by Lucas Seibel
After joining team rides to Highland park, a grueling cyclocross season, and a few podium finishes in the 4a/b races I knew I was going to like this spidermoneky cycling team. Beginning when I was 12, I had a garage full of bikes in Plymouth, MI. I had a BMX bike, but I didn’t ride BMX, a ten speed my dad found in a dumpster, and a kmart mountain bike. I was either riding around with my friends or we were trying to “Fix” them by taking our bikes apart. At one point I even went out on my Mountain bike and tried to ride with a club who rides nightly. I shouldn’t have been surprised when I was left in the back. It wasn’t until I moved to Chicago that I my life was really taken over by cycling. It started slowly, but at one point I was looking at almost 14 bikes in my apartment and I went Car/CTA free for almost a year.
Moving to Chicago to attend Columbia College, I brought two bikes and a pair of running shoes. In high school I had run Track and Cross Country and was hoping to continue in Chicago. I had heard such great things about the Chicago Lakeshore Path. And the things I heard were right; it was beautiful running with the lake on one side and the skyline on the other. Trying to start a running club at Columbia, I organized runs in the morning and night, but who knew that art students wouldn’t want to get up at 7:00 AM to run. So went by myself most of the time, but once I got on my bike and saw how much more of the city I could see I quickly gave up running and started riding everyday. I’d often just try and keep up with anyone on the path that looked faster than me. Once I had kept up with a rider on the lake who told me that I should join a team or club to race, but wasn’t sure how to get involved or if I could afford a road bike, my singlespeed Schwinn World was all I had.
Once I graduated College, I had more free time and time to meet more people in the Chicago cycling community. I still had never done a group ride, but I trained everyday either on the lakeshore or on my rollers because I was getting ready to race track. I joined the Chicago Velo Campus and went down every Saturday for winter training. When it warmed up we started riding on the track. What a rush, but then summer got in the way and I never made it back down to ride. As the summer ended I figured I’d just have to wait until next year before I’d be able to do any racing, then I did a cyclocross race.
Talking to my friend, PJ, he gave me some insight about racing in Chicago and he said I should come out to the next cyclocross race and ride in the 4A and 4B race, or the power hour as some call it. I wasn’t doing anything that Sunday so I said why not, the best way to try something new is to just dive in. It was a hot day in September, and I was up at 7:00 AM for the first time in a while, but I was excited for my first bike race. Since PJ was on the Spidermonkey team we hung out at the team tent most of the day, which gave me an opportunity to meet everyone. My first race was so much fun, I crashed a few times, went home covered in dirt, and had a few cuts, but I couldn’t stop smiling. I was ready to sign up for next weeks race, but I wanted to join a team, mostly so that I could get a cool kit, so I joined Spidermonkey Cycling that week, I’ve met a fair amount of the team and haven’t looked back.
Now that the cyclocross season is over, I’m looking forward to meeting the rest of the team, team rides, and a summer of road and track racing. I hope to see you out on the roads.