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A wee bit 'o' trail time

As we all know it's sometimes hard to squeak out ride time.  When it comes to hitting the trails living in Chicago, it's even harder.  Either you need to wait for our nearest trails at the Palos Forest Preserve to be dry or be willing to drive a bit away.   This weekend had some beautiful weather starting on Friday.  

With the sun shining in the office windows and then the unexpected early departure of the boss, I made a quick connect to my teammate Jen M. to see if she'd be free to meet up at Palos.  As luck would have it, she could!  (Fellow teammie and hubby PB would be on baby duty).  I hurried out of the office to get home, quick change and head out.

We met up two hours later ready to have our first ride of the season.  First, however, Jen commented how her mix of layers and socks looked a bit ridiculous before looking up at me to see my melange of old, new, and non-kit, each element in varying color schemes in what I felt 'delightfully' clashed.  But who cares about fashion, it's about riding!

Since we didn't have much time, we decided to do the standard race loop.  For the most part it was all dry save for a few mud puddles here and there where I rediscovered my cx dismount and tried to hop over.  Jen pushed up the climbs with ease, I gasped my way (sometimes walked) but felt for the first day out...not so bad.  In fact, it felt great.  

It wasn't until after my track season last year that I rediscovered trail riding.  Perhaps it was the new found fitness that I gained by the end of summer or perhaps the complete change in ride style, but I was sad that I only got the bug in September!  I've been eager to get back out there since.  Unfortunately, the rest of the weekend did not provide an opportunity to ride again, but I was greatly appreciative of that hour.  Besides, my legs and arms were still feeling that ride 2 days later!

Erica C.


HAC's Wisconsin Retreat Weekend

What do you get when you migrate a flock of HAC riders & friends  north of the Cheddar Curtain?  Long-mile, hilly roadie days, loop after loop of rocks, roots, n' trees in the Kettle Moraine, and the requisite "other activities."  Thanks to our gracious hosts Dan and Lisa Labovitch, the weekend was capped off with great lake swimming and boat rides and thanks to sponsor Half Acre we enjoyed a keg of the best IPA ever, Daisy Cutter.  Oh, and there was a ramp at the end of the pier, and a BMX bike with 2-liter bottles as floaters, and sparklers, and some shenanigans. 

(photo: <a href="">Karen Bean</a>)


Women's trail ride!

The great turnout at the all women's trail ride in April has made us excited to hit the trails again!

Our next ride will be Saturday May 29th.  We will meet at 10am at the <a href=",-87.886806&spn=0.02124,0.055575&z=15">Wolf Road Woods parking lot</a> in the Palos forest reserve.  Palos is home to Chicago's best singletrack and has a wide variety of trails to suit every skill level.

Riders of all skill levels are welcome and experienced riders will be along to help those who are just starting out or looking to improve their skills.  It is our hope that these rides will help more women get involved in mountain biking and build community and confidence among female and transgender cyclists in Chicago.

Energy bars and drinks will be provided courtesy of CAMBr.  Bring a lunch and we'll picnic together after the ride!

Also, please note that riding trail when it is wet destroys the trails and the hard work of volunteers.  Please check the <a href="">CAMBr website</a> to make sure Palos is open for riding before you come out.  If the light is RED, consider the ride canceled.  We'll also post up here the night before if weather means the ride will have to be canceled.  Fingers crossed for sunshine!

Questions?  Please email mosleyjen at gmail dot com or juliadaher at gmail dot com. 
PS:  Don't forget your helmet!

Women’s Dirt Ride: Recipe for a Good Day Out

Step One: Combine 25 women of different cycling backgrounds (works best when you include everyone from Cat 1 racers to never-been-on-a-mountain-bike-before riders).

Step Two: Put them on mountain bikes and send them on a 9-mile journey that includes riding through an 18 inch deep river.

Step Three: Drench liberally in the pouring rain.

Step Four: Thickly coat them with a layer of sand and grit.

Step Five: Keep them fed with plenty of healthy snacks and drinks.

This procedure should yield 25 smiling, friendly, supportive, eager-to-do-it-again lady mountain bikers.

Thanks to everyone who came out for the Women’s Dirt Ride, Julia Daher and XXX-Athletico, Nancy Fallon-Houle and the fine folks at CAMBr, and everyone else who worked to make this a great day.  We’ll do it again soon! 


Women's trail ride this Saturday!

Looks the weather is cooperating nicely for the women’s trail ride planned for this Saturday, April 3rd.  Let's hope it keeps up!  Rain or shine, we will be meeting at Waterfall Glen at 9:30am. The meeting spot will be the main trailhead off of Northgate.  Exit I-55 at Cass Avenue south and drive back over I-55. Take a right on Northgate road and then another right into the parking lot.

The riding at Waterfall Glen is on wide multi-use trails, with some nice twists and turns but nothing technical. It is perfect for folks who just want to get more comfortable off-road, without roots & rocks getting in their way.  Riders from Half Acre Cycling and XXX-Athletico Racing will be on hand to answer any questions.

A big thank you goes out to the good folks from CAMBr who will be showing up with post-ride refreshments!

This is an informal ride—hopefully a good opportunity to get to know other Chicago-based lady trail riders, build some community and have some fun. We are planning on picnicking afterwards, so bring your lunch!

See you out there!

Women: Got Dirt?

Mountain biking can seem like an intimidating sport to get started in, but once you start, it is easy to get hooked.   To help reach out to women interested in the sport, as well as women who are looking to ride more seriously, the women of Half Acre Cycling have joined forces with Julia Daher from XXX Racing-AthletiCo to organize a series of dates where Chicago-area ladies can ride together in a supportive environment to practice skills and have fun on the trail.  Everyone from total beginners to experts are welcome.

The first of these dates is going to be <b>Saturday April 3rd, at 9:30am.</b>  We are going to ride at Waterfall Glen, since most of the area singletrack will still be muddy/unridable that early in the season.   The riding at Waterfall Glen is on wide-ish multi-use trails, with some nice twists and turns but nothing technical.  It is perfect for folks who just want to get more comfortable on the dirt, without a lot of roots & rocks getting in their way.

This is an entirely informal event, just a chance to get to know other Chicago-based lady trail riders, build some community and have some fun.  If it is nice, bring a lunch and we'll picnic afterwards.  Let us know if you plan on coming…we’d love to ride with you!

For more information email Jennifer Mosley (mosleyjen *at* gmail *dot* com), or Julia Daher (julia.daher *at* gmail *dot* com)