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Cycling Mon Jan 18 2010

2010 Is Go

"Wait, it's only the middle of January? It's still lousy out and I haven't even tried all the draft beers at Map Room. Shoot, I haven't even washed the kit I wore at Montrose. You're trying to tell me that I should be training?"

The griping of the cyclist in the off-season progressively gets louder through the year, only to shut up with a snap after the state cyclocross championship at Montrose (add a week if the rider's going to Nationals). Cyclists, despite being a bunch that will gladly ride in the pouring rain and cold for hours, also love to whinge and moan about it to anyone that will tolerate it. It's part and parcel of the sport and it's started back up.

Yes, it's time to think about racing in 2010!

The two big road calendars is the Illinois Cycling Association's and Chicago Bike Racing's. The ICA and CBR calendars focus mostly on road and track racing and both generally mirror each other for road. The ICA calendar covers track extensively, something that CBR's does not. However, the CBR site features tips for beginner racers and course previews that the ICA doesn't. The Ed Rudolph Velodrome also maintains a calendar for its race series -- there are multiple events weekly worth checking out.

Mountain biking is a bit different. The Bonebell, a Chicago-centric site devoted to mountain bike racing, culture, and riding is the resource to check out first. So too the Chicago Area Mountain Bike Association's site, which also offers updates of the trail systems near Chicago. To do mountain bike racing, though, one's got to do some traveling -- Wisconsin (WORS) and Indiana (DINO) are the big race series. Both series have great reputations and put on good events and often there are races only 75-150 miles from Chicago.

Coming up, though, are some must-dos:

Registration for Hillsboro-Roubaix opens up on February 1 for the April 10 race. THIS is the event that many racers build their spring season upon. For 2010, the course is tweaked slightly and the Cat. 4's get an extra lap.

The Chicago Active Transportation Alliance, UIC College of Cycling,, and Big Shoulders Realty is hosting a bike swap and sale on February 6. Get rid of the old, accumulate some new -- the swap is being billed as an expo with presentations on riding in the urban environment and through the winter season. $5 is the suggested donation. The location does not seem to be finalized yet, but expect it on the UIC campus. The expo is at Jak's Tap (901 West Jackson Blvd.) on February 6 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

If the 'cross bike still needs a little more mud splashed on it, Team Mack is hosting the Tour de Groundhog on February 21 at New Salem State Park outside Springfield. The 1.3 course on doubletrack should be pretty sloppy by that day and could be a good test of pre-race season fitness.

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John / January 19, 2010 10:21 AM

Actually, the location was finalized some time ago: 901 West Jackson Boulevard, the Event Hall at Jaks Tap. For details, see

Paul Archibald / January 28, 2010 2:40 PM

Au contraire. While we are not yet up to DINO/WORS status yet, Illinois now has a statewide MTB Race series.
The Illinois Homegrown Series kicks off this year with the Sylvan Island Stampede April 11th and includes the Palos Meltdown august 22nd.

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