Spidermonkey’s of the week – all of you who raised money, participated, and helped at the MS Ride, we can’t thank you enough!
Brandon – state champion
Spidermonkey’s of the week – all of you who raised money, participated, and helped at the MS Ride, we can’t thank you enough!
Brandon – state champion
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!
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
Have you heard the new trend is to wear cleat covers while you ride? Justeen is a big fan! About 20 of us were out on Saturday to see it. Turned out to be a beautiful day to ride!
About 15 of us headed down to Bike the Drive on Sunday to help promote Bike Chicago. Stop by the bike to work rally on June 17th to get your Bike Chicago t-shirt! We decided to hit the handlebar for brunch. Yum. When we got our food, the sky turned black. What’s that weatherman? No rain you say? And then the sky opened up. But we are lucky and all managed to make it home during a pause. And…is there a new Prince of Fashion in town?Geoff Scott was prepared for the rain – he was even sporting a rain jacket for his backpack! Watch out Ken Mitchell!
Bonus ride on Memorial day! To make it extra special, Rebecca led the ride and did a terrific job! 65 mile route out to Old School and back. Congratulations to Justeen on this being her longest ride EVER! Great job everybody!
Some of the triathletes decided to dust off their tri bikes for a long ride in the burbs…and they actually had a little left afterwords for a run. Now that’s definitely insane!
We still manageed to squeeze in the Tuesday girl’s ride! We attempted our first rotating paceline of the year and everybody worked really well together, it’s like winter never happened!
What an awesome week!
Upcoming this week:
Wednesday night ride – Could it be true? Warm enough for a stop at JJ Peppers? Stay tuned!
Sunday, June 5th, Spidermonkey BBQ to kick off the season! Lots of fun in store!
Saturday, June 4th and Sunday, June 5th: O’Fallen Grand Prix RR and criterium
Spidermonkey of the Week: Sam Winn
“OMG I so totally just kicked Charles Peanut Tillman’s ass on our 5k run. Booooya” wrote Grace on her facebook status. “It’s true” said Dean. That just happened!!!! Grace and Dean joined many at Universal Sole for a “Run with Peanut!” benefiting the Charles Tillman Cornerston Foundation. The mission of The Charles Tillman Cornerstone Foundation is to provide opportunities and resources to children or their families who are in need.
A few monkeys were out in Galena racing on Saturday. As usual this spring they had to deal with rain but Katie won overall in the women’s field for the duathlon, while Trent, Brandon, Kristi and Grace all raced the triathlon and came in with some very solid age group results. The following day Brandon led then on a a very HILLY “recovery” ride. I guess they didn’t get enough the day before! Great job everyone!
The “girls” ride is continuing to see great success! 13 women showed up for the 5:30 start this week! Welcome Gayle Stephens to the group! Great ride…and a great way to start your day. Join them next week at Lincoln/Belmont.
We wish James and Judith well on their move to NY! We will miss you and look forward to your visits. “I’m on a hybrid…YO!”
Two weeks ago, Spidermonkey Cycling arranged a “Lunch and Learn” with the National MS Society and another of our long time sponsors, Turner Acceptance Corp. This is an opportunity for Turner to learn about MS and the Bike MS ride. Over 30 employees came to the 2 half hour sessions and 22 people “Joined the movement”. They formed a team, chose a team captain and began fundraising. As of today they have already raised over $4400.00!!!!! We are so excited to have them joining us on the Bike MS ride. Go Turner!!!!!
Spidermokey Cycling has raised over $7000.00 as of today!!!!! Please help us reach our goal of $10,000.00. You can make a donation here: Help us reach our goal!
Cubs game Friday 1:20…make a $25.00 donation to our team for the MS ride and receive 2 tickets to the game
Sunday: Bike the Drive. We will ride from Costco parking lot to the finish area and pass out Bike to Work t-shirts. Free to the first 100 people who mention they saw the spidermonkey blog.
Summer Kickoff BBQ: June 5th!!!!! Please RSVP to the Evite!!!!!!!
Spidermonkey of the Week: Kim Brokhof
“I don’t wanna ride my bike.” I uttered that phrase countless times growing up. While the cool
kid’s parents dropped them off at school, my parents made me ride my bike. Summer vacations? I was
dreaming about amusement parks and beaches during weekend “vacations” that consisted of riding
together as a family. I was active in every sport possible, but there was something about biking that I
could never get into. I often proclaimed that biking was stupid and when I grew up I would never ride
My active engagement in sports led to soccer, basketball, and running injuries. After five knee surgeries
on my right knee and no remaining cartilage, the final verdict was no more running or high impact sports
or a knee replacement surgery would soon await me. After swearing that I would never bike again, I
found that those words tasted delicious. I was back on a bike in college, but this time because it was a
quick and efficient way to get around campus and one of the only forms of exercise that didn’t bother
When I moved to the City I discovered the joy of commuting and the ability to get everywhere quicker
via bike. Two years ago my opinion of cycling took yet another unexpected turn. My friend and I went
to the Goose Island Summer Dock party to enjoy a few beverages. I saw a guy in a stylish jacket that said
Spidermonkey (turns out it was Dean). I drank some liquid courage and asked where I could get a jacket
like that. Dean informed me that Spidermonkey was the name of their cycling club. The girl next to him
in the huge floppy hat and sunglasses (Vanessa) asked if I had a road bike and invited me to join a ride. A
club based out of my neighborhood where people biked together and then drank together?! It sounded
too good to be true. Though I would soon find out that my ten speed Panasonic with flipped handle
bars wasn’t quite the road bike Vanessa was referring to, I eventually found a proper road bike and
discovered the joy of speed for the first time on a bike. I also found that riding with a group and being
part of a team/club filled a void I’d felt from leaving sports. I always enjoyed being on sports teams, and
the camaraderie and fun I experience during Spidermonkey rides (and drinking events) is something I’d
never thought I’d find again. “I don’t wanna ride my bike” has turned into “I want to ride my bike every
day and I wanna go fast!” Thank you for welcoming me to share in your fun, and shaping me into the
cyclist I am today-you all rock!
At Madison I was introduced to the world of cycling through my college boyfriend and it has kind of spiraled out of control from there. I started out racing on the road and then had a little accident that caused me to move away from road racing for many years. During that time, I took up mountain biking and rock climbing to do some adventure racing and then got into the world of triathlon with a goal of learning to swim and completing an Ironman before the age of 30. Success occurred in 2009 when I completed the Ironman Wisconsin.
While training up in Madison, I realized how much I missed the road and I started to get the itch to road race again. It just so happened that right around this time Katie and I met and she asked me to come along to girls (aka sexist) ride where my Spidermonkey journey began. I could not have asked for a better group of people to become apart of. Since joining you crazy kids, I have completed my first cyclocross season (yes I will learn to mount my bike this year), regained my confidence of riding in a pack, started to hang on with the fast kids at least for a few miles, and learned how to drink a few beers and still navigate my fancy bike home from JJ Pepper. Not so bad for a year and a half. You guys rock!!
The Spidermonkeys exploded into a shrieking mass of orange on the Saturday ride. 17 monkeys embarked on new route through Fort Sheridan. With the addition of more new potholes on our route, we have been keeping the group neutral until Tower road. Believe me, neutral does not mean slow…but controlled and safe.
Great work by all our leaders, co-leaders and leaders in training. Thanks to all who came to the leaders meeting on Tuesday. Ride leading is the backbone of Spidermonkey Cycling. It is your willingness to lead a ride that supports and promotes our primary purpose: bike riding. If you are interested in becoming a ride leader, please let us know.
We are off to a very successful start to our Wednesday rides. Although it has been a little too cold for JJPeppers…it hasn’t stopped us from partaking in the parking lot of fun. And the Sunday ride proved what we all suspected…it’s fast! Drew set the pace high and we all followed suit.
As of today we have already raised over $6000.00 for MS! Congrats on the great work Spidermonkeys! We will easily reach our goal of $10,000.00.
The Spidermonkey “womens” ride is also seeing a growing number of riders. 10 women on the ride this morning! Seems a man infiltrated their paceline on this mornings ride, but had to get back early because he didn’t want to miss the Oprah show.
Almost 30 of us showed up for the Saturday morning ride which we hope will win the record for windiest ride of the year and most flats of the year (3). Congrats to Petter who made it out for his first ride of the season…many more to come!
The wind really wiped us all out, but a surprising number of us (13) got up the next morning to do it again, but even better at the Folks on Spokes Easter Ride! We were in rough shape – Kristi forgot socks, Stewart brought two left-handed gloves, Mike, well, it might be easier to say what he remembered, etc. Once we all had something to wear, we battled the wind again. Wait, no, most of us just sat on Monica and Kim’s wheels all day. Wind lovers! Back to Mike, our superstar of the day. Mike decided to tough out the entire 65 miles in an old school uniform of basketball shorts and a cotton t-shirt. We hope he recovers by Wednesday night!
Tuesday morning was our first official girl’s ride of the season! It was chilly (aka freezing cold), but 7 of us made it out and had a fantastic ride. We can’t wait til next week…and some warmth!
Spidermonkey Cycling has accepted the challenge and joined the movement with Bike MS. Join us June 25th & 26th, 2011! Ordinary people, just like you, are taking extraordinary challenges to make this a world free of MS. Are you up for the challenge? Get your heart pumping and your mind racing as you push yourself beyond limits you never dreamed possible! Click here to join our team, start your own or to make a donation to help us reach our $10,000 goal. After the ride on Saturday, the Spidermonkeys will be pouring 312 for all the participants. Finish your ride then take your tastebuds for a spin!
While some of us were racing, others were training in Galena! Thanks Brandon and Justeen for setting this up!
11 Spidermonkeys made the trip to Galena. Trent, Monica and Chad woke up early on Friday to meet me and Justeen in Dubuque for a ride along the Mighty Mississippi in the wind and cold. After lunch we headed away from the river and into the cornfields where the wind was much worse. 40 mph winds reaked havoc on our ride and once the rain came, maybe it was hail, our day was over. Saturday we woke up to snow, yes snow, and postponed the ride until the afternoon (we’re blaming the snow, but it was the hangovers). 48 miles and 3,600 ft of climbing left us with tired legs and empty stomachs. Our stomachs were filled at the brewery downtown. Everyone woke up Sunday with sore and tired legs, but that wouldn’t stop us from riding. The up and downs around Galena have left us worn down, but looking forward to the next trip back. 140 miles and 10,000 feet of climbing in three days; what more could you ask for…. maybe better weather. Stay tuned for a full wrap-up of training in Galena!
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