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Johnny Sprockets

Showing Up to Throw Down

It is sad to say goodbye to the only real road race somehow close to Chicago; I have raced Hillsboro-Roubaix for the last three years with two different teams with mixed results but this year was a great and memorable one because during that trip I was accompanied by the finest bike lovers around, Half Acre Cycling.

This year was supposed to be different from past ones; I am finally getting to my desired fitness goal as I have been working hard to accomplish that (it is about physics, less weight = more speed)... I totally had in my mind to place top 10 and get some elusive upgrade points as I want to upgrade in the road races, not in criteriums.

I do not know but it seems to me that the Cat4s this year were ex-athletes or current triathletes, Cat3s or 2s in disguise, or just a bunch of dopers. The race was fast from the start, I sat on the back as in previous versions of the race but the field was pushing hard enough that it took me about ¼ of the first lap to be at the front; usually road races are like sex, mellow at the beginning and hard at the end.

Finally I meet up with our Dan and Karson from Johnny Sprockets; we stayed with the front group for a bit while Wildcard and xXx in high numbers were controlling the pace as 4-5 riders sped away; one xXx, one Wildcard, one Bloomington rider and other two unknown ones. I saw them getting more and more time and I started to get more and more frustrated with the “super fit-exathletes-Cat3s or 2 in disguise” from all over the Midwest that were doing nothing.

If you have ever raced next to me in the past, you will know by now that I am an angry old man with a dirty mouth while racing… Dan and I tried to organize the peleton to bring back the 4-5 escapees, but the two of us cannot do much against the xXx and wildcard folks who just want to slow us down.

Ask Dan if you want, but one by one of the escapees faded away and we were able to catch the last two remaining riders by the start finish line.  I do not know for how long I was at front… it seems it was forever. It was then time for me to recover, eat and drink as much as I could.

Then the race turned ridiculously slow… I was expecting an attack from xXx directly as I know by then that Wildcard was protecting just one guy, the same guy we just brought back home at the start finish; he even told me that he wasn’t going to get away again because I was going to waste his effort… I think, why don’t you ask me to join your effort instead? I guess his ego doesn’t allow him. (Btw, that dude is one of the ex-athletes or whatever).

Another rider asked me if I want to win the race, I responded that if that is not your goal today what are you doing here? What kind of question is that one? Uhhh?

I speed up, and they speed up, I slow down, and they slow down… even Karson and I were side by side for a mile kind of surprised on what was going on. I think I should have attacked at that point, what could have happened? I guess I could have been really tired at the end of the race and that is all.

It seems xXx and Wildcard were tired of me holding them; in a synchronized attack, the two teams formed a perfect pace-line to town… except me who was playing between teams trying to break their pace. I believe we were rolling 26-28 m/h at that point, passing several riders of the Open Master and Cat3 field. I love when that happens, I even had time to make fun of an ex-teammate as our field sped away.

The end of the race was insane fast; basically I stayed behind the two teams for the last 8-6 miles to the finish. I felt strong, I really did… First hill went fine but I started to suffer, second high hill I was fading away, over the false flat I see people passing me, going downhill I recovered but that was too late, first left turn and the bricks felt as they were pulling me back… I see my top 10 gone, last left turn I sprinted as hard as I could… I finished.

Soooo close. I am not disappointed of what I accomplished on the road, I worked hard, I stayed at the front, I was a player, and I made that race interesting.

I am happy that Karson won, he is a great person and rider… I do not know my final place yet, I am guessing to be top 20s one more time.

Thanks Ashley, Jen, and Michael for the weekend. I am so glad we stayed in a hotel instead of driving the same day; resting helps a lot during the race. Thanks Dan for leaving power on the road for Half Acre.  I got the chance to know more my teammates… Now I know that Michael Sojka loves vans, in particular the Dodge Caravan… Just kidding.

Andres Quiros

WTB Fundraiser at the HAB Taproom

Wow!  What an amazing show of support.  For the first time Half Acre Cycling teamed up with Half Acre Beer Company to host a fundraiser to support the West Town Bikes Cyclocross program. 

For those that don't know, the WTB CX program sponsors and provides mentorship and coaching to juniors and young adults that would otherwise not have the opportunity to participate in cyclocross events.  Racing requires fitness and teaches commitment and perseverance.  The skills, knowledge and friendships gained help form a socially intelligent and responsible, physically fit person.

We at HAC were very excited to be a part of this as supporting the beginner rider and bringing the sport to more folks is important to us.  Without these efforts some of us wouldn't be racing today. 

An event like this couldn't have happened without the support of our sponsors and friends.  Major hats off to Half Acre Beer Co. for allowing us to takeover their taproom, providing staff, tours, and proceeds of the beer sales.  We are so honored to represent them on the bike. 

The raffle prizes were simply above and beyond.  We created about a dozen 'super lots' so each one was well worth a few tickets.  Big thanks to:

-Knog          -Carborocket          -Specialized          -Gapers Block          -Chamois Buttr

-Active Transportation Alliance          -Johnny Sprockets          -Abus          -Chipotle

If you weren't able to attend you can still support the WTB CX program by visiting the West Town Bikes website.  There you will also learn more about the other programs they run and ways you can get involved. 


Folks anxiously awaiting the next raffle pull and/or brewery tour.

Folks anxiously awaiting the next raffle pull and/or brewery tour.

A snapshot of all the generous donated goods.

A snapshot of all the generous donated goods.

Wednesday recap & current Omnium standings

Folks that skipped last night missed out on some good racing.  It was a bit nipply out but the wind calmed a bit by race time and NO rain.  As for today, although it poured all morning the forecast is hinting at a reprieve during race times.   Whooot!


Wednesday prelim results have been input here.  But folks may want to take a peek at the Omnium standings.  Right now the top three Cat 5 gents are very close, tonights race could make the difference for one of them.  In the Cat 4/5 race 1st and 2nd are tied!!  Gotta race to get those points gents and watch out for 3rd, he's hot on your heels.  As for the ladies, 1st has a clear lead, but a no-show tonight and a 1st place win by 2nd could take the overall!


I should also mention that our sponsors have ponied up some AMAZING prizes this year.  A late addition to the prize packs are free massage sessions at HPIChicago.  Much needed after four nights of racing.  Johnny Sprockets is providing a bike fit and a bike tune-up for the gents.  Specialized is hooking up our women winners with shoes, saddles and gloves!  Also, some lucky folks will be getting full tubs of CarboRocket beverage, tubes of Chamois Butt'r, powerful lights and locks from Knog.  Whaaaat?!?!  Makes a possible race in the rain seem worth it to me.

A moment of pre-thanks for our sponsors

Attendees to the clinic today and the racers this week have and will be treated to many goodies from our sponsors.  Carborocket is providing their signature hydration beverage, Knog lights and locks, Chamois Butt'r oodles of samples, Johnny Sprockets a host for the clinic as well as a fit and tune-up for the men's omnium winners and Specialized has provided the women omnium winners with new saddles and shoes!!   We know you race for the fun and glory but a little treat at the end is always a plus.  Besides, we love our sponsors and want to share them with you.  We have to of course mention our race title sponsor, Gapers Block.  Check out our recent write up on their awesome site.  All winners will get to sport their Chicago pride with a Gapers Block tee as well.  Looking forward to a great week of racing and welcoming many new riders!!

Johnny Sprockets Joins Women's Clinic Raffle Sponsors; Clinic Details

Wow!  Local bike shop <a href="">Johnny Sprockets</a> is donating a gift certificate as part of our growing raffle for the women's clinic, joining <a href="">Specialized</a>, <a href="">BH</a>, and <a href="">The Bike Shop</a>.  The only way to get in on the raffle is to register and attend the awesome clinic- just 2 days away!  Registration closes at noon central time tomorrow, <a href="">sign up now.</a>

<b>Clinic Details</b>: We'll be starting the day at the UIC Behavioral Sciences Building, 1007 W Harrison, Chicago.  You can enter via Polk or Harrison on the Morgan side.  The clinic will be in room 4105.  There is limited bike parking inside the building, so if possible, please either lock outside or leave your bike locked in your car.  If neither are an option, we have parking for about 20 bikes inside the building in halls and offices, but with 35+ registrants, there won't be room for everyone.  Attendees will have limited time to change into riding clothes before hitting the street, there's space in the UIC bathrooms.  Don't forget to bring a helmet and bag lunch and beverage.

Limited metered parking is available on Harrison.  Free on-street parking is available North of I-290 on Jackson or Van Buren west of Morgan or on side streets Morgan or Sangamon.   Our space for on-the-bike practice is the Walsh Construction parking lot, on the south side of Jackson between Morgan and Sangamon.  Huge thanks to <a href="">Walsh</a> for their help!</a>