Tag: Burnham

Cobb Park Race Report

by Drew Kushnick

Brandon convinced me to do the Easter ride and race Cobb Park.  The Easter ride was a blast, but by the time we toed the line for the race we had 70 miles in our legs.  The race was 45 minutes and from the gun a Burnham rider went off the front.  Brandon and I made a couple of attempts to bridge to the front until Brandon was able to get in the break.  This may have been 10 minutes in and I thought my legs feel good, but I am sure they will give out at some point.  The break started to swell and I followed a wheel all the way up.  Brandon was surprised to see me up there, but was happy to have another person rotate through because the break had about 8 or 10 guys, but only about 3 or 4, including us, were working.

Drew and Brandon discussing the race
Due to the lack of cohesion, we were caught by the field.  Three guys were off the front again so I made a couple digs to try and get to the front.  Finally, I was about 3 or 4 seconds behind the lead group of 3 when another guy came up to me and finished off the gap.  The five of us worked well together and were joined by 3 more.  Our lead continued to grow to 25 seconds, and at about 30 minutes in, I told myself that my legs could survive for another 15 minutes.  I had never been in a successful breakaway, and really wanted to make it to the end in front of the pack.

One of the best parts about racing is having people cheer you on.  It was a blast having Stephanie, Kristi, Kelly, Ken, and Geoff cheering us on.  It gives you that little extra energy when you come around and see them.  Plus, when I feel good, I have fun making hand gestures and faces at them!  You can ask them about that.  Another good thing about racing is enjoying those days, when your legs will do whatever you want them to.  Cobb Park was pretty close to that.  My breakaway stayed away and I managed to take 6th in the sprint for the line.  Brandon was able to sneak off the front with a Burnham rider as well and take 11th.

Brandon off the front with Burnham’s Jason Knauff
We finished the day with 92 miles in the books and a lot more confidence in our fitness.  I am glad he convinced me to do both rides.  The rest of the afternoon and evening were spent eating and groaning whenever I moved until I went to bed at 9:30.

Official Spidermonkey Participant List:
Kelly Clarke
Brandon Diffenderfer
Tim Driver
Kristi Hanson
Drew Kushnick
Stephanie Kushnick
Ken Mitchell
Geoff Scott 

Guest Spidermonkey of the Week – Andy Daley!

Andy Daley!

Hi. My name is Andy Daley. Thanks to a long, boring criterium, my domination of 127th position in said long, boring criterium, a slightly rhyming name, and a crew of Goose Island beverage imbibed SpiderMonkeys, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of me.

The powers that be were kind enough to let me fill the Spidermonkey blogosphere with a little about me. My story starts a few years back when while on a group ride, Dean was lamenting how he was constantly made fun of at races for getting drunk and yelling out Air Supply lyrics. At the same time, I was complaining about always being mistaken for ChiCrossCup Titan Jason Knauff. It was then we worked out a solution. He’d substitute Air Supply lyrics for chanting my name, and I’d bury Mr. Knauff in obscurity. (One out of two ain’t bad).

Dean, drunk serenading Matt Smith, again:
“Girl you’re every woman in the world to me.
You’re my fantasy, you’re my reality”

If I’ve done my math right, this is my 9th year of racing bicycles. I didn’t race in college or anything like that, so when I started up in 2004 as a Cat 5 newbie, I was straight up terrible. Got dropped on the first lap of Monsters of the Midway. Dropped on the first lap of the State Road race. Dropped at Downers Grove. Dropped Dropped Dropped.

Eventually, though, I reduced my effective entry entry fee down from $25 per lap and got good enough to move past the 4’s into the 3’s and then squeak by into the Category 2’s. As a Cat 2, typically my race ‘strategy’ was move up as many spots as I could when I heard the chase motorcycle tail gunning the back of the pack. Still, good, good times. I’ll never forget working myself into a deep, deep hole just to finish once the opener of Superweek, the Beverly Cycling Classic.

I’ve since downgraded to a Cat 3. I told the USAC officials I needed to downgrade due to having a newborn to take care of, but in reality it was all part of my evil genius plan to race in the same category as a certain venison jerky maker.

Shake and Bake race strategy in action at Evanston last year:
“Brandon, I’m bonking. More deer jerky, please!”

Tasty venison snacks aside, I’m looking very forward to racing with the Cat 3 Spidermonkeys and helping out the Cat 4’s and Cat 5’s avoid some of the many mistakes I made when I was just starting out. You’ll be hearing more soon about us Burnham veterans offering to tell war stories and give some race advice. Just nod and pretend to be interested during the war story retelling and I promise you’ll eek out at least a few racing nuggets of info. Hopefully.

Cheers! Andy

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