When you get near the front of the paceline, take note of the speed. When you get to the front, match that speed. If everybody does this, it makes for one helluva fun, smooth paceline. If you haven’t experienced this, it should be your new mission in life.
Sometimes the hardest part of a pull is getting to the back of the paceline. Remember to save some energy, your pull is not over until you make it all the way to the back. Don’t drop yourself!
Bad: Losing the wheel of the person in front of you, causing you and your teammates to get dropped from the group. Good: As soon as you start losing that wheel, you pull out of the paceline and let your teammates know. Best: Before you start losing that wheel, you pull the person behind you up to the back of that wheel. Be the Best!
Don’t sprint out of lights or turns. The person behind you will likely have a small gap and have to sprint harder. The person behind them will likely have a bigger gap and have to sprint even harder. Imagine the dude 30 people back! Think about that dude when you’re in the front.
Go long! Our Saturday rides now always include University Hill, then back to HP for coffee and muffins. Its a good 50 mile ride for most of the spidermonkeys! Old School route was probably not the best idea on Memorial day with temps in the 90’s…but riding 70 miles with good friends is always a blast! Good thing JJPeppers was open on the way back or Drew might not have made it home. It was a hot one!
Season 4 Kickoff BBQ! Huge success! Thank you to Grill Master Fred for cooking up the delicious Vienna dogs.
Check out this video of Drew and Brandon playing “Monkey Butt” minute to win it game:
They had Kristi in tears. Thank you to all of you for helping make Spidermonkey Cycling so successful! Our 4th season is already off to an amazing start!
What a great weekend of racing!
Thank you XXX, and a huge thank you to Galena for helping make the Tour of Galena so much fun with such exciting racing. Complete results are online. Congratulations to all the Spidermonkey finishers (Micheal Berman, Geoff Scott, Masa, Anthony, Tim Driver) , but especially to Brandon Diffenderfer, for riding strong, and taking the top step on the podium in the men’s Cat4 omnium and Vanessa (Lil V) for her best crit finish ever!
After running in the recent Ragnar Relay, champion Kristi Hanson was not only able to make it to the Tuesday’s girl ride, but she also led the ride! And she did a fantastic job…thanks Kristi!
We know how difficult it is to get up so early for your first time on the girl’s ride. So, at the request of Anna, new this week: wake up text messages for newbies! But only if you actually show up! Glad you made it Anna :) Text read: Bike Time!!!!
Huge shout out to Higher Gear bike shop. On the Wed night ride, Rebecca had an issue with her crank coming loose. She and Vanessa rode her broken bike into the Higher Gear shop at Plaza Del Lago and rode out with a shiny new Titanium Seven! Thank you Higher Gear for taking such good care of Rebecca. She will never feel the same about her steel frame.
Spidermonkey (s) of the week: Judith and James
Judith and I took up road cycling four years ago when we decided,
fairly abruptly, to sign up with Team In Training to train for the
Chicago Triathlon. We both had bikes already (hybrids, yo!) and used
them to commute and get around, but had never ridden them with a group
or competitively (save the odd ride to work, when some yahoo would
flout stoplight etiquette and try to muscle in front at the green
Judith was the first to cave–I came home one day and there was a
brand new road bike, shining in front of my apartment. Needless to
say, I didn’t last many rides after that before giving in and buying
one too (off of ebay! The bike was in great shape, it’s still my main
bike, but I don’t know if I’d ever do that again).
Around that time a Chicago sports magazine (can’t remember which
one–maybe Competitor?) ran a cover story on Caroline Dehnert, a
manager at Google who had completed multiple triathlons and was
training for an Ironman. I think the article may have actually been
titled Wonderwoman–Caroline, hope you’re reading this :)! My company
was in the process of being acquired by Google, and within a matter of
months I was working in the same office as Caroline. I figured I
should shoot her an email to chat about triathlon, but in the end
didn’t need to–she was hosting people out in Michigan for the Apple
Cider Century, and Judith and I decided to rent a car, drive our bikes
out and join the group.
Well, it turned out–Judith and I were the only additional people who
managed to make it. So it was Caroline, her boyfriend Mike, one
friend and the two of us. And what could have been a slightly awkward
night and ride ended up being awesome–Caroline and Mike were great
hosts and the ride was a lot of fun, despite being sold out and
requiring us to fake bibs with pieces of paper.
During the ride Caroline started talking about the Spidermonkeys, a
group of cyclists riding out of Roscoe Village Bikes. In 2007 there
were 20 or 30 riders, and Caroline invited us to the end-of-season
party. We’d never ridden with the team but Caroline said it wouldn’t
be an issue, and to come and meet folk. This, I might add, has been
the defining trait of the monkeys for me–we’d never ridden with the
group, and yet we were made to feel totally comfortable attending the
end-of-season party and were welcomed to sign-up for the coming year.
The party was being held in the back shop of RVB–that’s how small the
team was back then, as everyone could fit!
We met a lot of awesome people that evening, and before we left for
the night we’d filled out next-season memberships.
For us, the Spidermonkeys have been one of the most inclusive and
encouraging groups we’ve been a part of in Chicago. We’ve made good
friends; we’ve gone on weekend rides up to Highland Park and taken
trips up to Waterloo for the Trek 100; we’ve yelled at crits and
poured beer at Wildcat Alley; and we’ve shared more than a few drinks.
And as the team has grown in size–exploded, really. I mean, why
wouldn’t you want to join?–it has kept the encouragement,
inclusiveness and fun that made us want to join 4 years ago.
Judith and I recently moved to NY, but we’re still Spidermonkeys
(especially as I plan on putting on the 312 kit here in Brooklyn and
latching onto a paceline). It’s bittersweet leaving friends, but
we’re looking forward to providing another base for traveling
monkeys–come see us and/or stay with us if you’re out here! And
we’ll be looking up everyone when we’re back in town too. We hope the
season is code red, and maybe we’ll see you all at the end-of-season
party–that’s our MO, right?
James and Judith