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.