The Wed Nite Ride season was wrapped up with 11 riders participating to varying degrees in the Oldest, Heaviest, and Ugliest categories. Everyone was happy that the ugly kits are only displayed once a year. Chip was the biggest benefactor of the handicapping system. His vintage and tattered Long John Silver vest catapulted him to the top for Oak Tree sprint. Brandon inadvertently created one more category which will probably not be renewed next year……….noisiest bike. Thanks to all for a great showing throughout the year. Normal breathing can now be restored.

Saturday was rainy. But that didn’t stop John Castro, Sam, and Peter Monko from riding! It also didn’t stop Northwestern Goose Island fans from heading to Northwestern’s Wildcat Alley! Peter joined Joe, Justine, Brandon, Vanessa, and Dean at Northwestern’s Wildcat Alley to help pour beer while Castro and Sam continued their adventure to Highland Park. Fun was had by all…we can’t wait til the next game!

“That ride was epic!”, “My favorite ride of the year!”, “Thanks for ripping my legs off!”, “I’m gonna win this!”, “Best tasting 312 ever!”, “Allejandro, Allejandro! Alli, Alli-jandro!” are just a few things we heard at the North Shore Century on Sunday. We lost count but think there were close to 30 Spidermonkey’s on the ride. We are super happy for Stewart, Anna, Grace, Stephanie, and Paul who all completed their first century! Welcome to the club, what an awesome ride!

While we were pedaling, Justeen and Brandon were running…the Chicago half marathon! Congrats!

Meanwhile, in Madison, two amazingly insane Spidermonkey girl’s were doing the Madison Ironman. Congratulations to Amy for completing her first (but not last?) Ironman and Brianna for completing her second Ironman. Will Brianna be attempting this for a third year in a row? “Hell No! I’ll volunteer instead”. Hope we’ll see you both on the rides even more next year!

And who doesn’t like to run after a century ride? Monday was another Burgers and Beer night at Universal Sole where a surprising number of us showed up for a nice run to loosen up our legs after the century, enjoy a burger, and our favorite 312. Yum.

Lastly, a Spidermonkey victory over pace bus harrassment! Senor Bruno contacted Pace to notify them of a driver who repeatedly exhibited aggressive behavior to poor Bruno on his bike. He was able to give them exact times and dates of these potentially deadly episodes. Turns out, pace has black box video on their buses and was able to review and take action on the driver who is now no longer at Pace. Way to keep it safe for us out there Bruno!

Spidermonkey of the Week: Keith Seiz

The day I became a Spidermonkey was also the same day I stopped being a triathlete. Coincidence? Hardly. After doing the tri thing for a couple of years, I burnt out at the boredom of training and wanted to do something a bit more social. Enter the Spidermonkeys. I did some googling late one night of local cycling teams and sent out a few emails asking if their training rides were open. I immediately got a response from Dean or Vanessa (can’t remember), and was on my first group ride less than 8 hours later. After that first ride, I realized I never wanted to be in an aero position again, and retired from my role as an age group pack-filler triathlete.

That was three years ago, and I have been enjoying my tenure as a monkey ever since. What attracted me to the Spidermonkeys back then is why I still love the team now: Dean and Vanessa have an uncanny ability to attract genuinely great people to this club. More crassly put, for such a large group of people, I am amazed at the absolute lack of people I don’t like. The whole lot of you I enjoy riding with. That in itself is amazing, and it is what I am going to miss most about being a Spidermonkey as I move to the greener pastures of the St. Louis Metropolitan area.

I’m sure I’ll be able to find new people to ride with. Hell, maybe I’ll even join a club (blasphemy!). But I guarantee you, there will be assholes in that club who I will not want to ride my bike with. Lightening doesn’t strike twice, and I think outside of the Spidermonkey population, it’s pretty impossible to assemble 50+ people of different ages, cultures and backgrounds, and still genuinely want to ride your bike with every single one of them.

We are sad to see you leave but are so glad we got to know you and were able to enjoy your company the last few years! We hope you’ll come back to visit often!