Saturday, August 30, 2008

Words of Wisdom

In this case their is no quote that could do this picture justice. Moral of the story...don't attack your teammates.

Friday, August 29, 2008


For Beverly Bike-Vee Pak our road season effectively ended on Saturday with the Tour of Oak Brook, an event which we coincidentally became the presenting sponsor of a few weeks before the event took place. While all did not go as planned as far as results are concerned, 2 top ten finishes in the Masters 4/5 race isn't so bad after all. After the incredible weather we had pass through on our first attempt at hosting our stage of the HomeMade Pizza Co Chicago Time Trial Series in Willow Springs, this Sunday we were blessed with near perfect weather conditions. With temperatures in the upper 70's and nearly no wind at all, riders not exhausted from the previous days racing were blazing around the challenging course. The winning rider posted an average speed of over 28mph!

With our commitments for the road portion of our calendar out of the way, we are now able to focus 100% of our attention on the upcoming 'cross season. And from the looks of the calendar, the Chicago Cyclocross Series looks like we will need all of the attention we can muster. With 11 racing opportunities within a short drive of the city Chicago area 'crossers have never had it so good.

As we switch disciplines from road to 'cross we have also switched our training regimen. Rather than tangle with rush hour traffic a few nights a week, we now tangle with 16" high barriers twice a week. For those interested in joining us, we meet at 6:00-6:15 at grove #14 of the Dan Ryan Woods. Most evenings we are the only patrons of the park save for the walking club that does laps around the service drive. We have set up an excellent course that surely tests our abilities, from the newbies to the seasoned veterans on the team. A nearly one kilometer lap including power sections on the grass, asphalt, chicanes through the trees and a 60 foot climb greet us each lap along with a single and double set of barriers. Training with all of the key ingredients that we will see throughout the series will surely make us better racers.

After training on the course last night for half an hour we decided to perform some skill drills, namely our starts from a dead stop and run-ups on the old toboggan runs. We performed 5 sets of each and by the end of it all we were completely gassed. A quick survey revealed that a few of us had heart rates reach above 200 bpms, but with all of our conditioning gained during the road season, recovery came quickly to all of us. But as we were all milling about jaw jackin' with one another and recounting how horrible we felt after such a grueling workout one thing struck me. A year ago only a few of us new each other. Now a year later, and after hundreds of hours spent training and racing together we are truly a team. After all of the hours spent in cars travelling, or spending the night at the ranch with Paul, or just shooting the shit after a ride or a race we have bonded into a cohesive unit. I know that everytime I go out for a ride with the team that everyone there has my back and I theirs. I made a comment at the top of the hill yesterday that a team that suffers together wins together and I truly meant it.

When we first started talking about forming a team, we were just a bunch of individuals who happened to race bikes. Now only a year later I have a new extended family that is comprised of some of the best people I have come across in a long time. People who I am sure I never would have met were it not for BBVP, now know the names of my children, and I theirs. People who I may not have given a second glance a year ago, now I share a water bottle and food with after a tough ride. People who push me to try my hardest to succeed as I push them to exceed the expectations of everyone one the team. To me this team is no longer comprised of people that I know, but men that I can call my brothers for they have suffered alongside of me and I them.

I look forward to what the '08 cyclocross season brings, but more importantly I look forward to what the future brings to the Beverly Bike-Vee Pak, Inc. Racing Team.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Sorry for the late notice. If anybody is interested we start cx training tonight 8-26 at 6pm. We ride at Dan Ryan Woods at 87th street and just East of Western at the base of the hill in the parking lot on the North side of the street. The course we use is has a 3 story hill and also barriers. We will put out more information once our schedule firms up.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


What could you say about Oak Brook that hasn't already been said? Registration, yellow line violations, people getting pulled too early and people choosing what place they came in. We understand that it is easy to arm chair quarterback. So that being said, the course is good enough and we would do it again.
The Chicago Time Trial series was held in Willowbrook today which we also sponsored along with yesterdays cat4/5 masters. The results aren't posted yet. We appreciate all the riders who came out and enjoyed a great course with great weather. We understand that one corner was a little hard to navigate and will correct that in the future. A big thanks goes out to all the volunteers who helped.
Let cross season begin!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

'Cross Training Tip

This is why you need to lace up your running shoes now and start working on your running skills. With several new courses this year, the Chicago Cyclocross Cup may be throwing a bit more running at us then previous years. You don't want to find out race day that the most difficult section of the course is on foot, so make running an integral part of your training this year.

In my opinion, working running drills into your 'cross routine will make you not only faster on foot, but also on the bike. The high intensity needed to hoof it up the run ups balances nicely with the high intensity work outs required to be competetive in 'cross. Running also has the added benefit of helping to correct some of the muscle imbalance that most cyclists are prone to by building the hamstrings. Plus at this point in the season, long endurance rides are no longer necessary. And the short intense efforts required for 'cross are a nice break from the monotony of grinding out long miles on the road.

So get out to your favorite park this weekend, preferably one with a run-up of some sort or even a sand volleyball pit and spend some time on your feet. These are the last crucial weeks before the longest and most most competetive 'cross season we have ever had in the Chicago area. Time spent running now will pay dividends in the upcoming weeks as you are able to trot past those who didn't feel the need to cross train.

Words Of Wisdom

"The goal is to look back and not say that I shoulda, coulda, woulda and know that I left it all on the line everyday"-Christian Vande Velde

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

'Cross Practice Thursday Night

As half of the team prepares for the upcoming races at Downers, the other half have started preparing for the upcoming 'cross season which kicks off on September 21st at Jackson Park. In order to train and prepare our bodies for the rigors of cyclocross we have begun training at the Dan Ryan Woods . We will be starting practice around 6:15 or so and spent a good portion of Tuesday evening laying out the course.

Even without the barriers, the course can be quite a challenge. 100 meters off the start line you find yourself working through a chicane of trees followed by a nice power section along the tree line. We will eventually break this section up and include a single if not double set of barriers. After the power section and a quick dismount over a parking barrier, there is about 300 meters of asphalt with another transition back onto grass. At this point you power through the grass and get onto pavement for 75 meters before diving back into the grass and a power section before the hill. For now we are only using half of the hill, so only about 35 feet of climbing after which you dive back downhill for the last power section before the last chicane section and back into the start finish chute. The total distance for each lap is about a kilometer, if not a tad bit longer.

Jim and I sprayed the course to mark the route to follow. After a few weeks last year we started to have a nice groove going through the grass. The grass was a bit long in places, so hopefully the FPD can keep the grass nice and short like they did for us last year. Everyone is encouraged to join us for practices, and it looks like we will be holding at least two sessions per week. For more info on our practices or anything else 'cross related you can also check out the new 'Cross Forum put together by Ben.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

'Cross Practice Tonight

We will be out at the Dan Ryan Woods tonight around 6:15 for the first cross practice of the season. We won't have the barriers out tonight, but will have them out very soon.

Chicago Cyclocross Google Forum

Ben has come through again for us cyclocross fans here in the Chicago Area. After speaking with like minded racers he has created the Chicago Cyclocross Group on Google. It is a free and public forum so we encourage everyone to join, or at least use it as a reference to everything 'cross related.

BBVP Becomes Presenting Sponsor at Oakbrook

We are excited to announce that we have become the presenting sponsor of the Illinois State Championships Road Race on Saturday August 23rd. Through the commitment of our sponsors Beverly Bike and Vee Pak, Inc., BBVP has been able to help the sport of cycling in Illinois grow and prosper by supporting major races during the 2008 season.

For a full schedule of the days events check out the races homepage here

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Saturday at Elk Grove started out with Clark's strategies seeing as how he was going to be in all 3 cat 5 races. After calming Clark down and telling him that the race would be too fast for a single man break, instead in the first race he does a three man break. Knowing how Clark likes to push a big gear and not spin he still ended up an impressive 4th. In the second cat 5 race it looked like Jorge was in great position for the sprint before two riders met in front of him going down with him going down on top of them. Luckily their bodies cushioned Jorge's fall. Clark ended up 24th after dropping down to his 11 too soon. On the third race, after Jorge had to recover from a crash (thanks goes to Sram in the pit) and switch numbers, again Clark felt like he had to pull the field with one lap left. With enough energy left Clark, who this time did not dump his cassette all at the same time, sprinted to the line taking 3rd. Jorge and Joe who were mid pack the whole way, ended up 13th and 16th. Lessons learned- When you are in the 11 and not spinning it makes for a good picture but not speed. And secondly, if you are in back to back races, instead of switching numbers, place one number on top of the other. Then all you have to do is tear off the top and you are ready to go again.

The Cat 4 race was way sketchy. Before the race with everybody lined up the field was asked to move to one side to make way for the pace car to get through. This squeezed the field to half the area and of course riders in the back attempted to take advantage of this by following the car to the front. It was nice that this was noticed by one of the officials who told those riders to go to the back, but they really didn't. This squeezed the field even tighter for the start. With the surges and resultant slowing down thereafter and the turns it was a tight pack all the way to the end. Brakes were locking up all over the place sending bicycle sideways. This was evident after one of the leaders got pinched on the last lap, which by itself had three seperate crashes. (If anybody can give me input, why was the motorcycle official attempting to make his way through the pack midway through the race?). All in all it was smart to stay way out in front or way in the back.