and once again celebrated the luxury we have in a good space.

We had a good turnout of local and regional attendees. We’ve learned that good brands attract good people and this event was just another example. The environment was amiable, welcoming, and relaxed. At sunset, Fire Chief Tyler Grey McK. got the campfire going outside. Eventually the party simmered down around the coals for s’mores.

The new goods were very well received. The Mukluk was the centerpiece of the night, but the Ti models and new Casseroll were also garnering attention.

Russ and I took Dave out for a cross ride the next morning. We showed him the Hopkins course and took him down to Afton for a few loops. I’ll expand on this later, but Afton Forest Preserve is fantastic. This is a recent discovery for us. I rode there on Monday and we found even more trails riding with Dave. It is perfect training ground for cyclocross. There are probably 4 miles of mowed paths intertwined in the preserve.

Thanks to Dave and Salsa Cycles for bringing the goods. It was a blast.

Check out our Flickr gallery for all the photos from the night, courtesy of THE John Campen, Dave G, Eric S, and moi.

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