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Kevin's Crits

March Madness.*


The week of racing closed on Friday with Half Acre Beer!  "Robot costumes!":  "Cake!":  "Feeding robots cake!":  "Cake handups!": Cold!  The smallest field of the week lined up, but hey, you guys saving it for Blackhawk meant some other folks had a chance... then Ernie showed up and they had slightly less of a chance.  Predictably, he "took the men's win,": and "Jannette Rho bested the women's field.":  (Photos from "Amy!)":

Thanks again to Audrey and Erica for making this week happen, to Commander Eric Carter and the 4th District Police, to Tiffany and the Chicago Park District, and to everyone who came out to volunteer, cheer, or ride!  All results are on "USAC": now.  Email the team at hello at halfacrecycling dot org if you have comments/questions.

~*technically we're not supposed to say this since I believe the phrase is trademarked by the NCAA, but maybe they'll let us get away with it, since we're cyclists and not ballers.  OK, some of us think we're ballers.  But we're really not.~


Report: Kevin's Crits Day 4

First I wish to start by saying thank you.  Thank you to everyone on our team, XXX, Cuttin Crew, and the city of Chicago for allowing this Crit to take place. Without your hard work, this would not have been possible, nor would it have been as successful or so smoothly run.

I’ll first start by saying this is the first race for me of the 2009 racing season.  I viewed it simply as a tune-up to get the kinks and cob-webs sorted out, and to gauge how I was progressing in my training compared to everyone else. I was a little nervous, because I was spit out the back of both crits I raced last year due to poor training/planning, so my goal was to hold on to the pack for 45 minutes (that and not to crash).

I toed the line towards the far left, got a good jump at the start, and settled in for the first lap in the top 5-10 positions. After that, I just let people shuffle around me and tried to stay in the draft to conserve energy.  While in the peloton, I was learning it was best to be towards the outside of the corners so that you could carry more speed through them and not have to sprint out of every corner to stay with the group. I moved from the front to the back to the front of the peloton over the remaining 11 laps.

To be honest, I settled into the groove, and my mind went blank, only concentrating on maintaining a consistant pace, and on the riders to my left, right, and front. Every now and then I would hear Audrey, Erica and Julie screaming, but it was almost inaudible amoungst all the noise.   Originally I had hoped that I would have had the stamina and power to mount an attack with the stronger guys on Half Acre, but as the laps wound down, I knew that I couldn’t sustain the required watts that it would take to make a break-away stick.

As the bell lap sounded, the pace dramatically increased.  I was behind Danny and felt he and I could possibly work together to make up some spots to get near the top 10.  After coming out of the first turn and into the S-bend on the back stretch, someone failed to hold their line and almost caused a wreck.  Danny and I got seperated, and my momentum was shot.  From here to the Finish line, I focused on what Kevin Perez says at track clinics “Concentrate on passing the person in front of you”  So, I picked off 2 riders and almost a third before the finish line.  I’m not overly concerned with my finish, as it was somewhere mid-pack, but I am very happy with my overall performance, and knowing that my training is working. Now lets see how the rest of the season plays out.

I’d like to give a shout out to Stan on the team, who finished 5, in only his 4th Criterium ever.  Very impressive.

Watch out for the blue Half Acre train, I forsee some good things happening on the road this year from our squad.

-Dave Bowers


Day 3: Kevin's report on Kevin's Crit

racing all week is hard work; especially if you work all week AND work on a race that lasts all week. despite feeling like i was fried on Tuesday -- only to go on to finishing top-10, Wednesday i felt worse. i rode 45 miles before i even got to the race. yet, i felt like it was gonna be the night -- no doubt encouraged by the previous night's effort. bizarro world? probably.

i toed the actual start line for the first time and was the first one through turn 1. i felt ok and kept a look out for Stan. a lap or 2 later he made a quick break and i was able to follow and encourage him to take my wheel. we made it through the wind on the NE side of the course and took turn 4 in good shape, i thought.

through the first left this time Stan hammered it around the outside. i went inside of the whole pack to try to grab his wheel again. i made a quick look behind me and saw Ed White and one other half acre jersey. i got goosebumps and thought to myself that THIS WAS GONNA BE EPIC!!!

then i took a hero pull through the long start/finish strait. then i realized that i was felling really poor. then i realized that my wheel was out of true and rubbing my brakes. DNF for me but worth it for that fleeting moment of potential glory.

 -Kevin Clark

Tuesday: Kevins Crit or how I learned to love the eschelon draft.

With rain looming and the spring weather unpredictable by the minute, my goal was still to finish in the top 10. This was to be my first race for 2009. The first races of the season are always jittery and nerve racking. I'm always so excited I can't contain myself. </p>

<p>We get down to Calumet Park just as the women's race is starting and begin warming up. Just back and forth on the open drive to the boat dock and parking lot. I get caught up talking to everyone that I almost miss the men's start. I line up with a minute to spare and don't get the best position once the race is started. </p>

<p>From the get go the wind just starts shredding everyone to pieces. Riders are dropping back left and right as I fight my way to the front. I believe we do a few laps and it kinda gets hazy at this point, but I think my legs were stealing all the energy from my brain. All i remember is a group of riders maybe 4 getting a few second jump on me into the wind and just take off. I'm struggling as much as I can to close it but nothing, the wind is too much. </p>

<p>Somewhere around this point Kevin comes by and tells me to jump on but I'm almost completely burned out and having trouble holding his wheel and just yelled for him to go. At this point I was doing no good to him or myself if I still wanted to finish decently. I let the group of 5 behind me catch up and grabbed their draft. I'm not too worried about anyone behind us. I figure if we couldn't catch the lead riders, at this point, with this wind, no one would catch us either. I ride the last half of the race in their draft to recover for the last lap. </p>

<p>Thinking back on the race, I didn't need a powermeter to see where I used all my energy at, but I'm guessing I used more than 1/2 as much energy less in the second half than in the first. I remember coasting for some really good portions. </p>

<p> Around the time we came past the finish for the bell lap, we were a group of about 6 or 7 and Kevin told me to watch for Cutting Crew to make a jump something soon. I figured as much and around half way down the back stretch I jumped on Jeff Perkins attack at 30 mph took the last corner and sprinted for the line at 32.4 mph. In the blowing rain I averaged 22.7 for about 46 minutes.</p>

<p> It was a great opportunity to race and everyone was screaming for me and Kevin at every corner. It was cool to race with him. My engine is there but I'm not half the racer he is.   I'm glad we finished together, 8th and 10th. </p>

-Joe Schubert

Thank you to the Track Cat supporters!

If you registered for "Kevin's Crits,": you had the opportunity to donate to "Yojimbo's Track Cats,": an organization that gets Chicago kids racing on the track.

Thanks (so far) go out to Trevor Rolette, Tyler Avery, Kevin Clark, Chris Jensen, Avi Neurohr, Jeff Perkins, William Seliger,  Ben Van Couvering, and Michael Young.

If you missed that little box on the registration form, no worries, we'll have a can at the registration table.  Every little bit helps!


Meet Kevin and Kevin's Crits

!! This is Kevin.  He's a nice guy and a founding member of Half Acre Cycling and a really strong rider.  But, because his summer season is split between sailing and cycling, he's somehow still a cat 5.  This blows our collective minds.  So, we decided to do something about it.  Since our favorite cycling official probably wouldn't accept beer-bribes for upgrades, that something that we do would have to be slightly more legit.  Thus we came up with a slightly more legit solution.  And somehow this solution might solve some other problems, and entertain some other people, too.  We'll tell you what it is on Monday.  We have a weekend to attend to!

(And teammates-- monthly meeting is Sunday.  See you there.)

One week, 5 days, 5 mass starts, 5 sets of finish points up for grabs, women's and men's cats 4/5 and juniors only.  March 23-27, Calumet Park, Chicago.

"Info is here.":
"Registration is here.":
"Download and print a flyer here.":

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!  Email the team at hello @ if you can bring a buddy to help out!