Ordinary people doing extraordinary things! We not only reached our original goal of $8000.00 but we blew it out of the water! With a 50% match to all of our Bike MS team members from Trading Technologies (Vanessa’s company) we are officially over $22,000!!!!!! Thank you to all who donated, fundraised, supported and participated! A HUGE thank you to ABT Electronics for donating an iPad for a raffle (over $1000 raised), Goose Island/312 for letting us collect tips (over $1500) while pouring 312 at the ride….and anyone else I forgot to mention. We could not have done this without your support!
Road Trip!!!! to the Tour of Lawrence. If you think Kansas is all flat, think again! Trent and Michael Meyers participated in the fast paced Crown Toyota Street Sprints. Trents final sprint was against Steve Tillford a former National Champ and pro for over 30 years! Dean, Michael and Trent also did the challenging Lawrence.com KU Campus Circuit Race up and down the hills of Mt. Oread with over 400ft of climbing per lap. Clearly the heat did not bother Mike…with a 5th place finish! Dean completed the race and did not die!!! But the best part: The muffin ride with the Lawrence cycling club…thank you Randy, Chris and all the members for making the spidermonkeys feel so welcome on you amazing group ride!
Oh yea…there was also a running race on the criterium course. 1 mile sprint! Vanessa and Grace finished 2nd and 3rd overall and first in their respective age groups! Dean and Mike had a little fun while still breaking an 8:00 mile! Best finisher of the day was Nick Sprecker taking 1st in the kids run and 2nd in the kids bike race! Overheard Nick talking to Vanessa: ” Its ok and it makes me happy when others win…but it makes me really happy when I win.” Way to go Nick!
Thanks to Becky Welbes who hosted Friday’s “Pretty. Fast. (women’s cycling meet and greet)”. The meet and greet was just what new rider’s needed to get them started with riding in groups and racing. It was great to see so many women excited about riding their bikes…and show up for the Tuesday morning girl’s ride!
Congrats to all the spidermonkeys who have been participating in this years SuperWeek races! We look forward to seeing all of you on Sunday at the Evanston Grand Prix. Look for our Spidermonkey/312 tent around the corner from the fountain. We will arrive at 8:30am for a full day of cheering on our racers! Come and enjoy a cold 312 with us at the Goose Island/312 Beer Garden!!!!
Spidermonkey of the Week: Grace Chappell
My mother needed a break from hearing me yell “go faster!” from the seat attached to the back of her bicycle so my first bike was purchased for $3 at a garage sale and I rode that thing into the ground (literally, as it had to be retired after the brakes went out while I was going down a hill and I wound up in a nice thorny blackberry patch). My next bike was a little nicer and allowed me to keep up with my big brother and his friends around the neighborhood, as well as family weekend rides. As I got older I didn’t ride much but was concentrating on my true passion of swimming, and after competing on swim teams from age 8-17 I was burned out and stayed out of the pool after high school. Meanwhile my brother had stayed a cycling enthusiast and was quietly but constantly encouraging me to give road cycling a try. He sent me my first road bike via UPS and told me I could assemble it myself (piece of cake. yeah right.) and I proceeded to provide some great entertainment to my college roommates as I tried to figure out how to clip in and out of my pedals; repeatedly falling over traveling zero miles per hour. After I got that figured out, I reached out to some people on the Illini Bicycle Racing Club and learned how to ride amongst the corn fields of Champaign-Urbana. Wind! I had started running occasionally during my time off from swimming, and therefore I decided to give triathlons a shot.
After moving to Chicago, I did not ride my bike much because I did not have companions, and I was also pretty scared of riding in the city. I went on a lot of solo training rides since I still wanted to compete in triathlons, but I missed riding with other cyclists and as I watched lots of spandex-clad groups riding north on Damen I longed to ride with a group again. I inquired at my local bike shop, Roscoe Village Bikes, if they had group rides, and Lesley mentioned a group called the Spidermonkeys which I thought sounded pretty rad. Turns out that about the same time I got motivated enough to email Vanessa about joining a ride, I made friends with Katie at a triathlon and she invited me on a Tuesday morning all girls ride. I loved waking up at the crack of dawn to ride with a group of awesome ladies, and soon found myself trying to keep up with the whole group on a Saturday ride. I was absolutely hooked and couldn’t wait to ride every Tuesday and Saturday. It didn’t take long for me to realize that the Spidermonkeys are an amazing group of people who have a blast together both on and off the bike.
Although I have been riding a bike throughout most of my life, I have only realized how extremely fun cycling can really be since becoming a Spidermonkey! Thanks for all the lessons and all the laughs!!