Several spidermonkeys made the trip to the Compton Cross race on Sunday.  Taking a break from his dream lifestyle, Thomas Magnum P.I. made the trip from Hawaii. Last week Trent borrowed a bike from Grace, this week a costume…what will he borrow next?  He said “Everyone else was jealous cause they weren’t wearing a Rainbow Bright Costume.”  Kristi was seen giving Thin Mint Cookie hand up’s and earned her Chicago Cross Cup Participation patch from the Girl Scouts.  Todd  Kaiser’s little (spider) monkey was showing the love.  We can’t wait till she can ride on the girls Tuesday morning ride! 

After making a phone call to encourange Josh and Stewart into riding on a chilly Saturday morning, Dean sent an email to the team motivating several (10) other Spidermonkey into joining him.  Smiles were seen on all their faces while eating Orange muffins in Highland Park.  There is always time to sleep and be warm, come join us every weekend for our rides as long as the roads are clear.

Coming up this week:

Thursday: Opening night of the Spidermonkey Taste of VQ!  Get ready for a 20 minute performance test!!!!
Saturday: Hot Chocolate 5 or 15K
SATURDAY NIGHT: End of the Year Bash #3.  This is the end of our 3rd season and we thank all of you for helping make it so successful!

Spidermonkey of the week:  Monica Penez

Looking back, I sure have come a long way from that pink and white sears spider with a banana seat.
At the age of 9, my family moved to the edge of Chicago, right by the North Branch forest preserves trails. I never really fit in with the other kids in that hood and was considered a dork and still happily to this day that I still am. My parents bought me a kitten and a blue Schwinn Traveler, I loved and smothered that cat and I rode that bike everywhere. I remember as a kid watching the Tour de France in utter awe, wishing I could be a female Greg Lemond. I remember being 18 and betting other male bicycle riders on the North branch trail money to race, always getting my ass kicked, I tried.
People,places,things,good,bad,happy and sad times came and went,my true loves were always still there.
I tried Mountain biking a couple of years. I had many muddy face plants, hill rolls and stump flips. My road bike is my true self. There is nothing like a hundred mile ride by yourself on a sunny day, hills help, but straight aways are good too.
I was lucky enough to have rode with my cousins in Austria, Switzerland and Germany.I have ridden in such places as Costa Rica, Northern New Zealand,Colorado ( where I was introduced to Moots Cycles, now having one to race cyclocross with), Minnesota to Chicago for my first Aids ride.
I Always wanted to ride The Aides/Lifecycle California ride and signed up.I have friends that ride, but not like me. I needed to train badly, I did not know where to go , I knew Vanessa Bucella was riding with this amazing group that she loved. I desperately asked if I could ride with this super bicycle team. I was so nervous and did not know what to expect. Everyone was so wonderful, I loved the pace.I have always been a solo rider, I now wanted to become a SpiderMonkey in the worst way.I remember I almost got on my knees and begged Vanessa S. and Dean at the hot dog stand that day, somehow I managed to keep my cool (I think). Monday at work, I received a email from Vanessa S. asking if I was still interested. I screamed so loud, I think my heart stopped, I even cried. All my co-workers congratulated me, as they knew how much I had enjoyed myself on that dream ride. One of the happiest days of my life.
Clearly this has been the best year of my life and I owe it to my Spider Monkey family. I remember the 3rd day of my aids ride, I was riding solo and this woman on the side
the road clapped and cheered me on, I thanked her for her support. She said “No thank you for your support!, I have Aids and you are saving my life, YOU are my hero” .As I rode away in silence, I was so emotionally touched, I cried.
I as so vey grateful for being a Spider Monkey, so grateful for being healthy,able,lucky to have happiness and peace and once again finding my true self, to learn and grow and ride, meet and hang out with some kick ass wonderful other SpiderMonkeys.

Thank you for this opportunity. Monica