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Wednesday, July 17

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Cycling Tue Aug 24 2010

One Season Winds Down, One Starts Up

It's still August but the road racing season is winding down with only a few races left dotting the calendar. At this point of the year, the roadies among us have burned through social equity to spend weekends out in the hinterlands of the region, testing their mettle and legs in dozens of races. The non-cycling friends are tired of hearing "Oh, I can't go out to the bar on Friday. I've got to get to bed by 10 p.m. because we're driving to Somewhere-Far-Away-Ville for a 30 minute crit. I'm the designated leadout guy." The girlfriends/boyfriends/wives/husbands are done with the "Please, I know your birthday is tomorrow, but wouldn't you rather spend the day watching me win a pair of socks?"

The trials and tribulations of being an amateur bike racer.

Of the few races left, the closest is tomorrow's Soldier Field Criterium, the last of the summer series. Registration is here. As always, juniors race free. The location is as close as it gets -- Soldier Field. Ride there from work.

All this talk about building up social equity with your friends and partners doesn't mean they can't enjoy bike racing, too. This Sunday is the xXx Racing-Athletico Relay Cyclocross race in Jackson Park. Yes, the race is a "fun" race -- more fun than usual, I guess. Most everyone's gonna be testing their training out and gunning for the win. The catch is that you have to pick a partner to race with -- some folks are selecting teammates or other fast friends -- others (including this reporter) have roped their not-at-all-competitive friends and partners to race bikes with them. How's that for building a relationship? As it's a relay, both racers alternate laps and prizes will be bestowed arbitrarily. Rumor has it that good costumes, ridiculous crashes, and recumbents will receive something excellent. Persuade your pals to join up -- with the full cyclocross season starting soon, this may be the last chance they get to see you.

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