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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!!

ICA Sponsors Women's CX Clinic

We're excited to announce that the <a href="">Illinois Cycling Association</a> has come on board as a sponsor of the Women's Cyclocross Clinic.  Their assistance is helping keep this clinic affordable for attendees and we appreciate their support for this grassroots developmental program.

Thanks, ICA!

Registration for the clinic is open now.  <a href="">Sign up online or get more info here.</a>


It's El Duke season.

Team sponsor "El Duke Degreaser's": founder Nick stopped by our monthly meeting this weekend to share some product and some off-season bike cleaning tips.  Since we're just thawing from our months of icy, salty, this-is-why-they-invented-framesaver hell, we were all happy for the help.  The stuff works.

I don't know if you guys had seen my bike recently, but I have ridden it through some major crap this past winter (which is still not unfortunately over) so it was looking pretty sad. I disassembled it after last night's meeting and began cleaning pretty much everything since I got a bottle of the degreaser.

I used only 1/4 of the bottle, and the stuff is pretty amazing at getting grease off, as well as most crap that gets on the bike after an initial water wipe down. My cassette and chain shine like new. El Duke is awesome.

 -Stan Sterlinski

In our Element.

"Element Multisport,": a triathlon-focused shop just over the hot dog bridge at Damen and Clybourn, joins the team as a new sponsor in 2009 and offers a fantastic and fun service: simulated racing via 6 linked computrainers.   Teammates have been sweating it out to see who's going to win, who can crank up the highest speed and wattage, and who can survive the hilly courses and still be able to ride home.

(image: "Dave": )

The workout "race courses" simulate different road, triathlon, and European classic races and range from fairly flat to punishingly hilly.  The programs calculate rider speed and wattage based on input from a calibrated stationary trainer and rider weight.  It allows the team to have a group ride where each rider regardless of strength gets a great workout and gives us the chance to get to know teammates without having anyone get dropped.

Our team developed some new approaches where anyone who quits automatically becomes the water boy, and anyone who finishes early can ride "neutral" or "anchor" for folks who need a break.  It's been fun to watch some of the newer members really destroy the group, to see women really compete head-to-head with some of the guys, and to see what a difference weight makes in how far an effort takes you.  (Note to self: lose 10 lb.)

If you're looking for a way to ride more hills, for an indoor workout for the nasty winter weather, or for a chance to see how you measure up against your friends, Element is the place to go!