Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Weather Gods Were Not Smiling

Sunday June 15thwas scheduled as the 3rd stop on the HomeMade Pizza Co. Chicago Time Trial Series, but apparently the weather had a different agenda that day. What was supposed to be a great time trial on perhaps the most picturesque course in all of Illinois, turned into a bunch of soggy volunteers and more than a few grumpy racers.

The course came together nicely, the start house was being set up corners were being marked and swept and then the skies turned black. It actually looked like the clouds were boiling at one point as the winds began to reach the 40mph mark. Still, preparations continued, there was a lot of work to do. The KoM signs were put in place, registration was under way and then the rain came. At this point, as most of the signs were beginning to blow over things were not looking good, but still we were optimistic, a lot of work had gone into this and a little rain wasn't going to stop us. Then came the lightning.

With only about 20 minutes until the first rider was supposed to be sent down the start ramp a conference call with Dave Fowkes from USA Cycling was initiated. While the weather seemed to be letting up ever so slightly, the radar indicated that two super cells were present in the region and causing damage. After several tense momements and discussions with officials it was decided to cancel the race. I am sure most racers were partly relieved at this point but also a bit peeved as well. First Monee was cancelled, now Willow Springs, will we ever get a chance to run a race?

As promoters our first concern is always the safety of the rider. At the same time however, we are racers as well and want to see a successful event planned, organized and executed. As the day wore on and blue skies emerged I am sure a lot of people second guessed our decision to call the race. But as we were packing up the trailer with all of the race assets a quick drive of the course revealed downed branches and limbs as well as much debris washed onto the course. The course was a lready a technically demanding course on its own, the added element of rain and wind would have made it dangerous.

As of today, it appears we will reschedule for Saturday July 19th. Also at this point I would like to thank everyone involved this past Sunday who came out and lent a hand including Steve and Monica Hansen, Dave Fowkes, everyone from BBVP, especially Jeni, Lydia, Rita, Yolanda and Nicky, everyone from BBC who tried to make it but got caught in the deluge and tried to wait it out, the Willow Springs Police Dept., and everyone that helped us pack up the trailer so we could hurry up and get into some dry clothes.

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