According to Coach Dave Noda (VQ), the Spidermonkey crew did a great job and represented well at the Gran Fondue at Blue Mounds State Park in Wisconsin on Saturday.  It was a chance for Mike Meyers, Alan Harris and Jason Galles to ride the proposed 2016 Olympic course designed by Robbie Ventura and Bob Weeks. Dave confirmed that Mike is as strong as an ox! Alan said “Wow! I was able to ride the Olympic course 3 times – about 4.5 hours and a chance to ride the final climb with Robby (for about 20 feet) unitl I had to fall off his pace.” 
Here is Michael Meyers report: As we paced with Robbie Ventura and Dave Noda around the 23 mile Horribly Hilly Course, I experienced some of the most insane hills I could have imagined.  Several of the hills hit 15 and 16% grade on my Garmin and matched what Robbie was yelling out from his as we climbed over spray painted messages of “Make the Juice Worth the Squeeze” on the road.  The last hill of the loop is the true test and was so steep and long that I averaged around 5 mph the entire climb.  This is where I was eventually dropped from the Ventura/Noda group and left to fend for myself.  I managed to get to the top of the hill, finish the loop and start lap #2 on my own.  Worried about not having a paceline to draft I ate and drank as much as I could knowing I’d need the energy.  In one of the downhills I managed to hit 38 mph which helped get over some of the smaller hills but once I hit the big hill at the end I only avg about 3.5 mph up it.  I didn’t know I could go that slow and still stay up on the bike.  I clearly needed more training or better gearing or a miracle.  I finally made two loops in around 2 hours and 44 mins.  Within the first mile of the lap 3 I started getting horrible cramps in both my quads, stopped to stretch and drink more but to no avail.  I didn’t want to risk getting stuck halfway through and not be able to finish so I turned around and called it a day. 
Jason met up with me and he said he missed a turn which got him lost, had derailuer issues and some other problems…that just sucks.  Once we decided to head in we walked the hill to the BBQ and ate plenty of food. 
Several Spidermonkeys made it out to North Central Cyclery and Half Acre Cycling’s Hopkins Park Cross Race.  It looks like everyone had a lot of fun negotiating the flyover (a CCC first)!  Congrats to everyone who raced!  Dan said “Not pre-riding the course was a mistake since I took one of those turns wrong and dropped my chain on the first lap which basically ended my race. I still had a great time, although the 4th lap was one too many and just this side of torture” 
Thursday night: Spidermonkey Cycling would like to invite any women who are interested in racing next year to join us at the Get-a-Grip Fit Studio (621 W Fulton St. Chicago) on Thursday October, 7th at 7 p.m. for an informal Q-n-A session with Cat 1 racer and Mother of 2, Kristen Meshberg. Please RSVP to Vanessa Buccella Snacks and 312 will be served.
Saturday: Wildcat Alley Goose Island Beer Pouring this Saturday 4:30-6:30pm
Sunday: Chicago Marathon 10/10/10 Look for several Spidermonkeys running.  Keep your eyes open for Spidermonkeys on bikes too as course marshals.
Getemwhilethey’re hot: Chicago Cross Cup t-shirt  
Spidermonkey of the Week: Trent Williams 
I moved back to Chicago from Colorado in Jan 2007 after grad school.  I was out of the midwest for 6 years.  After moving back, my brother suggested doing the Chicago Triathlon and I thought was a great idea.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  He signed me up for the Chicago Triathlon in 2007 as birthday present.  I thought I was in pretty good shape (boy how freakin’ wrong could I have been…)  I was excited to have something to train for that would be a challenge.  Shortly thereafter, I landed a job where I met Vanessa S.  I found out that she was doing the triathlon too and was stoked cause I didn’t know anybody that had done a triathlon before.  So I swam in the pool, ran, and did the spin classes at the gym cause I didn’t own a bicycle.  About a month before the race, I went to the store and bought, what I now dearly have named, Hope, An all white, powder coated, REI brand aluminum framed bicycle.  Vanessa also had mentioned that if I got a bike, I could ride with her and her friends up to Highland Park on Saturday mornings.  I bought the bike, and on the first Saturday morning I had available, I rode to HP.  I show up and without a helmet and regular athletic shorts and met Vanessa’s friend Dean.  Dean provided me a helmet and away we went.  For some reason, he thought I should have a helmet when riding on the streets… whatever…
I can’t quit remember what happened during the ride other than me sucking a ton of air and wheel…
The ride was a blur, had a blast and knew I was gonna have to ride again.
A month later or so, Vanessa said she wanted to talk to me about this group she was forming called the Spidermonkeys.  So it was about 3 years ago to the day that there was this “secret” meeting at this bike shop (Roscoe Village Bikes) somewhere in the city where they were gonna have pizza and beer talk about this club her and Dean were starting…. 
I walk in RVB, on that cold rainy October evening in 2007 meeting a bunch of people for the first time not knowing a thing and was excited in thinking that I’m gonna be on this sweet biking team.  Eventhough I didn’t jump right in, slowly by slowly I had gotten more and more into cycling and raced for the first time the following year.  Nothing like getting dropped and being asked to leave a race :)  Slightly humbling.  Since then, I’ve been riding more and more and just can’t get enough.
Dean, thanks for making me wear a helmet that day, Vanessa, thanks for inviting me to your secret meeting, and thank you to the rest of the Spidermonkeys for really making cycling part of my life.  My life is forever changed for the better: tons of people to race with, tons of people to cheer me on, tons of people to cheer on, a few people to run in the winter with, a ton of people to laugh with, and a ton of people to drink 312 with. I am honored to be part of this group.  I wear my kit and my Spidermonkey shirts with pride, because ALL you guys (and girls) are awesome!  
Oh yeah, everyone should buy a tri-top for next year.  They are kick a**!