Project 5 Racing

Ladies Kit up ‘n Chat Ride on October 8, 2011 – Join us!

⊆ September 25th, 2011 by author_acct | ˜ Comments Off
The Lovely Ladies of P5

Once again on October 8, 2011, Project 5 Racing and Chicago Winter Bike Swap will host a ride for all area women’s racers and enthusiasts. At 9:00 am, from Twin Lakes Park (150 W. 59th St) on 59th Street just west of Cass Ave in Westmont, we will head out to the trails and roads of the west suburbs for a conversive, enjoyable 30 or so mile ride before returning to the park for some further chatting and lunch. Pull on your team jersey and bibs, grab your bike and helmet, and come along…
Get the Flyer: Here

Memorial Day Week-end 2011 in Iowa

⊆ May 31st, 2011 by author_acct | ˜ Comments Off

This was my second year heading out to Iowa for the trifecta of crit racing on Memorial Day Week-end: Snake Alley (Burlington, IA), Melon City (Muscatine, IA), and Quad Cities (Rock Island, IL). For the women this year, they had W2/3 races each day in addition to the cat 4 and W1/2/3 races. The distance of the W2/3 races was significantly shorter than the W1/2/3 – but for me, with the vacation mindset in place, the shorter distances were perfect.

Snake Alley: Head to You Tube and check out videos of Snake Alley – a brick paved, narrow, steep, multi-switchback climb followed by a swooping downhill – repeat often. This race is a personal challenge for each competitor. The tactics are simple – get up the climb faster than your rivals and be efficient in the downhill. I started on the front line, headed to the snake, and then tried to be as consistent as possible with each of the 6 laps. While on lap 1 I was definitely not the fastest up the snake, on each subsequent lap, I passed a racer or two. All in all ok.

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Joe Martin Stage Race, May 7 & 8, 2011

⊆ May 11th, 2011 by author_acct | ˜ Comments Off

Traveling with local competitors over 500 miles away from Chicago to race, changes the dynamics a bit so that, for a short while, while in the midst of this far-away town, you are sort of like temporary teammates – at least that is what I felt on the trip to the Joe Martin stage race with XXX’ers, Tamara Fraser and Sandra Samman and SpiderMonkey’s Vanessa Buccella. We each had our goals - and together we helped each other try to achieve them. Here’s a brief recount of my races in the W40+ category…

Time trial – 2.5 mi uphill, average 6.8% grade. I LOVE TT’s – not! But I am learning to like them a bit – just a little bit. I went as aero as I could - TT helmet (thanks, P2), skinsuit, no gloves, and booties – with the elfy toes tucked in. I started in the big chainring, hammering as hard as I could the 0.5 mi flattish section. Then I started dropping the gears rather quickly once I hit the grade change.  Solid effort finishing in just under 12 min about 30 sec behind the top two finishers in my group.
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Leland – a cold hell, April 16, 2011

⊆ April 30th, 2011 by author_acct | ˜ Comments Off

Hell is not hot – it is cold, rainy, windy, with a bit of haily snow thrown in. Oh, not to mention mud and slick roads.

Shawn raced the 4′s first with Lance helping in the feed zone. Conditions at start of his race: 45-48F, drizzle, wind out of west 15-20mph. Final 25K Conditions: 35-38F, blowin 20-30mph and gusting much higher out of the west. And it would only get worse as the day went on. As a result, other races were cut short leaving Shawn as the only P5 racer to complete the full 100k scheduled.

Survival became the new goal at Leland – not the placing on the scorecard. Shawn helped out a fellow racer with some food during the race. Shawn recounted, “The fellow racer came up afterwards and said good riding with you while we did, and thank you for the support out there. That made my day. He finished, and not last! And that’s why this is the best sport on the planet and why we do it. If we can get a result from time to time that’s a bonus. For the conditions we battled and endured at Flatlandia’s Leland Kermesse; everyone who turned a lap out there on Saturday deserves a Jens Factor badge because that’s exactly what it took.” ‘Nuff said.

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3rd Annual Kit Up ‘n Chat Ride for the Ladies on 10/9/10

⊆ August 28th, 2010 by author_acct | ˜ Comments Off
The Lovely Ladies of P5

Ladies – Join us for a 30 mile ride in the west suburbs followed by a picnic style lunch. Don your finest riding garb, your team kit, grab your bike and let’s roll! We’ll head out at 9:00 from Twin Lakes Park on 59th St. just west of Cass Avenue in Westmont. Easy access from the Metra as well. More details on the flier found here: click me.

Glencoe Grand Prix W3/4 8/14/10

⊆ August 14th, 2010 by author_acct | ˜ Comments Off

I expected a day filled with rain, thunder, and lightning – but no, blue skies, heat, and humidity were piled on! Great day for racing.

The W3/4′s race had almost 50 racers on the start line – what a terrific showing! Some of the top talent from Wisconsin was down as well as a few unknowns from other states. The race started at a fast clip, with P5 stringing out the field for a few laps. After a couple of attacks, the contenders at the front of the pack were consistent – and would eventually line up as the top 10 finishers. The race remained exciting, though, with many attacks from the many teams represented. When the organizers put us on the longer, PRO course, next year, those team tactics will have much more impact to the race. So cool to see the Kenda team swooping up the inside. On another lap, Cuttin’Crew chasing down a break. P5 being the break that they had to chase, while I sat in. That’s fun racing. 

Unfortunately one of our top Chicago competitors crashed bad at turn 3 about 3/4 way through the race. The race was neutralized for a few laps at that point on the course as well as stopped/started to allow the ambulance to clear the course. I don’t think the start/stop had an impact on the race results - however, what did impact each of us was knowing that a friend was hurt. Our well-wishes go out to her.

The finish of the race was a series of attacks with the strongest riders finding the right lines to position themselves before hitting the final corner and taking it across the finish line. As I was behind them, learning a new lesson, it was so cool to see how easily they could move to get a clean line and surge forward. Tuck that away for next season.

Grayslake (8/7/10) & ABR State Crit Championships (8/8/10)

⊆ August 8th, 2010 by author_acct | ˜ Comments Off

What a great week-end for P5! Podiums, State Championship Jerseys, IL Cup Series Winners – oh, and a new teammate!

Before a recap of the events, with the significant achievements this week-end, a brief reminder of what P5 represents seems appropriate:
The Project 5 moniker was chosen for two reasons. In one respect the name stands for the plan most of us have of graduating up from the Cat 5 racing scene and moving on up until age, health, life or acquirement of a Cat 1 license prevents us from going further in our chosen sport/passion/fetish. The other meaning behind this name is simply promotion of racing in general for those young and old that are looking to participate in this awe inspiring sport. Our hope is to be a sort of ambassador of this sport and the healthy lifestyle it represents

P5 has expanded the roster adding a new teammate that shares the passion we have for the sport, its growth, and the drive to continue to challenge ourselves – welcome Marilyn Powell! A well-known entity within the racing community, we look forward to blending Marilyn’s enthusiasm with that of our own for success both on and off the course. You will hear more about her in the (long – lot’s of good stuff happened!) recap below.

Grayslake: The final race in the Illinois Cup Series, P5 results in the Grayslake events could change the final positioning in a number of categories. While a win is always the goal, today there would be additional layers to the opportunities for success.

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Superweek – Evanston, 7/18/10

⊆ July 18th, 2010 by author_acct | ˜ Comments Off

Nemesis = something that a person cannot conquer. Evanston is my nemasis – ok, maybe that is a bit extreme, but it feels right after today’s race.

The turnout for the W3/4 race was a bit smaller than I had anticipated. Except for the Alberto’s army (luv ya girls!), and one each from Half-Acre, ABD, Kenda, and Flatlandia, most of the racers were from out of town and unknown to me. I did not know what to expect.

Last year I rode about mid-pack and was pushed into the curb at turn 4 – one witness to that show called it a “spectacular crash”! Well, this year I was not about to allow anyone to do any Phil Liggett-ing of my performance. Stay out front = stay safe.

So – that’s what I did…for the most part. Tibco had 5 racers on the line and kicked off the race with an attack. Alberto’s countered – and they went back and forth a few times. Good thing was that the pace was high enough that there was no pile up going through the corners.

But then fluky things started happening…

The wind blew barriers onto the course in front of the hotel on the back straight-away – we veered to the right. On the next lap, the barriers were still in the street – with a security guard standing there making no attempt to pick them up. Hhhhmmm.

6 to go in our CRIT race – and it is NEUTRALIZED due to a delivery truck on the course! It entered the course near where the barriers went down – Hhhhmmmm.

Ok – so much for the bit of a string out we had going. 1/2 lap later we are let go again, but we are now all in a bunch. The pace never quite picked up to the “not-so-fast, but fast enough to keep racers strung-out” pace we had been going. With the final laps and slower pace, some swarming started to happen on the straight-aways. 1/2 lap to go, I am sitting 4th wheel, on backside straight-away – not too far from the wind-blown barriers or where the truck entered the course - an unattached rider moves up my left side and abruptly shifts to her right – quick/clean move that perfectly set her derailleur in my front wheel and ripped out a few spokes and sent me to the pavement.

I understand there was a crash at turn 5 (BK Stacker) immediately after mine in which the lead girls I was following crashed into a barrier taking 3 of them out – maybe crashing earlier was a good thing?

Well – Evanston. Will I see you next year?

Inaugural Tour of the Villas – 7/3/10

⊆ July 4th, 2010 by author_acct | ˜ Comments Off

Thanks to all the racers that joined us in Des Plaines. What a day! A plethora of Masters Age Group and category races, combined with reasonable fees, and wonderful weather enticed many racers to not just double-up, but triple up in many cases. And the competition was deep! Also, your generosity resulted in many boxes of food and a sizable cash donation to the Food Pantry.

We truly extend our appreciation to the City of Des Plaines for opening their arms warmly to the racers – the many families that pitched tents in their front yards and watched the races, the many kiddies that participated in the neighborhood race, the good samaritans that distributed sandwiches and water to the volunteers, the policemen patrolling both on bikes and ATVs that expressed interest in the strategy of the crits, and to the Mayor for setting a good example of wearing his bike helmet as he toured the course on his bicycle. We hope that you experienced something new and interesting – and that you may consider welcoming us all back next year for the first annual Tour of da Villas. 

Thanks to American Bike Racing (ABR) and especially Tom Olson for coordinating another great racing event. My teammates and I (Cathy) have a new appreciation for the amount of work involved in coordinating a race – and I only helped out on race day! I cannot yet imagine the amount of effort that goes into obtaining approval for the event, preparing for race day, and the post-race work involved. 

Thanks to all the P5′ers that assisted with the day – including the Scott family! It was a bunch of fun to work with you all in a non-racing kind of way.

Regarding the racing itself, for the women, Alberto’s stacked the line with their team in red for both the women’s 4 and Open/Masters races. They would have 2 red jerseys on the top of the podium for the 4s – great job! For the Open/Master’s women’s race, in addition to Alberto’s, ABD, Kenda, Bouldougue Tout Noire, and Village Cycle Sport each had at least a couple riders on the line. All the Project 5 ladies raced – really cool to have all of us on the line together again! The race played out fairly simple – Bouldougue #1 attacks to the left, we chase her down. Bouldougue #2 attacks to the right, we chase her down. Repeat. Final results were a couple of Bouldougue’s then the rest of us – nice job, ladies!

The men’s races were exciting to watch. For Project 5, John (Masters 50+), Kevin (Master’s 30+), Tim (Master’s 30+ and P/1/2/3), Shawn (cat 4), and Q (cat 4 and P/1/2/3) raced.  John had a solid race, but missed getting in the break that would stick. In the Master’s 30+, Kevin and Tim raced with the biggest field of the day – there were multiple attacks making it also one of the most exciting races of the day. The 4′s race had Shawn spending a few laps well out ahead of the pack when he attacked after a prime. When Shawn re-integrated with the field, Q counter-attacked and was off the front for a few laps. Very exciting. The race came down to a field sprint. The attacks started early in the P/1/2/3 race. Luke Seeman and Chris Mosoro were off the front early and soon joined by about 5 more racers. Nearing the mid-point of the race, the pack grew unsettled. A few racers bridged to the break and a few fell off the break. Q made the break! Tim settled in to do some blocking – except to collect part of a 2-place prime was announced about 3/4 way through the race. Q stuck with the break group until the finish line finishing 7th -FANTASTIC! In the closing laps, Chris went off the front and soloed in for the win.

Again – thanks to all that joined us – racers, neighbors, ABR, P5. Enjoy the holiday!

Peoria Classic – IL State Crit Championships

⊆ June 28th, 2010 by author_acct | ˜ Comments Off

A few Project 5 Racers headed south for the Peoria Classic, the IL State Crit Championships – John, Tim, Shawn, Q, Ginger, and myself. After racing the week in ToAD, and experiencing Whitney Gagglioli’s utter (or should I say “udder”?) domination, I decided to bail on the last day of ToAD and head to Peoria. Thankfully Ginger was game for that, too.

John and Tim had already raced when we arrived. From their accounts, the heat and humidity of the day would play a factor in the outcome of each race.

15 women lined up for the W3/4. As we looked around at the start, we recognized most of the competition. Great turn-out from XXX and Mack. Then we were off…The first lap was so slow that I could hear spectator’s asking, “This is a race?” before the announcer jabbed us as we passed the start/finish with a “And her come the ladies setting a blistering pace” – but that would be it for the jabs. Attacks started immediately after that. Just before mid-point of the race, an attack stuck with Ginger, Proctor, and XXX-Mia off the front. Mack chased desperately as I latched onto their wheels. After a couple laps, just when I thought the break would stick, something happened and the gap started reducing. So I counter-attacked and Proctor and XXX-Mia joined me in a new break. For the 2nd half of the race, we worked well together to maintain our break. On the backstretch of the last lap, wind in our face, the three of us eyed each other. You could feel how antsy we were getting. About 1 block from the final two turns, I couldn’t hold it in anymore and attacked. As I went into the first turn, I looked and saw I had a gap. From there, it was up the hill and down the finishing stretch, eyes forward just putting everything I had into the pedals. After I crossed the line is when I looked back – yes, I got it – the jersey! Ahhh – it is a good feeling.

After our race, Q and Shawn lined up for the cat 4 race. Big competition in the race, including Kyle Selph of Tower Racing who came with his entourage. Q positioned himself well throughout the race and attacked on the last lap. Q did not leave anything on the course. Kyle nipped Q at the line – so close! Solid 2nd place in the State Championship race – just fantastic.