Monday, April 25, 2011

2011 Cherry Valley 30k Recap

Stage #2 of the MATTS outdoor season brought us to Cherry Valley, Illinois for the Big Ring Flyers, Freeport Bicycle Club 30k. The conditions were again interesting to say the least with 40 degree temps and winds out of the Northwest clocking at upwards of 20+ mph. Oh, and throw in a few unexpected trains coming through, and you have an early season time trial!

Nowhere to run nowhere to hide, riders faced fierce side winds for the majority of the race. At the finish line, Ziggy Demel’s demeanor said it all. In a slightly disoriented state, Demel, of PACT-Dish Network said, “These are the worst conditions I have ever experienced!” Others came over the finish line using adjectives like heinous, tough, crazy, and ridiculous to describe their day.

While some let the conditions meld into their psyches’, others had different plans. The usual suspects JonathanToftoy (Synergy), Chris Mosora (Scarletfire Racing), Reed “Speed” Oliff (Lamb Little Racing), Dan Norbeck (Vision Quest), Andrew Toftoy (Nature Factor-Fitness Finish), and Brian Harris (Scarletfire Racing)where the podium finishers on the men’s side. Shirley Crocker (Freeport Bicycle Club), Mimi Fagan (Big Ring Flyers), Diane Roanhaus (Team RVO), and Ann Mattson (Freeport Bicycle Club) rounded the podium on the women’s side.

Some other desperadoes that the 20 something racing crowd would not want to play with or risk shattered egos on this day were guys like Bob Burke and James Host of PACT-Dish Network who are just incredibility tenacious racers. Throw in the mix of “The Legend,” Fabio Orlandi (PYOC), “The Man from Crystal Lake”, Dan Madsen (ABD), and the former king of the series, Ken Roanhaus (Midwest Masters), and you’ve got some serious horsepower on your hands! If I were the former player caught betting on baseball, I would have these guys on my betting sheets everyday of the week!

Other racers turning in good times on this day were: Jerry Trzeciak (Polish Mafia Racing), MikeWolfgram (Gear Grinder), Dan Dotson (W2 Racing / Freeport BC), Mike Redlich Jr. (ABD), Michael Norton (JVC), Gene Nozicka (Alberto’s), Richard Kreutzfeldt (PACT-Dish Network), Jack Patterson (Midwest Masters), Marek Serafin (Lamb Little Racing), Ellen Daroga (Big Ring Flyers), Don Lowe (Team Mack), Karen Drennan (Team Kenda), Ziggy Demel (PACT-Dish Network), Doug Peterson (Lamb Little Racing), Pat Beam (ABD), and Rich Vichotka (Midwest Masters).

Thanks goes out to Rick Green, Big Ring Flyers, and the Freeport Cycling Club for putting on this great event! Rick and his team did an excellent job! The race has received a lot of positive compliments!

MATTS Outdoor Stage #3 takes us to the legendary Bong course. For those of you who do not know, in the 1950’s this area was slated for a U.S. Air Force base named after local World War II Ace Richard I. Bong. The base was partially built before it was deemed obsolete and abandoned to make way for the recreation area it is today and of course the best time trailing roads in the area. See you 5/1! Please check out this site for more information:'s_Flyer_2011v2.pdf

Friday, April 15, 2011

2011 MATTS JFMTT Recap

After braving another brutal Chicago winter locked into our trainers, the 2011 time trial season began last Sunday with the kick off the John Fraser Memorial Time Trial. In Chicagoland, we call spring the duel between winter and summer. The kicker is that on some days not even the Vegas odds makers can make any sense of our weather. To the delight of the athletes participating in Sunday’s event, the temperatures were in the 80’s with sunny skies. The thermals kicked up the winds, and some with discs thought they had signed on for a Lake Michigan sailing expedition. Get this; some even claimed their discs were creating negative drag.

Anyways, back to the race. Riders fought wind, terrain, and a few choice turnarounds to complete the Mid America Time Trial Series Prologue. On the men's side, Jeff Otto (Lamb Little Racing) scorched the course with a 19:48. Ryan Freund (ABD) and Bryce Meade (ABD) were second and third respectively, just breaking the 20 minute mark.  On the women’s side, the wickedly, fast Stacey Appelwick (ABD) turned in the fastest women’s time of the day with a 22:07, followed by Jennifer Harrison (unattached), and Ann Matteson (Freeport Bicycle Co.) to round the podium.

Other interesting developments on this day were Charles Gerlach (Lamb Little Racing) and James Host (PACT) taking home dual titles in the 30+, 40+, 50+ and 55+. You would think these two desperadoes won the Grand Prize Game on Bozo Show or something. Both men each walked away with two brand new top of the line indoor trainers for their efforts. Charles asked me to help him take one of these trainers to his car. When I went to put it in my car, he said, “Not your car, over here, my car!” Well, I tried anyway. In the 30+, an anomaly of sorts also occurred with Lamb Little Racing capturing the top four places (Otto, Gerlach, Oliff, Peterson).

Other series regulars turning in fast times on this day were: Curtis Bice (ABD), Jack Arnold (North Branch), Joe Berenyi (PSIMET), Reed Oliff (Lamb Little Racing), Bob Burke (PACT), Brian Harris (Scarlet Fire / Verizon), Mark Serafin (Lamb Little Racing), Dan Madsen (ABD), John Westergaard (Magnetrol), Jerry Trzeciak (Polish Gangsta Cycling), Stan Trzeciak (Polish Gangsta Cycling), Rob Jungles (ABD), Andrew Tschampa (PACT), Ziggy Demel (PACT), Richard Kruetzfelt, (PACT), Don Lowe (Team Mack), Richard Adamczyk (Midwest Masters), Mimi Fagan (Big Ring Flyers), and Patricia Beam (ABD).

It is too bad that we do not have a team award for the best overall team in MATTS. Right now, it looks like Lamb Little, PACT, ABD and Scarletfire / Verizon Racing are posting some impressive times and taking many of the top spots in the series. Well, being that I am the MATTS Coordinator, this may be something I may have to look into for a possible surprise award at the end of the season. For those of you who do not know, besides handing out trophies, we will be raffling a Leader TT frame at the 2011 awards banquet.

Lastly, I hope to be more consistent in my reporting this season. My teammate, Mark Serafin, was really upset that I neglected my blog last summer. He said he is going to keep me honest this season. With the physique and cunning of a juice loan collector, what else was I suppose to say to him?  "Mark, I will do my best to keep my blog updated for 2011. Please don’t break my knees!"

I wish everyone a fun and safe season. My condolences go out to Mike Jones (PACT) who has just had some plain bad luck with city traffic. Just when we thought he was back, another 3,000 pound projectile (aka an automobile) took him out again. Heal up Mike. We all miss you at the races!

Next Race:  Cherry Valley 30K  Sunday April 17th.  See this link for race details: