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Willow Springs

Love Thy Local Trail System

Love Thy Local Trail System

As a Chicago based team, mountain bike riding can be quite the challenge.  Our nearest trails are in Willow Springs at the Palos Forest Preserve.  Here's a fun fact, there are people that build and maintain them for our enjoyment!  They are CAMBr, the Chicago Area Mountain Bikers, and these volunteers giving their time and effort are the reason we have these trails to ride. 

So perhaps you ride regularly or were convinced to take your cx bike to give a it try a few times, in either case you know that when you go, you just park and ride.  No fee for parking or trail pass to purchase.  What a world!  Well here is our pitch:  support the work CAMBr is doing by becoming a member (basic is $35).  CLICK THIS LINK  

Trees fall and they clear em, berms created, and trails fixed (when those bad peeps ride them while wet and create terrible ruts).  In the last year alone, major developments on a new trail, Stonehouse, further connecting and extending the current system have taken place.  Check it out on this new map.   They also host training rides, kids days, plan trips to other trails systems, as well as host the Palos Meltdown race.  Side note: you can also throw in some muscle on work days, create those trails you ride!  

We all know those nights spent staring at the radar are just as filled with days riding.  So take a few minutes and a few dollars and become a member.  Increasing the numbers also shows the powers that be how important these trails are to the cycling community and that our numbers are large.  This helps fortify the case that bike trails are good and should not be nixed.

Thank you for joining.  We look forward to seeing you out there.  Just make sure to check the conditions first. 

Look at this fun stretch of Stonehouse.   How do think those rocks got there?  And look at this fallen tree on Turf, who is gonna clear it out? 

Look at this fun stretch of Stonehouse.   How do think those rocks got there?  And look at this fallen tree on Turf, who is gonna clear it out? 

Words as well as Action Fuel this Racer

IL State Championships Willow Springs Road Race Masters 3/4

First time at Willow Springs Road Race and I was really impressed by the course and organization; this was a race to remember... also the heat. Winning will be nice but once again I wanted place top 10 knowing that people are finishing their road race season and more than likely, the race was going to be a tough one.

Familiar masters category faces from Wisconsin that I had the chance to meet this season joined us that day. A strategy was set among us teams as Bloomington and xXx always show up with more than 5 riders at races making things difficult and interesting at times; the strategy was simple, as I discussed with the folks from Wisconsin MSN, sit top 10 and let the other teams drive us.

I was surprised to see to teammate Paul-Brian McInerny (cx and mtb'r usually) at the start of the race, I did not received the memo about it… also my first time racing with him so I didn’t have any idea what to expect. Wow, he was at the front pack the entire race; it is nice to see a teammate pulling while you are resting after some intense exertions and in some occasions just rolling and commenting that we can finish well placed in the race.

Interesting that the teams with more people did not want to work to break the field, we would have if we had more teammates at road races. Cycling uphill seemed easy to me this time, spinning high cadence with my 53/25 or 53/23 in some occasions, no need of 39; always I ended at from every time we crossed the finish line, that gave me motivation to keep riding hard at the twisted downhill section.

At lap 4/11 I was pulling at the front… I look back and nobody was following my wheel, honestly, I wasn’t pulling that hard… I say to myself, “what the fuck are you doing here, what the hell are these people doing? Well, I guess now I need to go harder then,” as I now broke my promise of not to be at front at any time so I don’t waste myself to lose the race at the last mile as many times has happened. I rode for one lap by myself just to be caught at the end of the downhill section… shit, that pull was hard, I gave everything there.

At some point of the race, an unknown rider did the same stupid mistake, the big difference was that he escaped for almost 3 laps just to be caught a mile from the finish line at the last lap… that must hurt your ego a lot. That rider was able to get away thanks to the leeches present at the race.

I ended up at front for one more time trying to close the gap, I pulled back not because I was physically tired, I did it because I wasn't going to work for anyone and fade away at the end.

Yes, yes, sorry HA "mea culpa", I have a dirty mouth when I am racing and more when you have the chance to slow down or speed up the race; We were going so extremely slow at one point that my frustrations emerged. I said to a dude challenging me to be at front again, “sorry hon, do you want grab that ass? Do the work yourself” and I moved back about 5th as I told the ones at front “let’s go ladies, show me those tight asses moving”. 

My comments were totally sexist and I sounded like total ignorant pig doing it and I apologize for that, I blame the South America machista bullshit I grew up with, but I am trying to be a better person; In fact, I believe females are the toughest, most beautiful humans and I truly respect them; men are overrated on any profession, sport, etc. as quick example please see our mothers, the women in professional cycling and futbol if you care about it.

All that rage is because I do not have any patience for leeches in road races, religious extremist-nuts-fucktards of any faith, greedy republicans in particular but basically any corporate lobbyist politician, plain average racist/homophobic stupid human vomiting their ignorance in the media or in front of me, or/and self entitled fat-ass drivers on their SUVs burning oil and ignoring the laws desperate to get to their mediocre suburban home to watch Fox News while eating McDonalds… Well, it worked, now we are racing again, highly increasing the pace at 2 to go, finally the teams started to work and then I sat right behind them.

Approaching the end of the race, right at the bottom of the hill, Paul-Brian was in front, I was maybe 15th at that point (he seemed solid as he did the whole race)… I think we started the sprint way too early, I spin my legs as hard as I could to 8th with no more power to move further to the front as the finish line approaches… uff, what an uphill sprint finish… my legs hurt a lot then, two riders passed me at the line, I got 10th overall in the race, 1st on the Cat 4s present at this combined category race. 

Thanks Paul-Brian for everything at the race, it was a pleasure to race with you. Thanks Amy for the nice chat after the race.

-Andres Q. 

Testing the Climbing Legs, Looking Ahead to CX

Race Report: IL State Championships - Willow Springs Road Race Men Cat 4

This marked my first road race as a 4 where I actually was in the mix. I felt confident and strong on the climbs, the crazy fast back stretch, and the sweeping down-hill right turn.

I was towards the front of the field on the back-side of the last lap. However, a wicked cramp in my left calf had me trying to hide and just spin. It worked OK along Archer until we turned right into the final stretch with the hilltop finish. The field kicked, and where I responded here great all morning, my leg completely locked up this time. Bummer.

C'est la vie, as I did everything right: carbo rocket in the bottles with electrolyte pills, etc etc. It was crazy hot and I give a lot of credit to our sponsor for giving me a shot at a good result. I usually wilt in the heat.

A wicked fun course and a great cap to my road/gravel season. Now, to shut it down for a couple of weeks and then get back to base miles for cross season.

- Bill Palmieri-Guy