Monday, December 14, 2009

Leah in Bend,OR

Cyclocross Nationals are taking place in Bend, OR. As I type this I am sitting in front of my fireplace and staring out of my window at the sunrise over the valley full of pine trees and snow. This place is so beautiful. It is hard to get overly stressed about racing in such a peaceful environment. I went out to test ride the course Thursday. They've had snow and very colds temps here lately so the course was super hard and icy. The layout was very twisty though, so the key phrase of the day was "keep the rubber side down". This required some tip toeing through the turns and off camber bits. There was one little off camber turn/hill that became nick-named "crash corner". Somehow it didn't seem to slow down Ryan Trebon as he wove his way skillfully past me and through the crowded course. Overall the course was fun and technical and would get better with age.

Friday was race day. 1:00pm. I got to the course to pre-ride at noon. Thankfully the course was open 12 -1 so I got to pre-ride and warmup at the same time. Most of the deeper snow was packed down but the turns were still icy. For the start, I had the grand pleasure of getting 2nd call-up. Right next to Wendy Williams (last year's champion). All because I finished 7th last year and no one else of the top 8 came out. The competition today I knew would be fierce. The field was 23 last year. 48 this year. And here I am, Cat 3, on the front line, with 46 hungry women behind me, most of which were Cat 1's, 2's and Pro MTB'ers. Who, me nervous? I had a decent start, maybe 6th into the turn. I felt really confident on the course so despite all the big guns around me, I pushed it hard. I would get a steady trickle of riders passing me on the straights and sometimes I would pass back in the turns. That was fun! Then, after the barriers on lap 2, I don't know where I was looking, probably at my damn pedals as I remounted, and didn't notice the woman completely stopped in the middle of the course. I slammed hard right into her. We, and bikes, both went ass over teakettle. I apologized as I grabbed my bike and ran. Thankfully everything seemed OK on the bike and I was feeling no pain so I pushed on. The next time I needed my front brakes however, I panicked to realize they weren't really doing much. The lever pulled almost all the way to the bar. As you know, with cantilever brakes, that equates to no braking force. There was one steep little downhill into an icy turn where i needed them badly. I went down hard and slid under the course tape. OK. That one hurt. I don't like using my rear brakes much (or at all) but I had no choice. I deftly made my way around the course and thankfully the sun started to melt the ice so I could carry more speed in the turns. There was no body in my race nearby for the last half lap so I pretty much cruised in for 20th. Not as good of a finish as I would have liked but solid considering my competition and my short preparation (I decided 6 weeks ago I better stop partying and eating too much and train for this thing.) I am staying out here until Monday so I can watch the pros race Sunday (and do a little skiing and shopping!)


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Is it all done?

The 2009 Chicago Cross Cup is in the bag, here are our results;

First overall Cat3, Ryan Cooper
10Th overall cat3 John Kurtz
11Th overall cat3 Ted Burger

11Th overall Women's 123 Leah Sanda

10Th overall men's 30+ Jason Wagner
18Th overall men's 30+ Me

12Th overall men's 50+ Gary Whalen
13Th overall men's 50+ George Lambros

5Th overall in team standings!!

Totals for the year,
3 flat tubulars
1 broken derailleur
2 broken derailleur hangers
300lbs of sand cleaned off each bike
1 ER visit
3 250g cans of tire glue
1 broken Zipp wheel
2 broken helmets
1 bag of $15 nuts

It was a great season for the team, we planted our roots deeper into the cyclocross scene.

9 months till Jackson Park!!

We will have a team meeting after the new year to discuss everything from new kits to our Leland race.

Happy Holidays to you and yours

Monday, November 23, 2009

Our own Niels

Congrats to Ryan"I am soooo fast I am blury" Cooper on a huge win in Woodstock yesterday. It came down to a sprint finish, wow that dude is fast!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

After week 6

Wagner and I pull into the parking lot of the 6th Chicago Cyclocross Cup race to see the body's of those pre-riding the course covered in mud, a lot of mud. Rewind 24 hours, I was sitting in a Starbucks talking about "mud tires" with a few fellow cross racers when I made the proclamation "we will not have a mud race in Chicago, don't even worry about it." Was I wrong.

After the first hill Wagner came around me(on a single speed) poked my leg and took off. I did not see him until after the finish. He took 10Th, I could only get 22ND.

In the 50+ Gary Whalen took 9th, George got 12th.
In the 40+ Mike Grimm got 23rd
Cat 3 Ted "I am BACK" Burger got 12th place and finished with no front brake!!
John Kurtz took lucky 13th

We are still 4th overall in the Team standings.

Up next, Northbrook

Monday, October 19, 2009

After week 4

(pic used w/o permission, what the hell is he smiling about?)

Our team is kicking ass in the Chicago cross cup, overall standings are;
Men cat 3; Ryan "my shoe fell off" Cooper, 1st overall
John Kurts 6th
Ted Burger 18th
Women 123 Leah Sanda 9th
Men 30+ Dave Pilotto 11th
Jason "44x17 for cross" Wagner 19th
Jason Meshburg 21st
Men 50+ George Lambros 10th
Gary Whalen 13th

Also big up to Ted "Gordon Lightfoot" Burger for a 7th place at this past weekends UCI cross race in Toronto, even after getting cross-checked by a hockey-stick wielding canuck!!

We need the team to help with our Northbrook cross race November 8th. Contact me or Jason Meshburg. The race will be EPIC!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cyclocross is fun

Video used without permission

After 2 Chicago Cyclocross Cup races we have 3 men in the top 10 overall in Cat 3, Ryan Cooper, John Kurtz and Ted Burger.

Leah Sanda is 3rd overall in the Women's 123.

As some of up struggle to find out race-legs(me) we can rest assured that there is 2 months of races left.

This Sunday brings us to Dan Ryan woods. The course is new for CCC and I am told will feature 2 large hills.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Palos Meltdown 8-30-09

The Meltdown is a race that the Chicagoland dirt community views as its world championships. It is on trails everyone knows and uses on a regular basis, but somehow felt strange to me, was it the 249 people chasing me? Was it the 60degree temps in August?

This may have been the race with the most team members entered, sport class;
Mike Carney 10th overall 4th in age group
Mike Grimm 20th overall 2nd age group
Joe Maxwell (akascott fortman) 23rd overall
Bill Older 85th overall 11th agegroup
Peter Tirone 98th
Rom Tomondong 159th
Greg Molnar 188th
David Pilotto 202th

We had the oldest and youngest racers in expert
Gary Whalen 42nd
Rhys Louis 75th (see pic above)

Big thanks to Mike Grimm and Rom for setting up base camp, and all the friends that came out to cheer us on!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Good luck

Good luck to everyone racing the Chicago Triathalon,and everyone racing the Palos Meltdown on Sunday.

Both events should be a challenge and equaly exciting to race or spectate.

With about 6" of rain the past few days and 48 hours to the start The Meltdown should be a muddy good time.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dave Jagee Wins Downers

It is great to see Flatlandia kicking ass all season long. This weekend was no exception. Dave pulled a great sprint to win the Masters race on Saturday.
Thanks for putting the team on the podium again!!

thanks to Loch for the pic

Monday, July 13, 2009

Super week

Great day of racing for me ... perfect weather, great course (ok maybe the hill could have been longer) ....
raced the cat 4/5 race ... for the most part the race was uneventful. Tower, xXx, Bicycle Heaven and one other team had several riders in the race (I think Tower had 21 guys). There were several breakaway attempts during the race, but it was apparent early on that these teams were not going to let anyone get away. The pace picked up with about 1.5 laps to go, and with about 1.5 miles to go (with most of the pack still intact), the jockeying for position started. 35mph plus on the final long straight .... positioned myself at around 10th place going into the final turns .... 2 turns from the finish, the leaders crash taking down about 6~7 riders. I decided it was all or nothing ... work my way through the crash, put my head down and start to hammer, managed to get a good gap, flew into the last turn, pushed even harder, not looking back until about 50 meters to go ...
Victory for Flatlandia!

Dave Jaggi

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Proctor race report

Proctor State Crit Championship. I really like this course. It's a figure eight with lots of turns, very much like Quad cities. There's a slight hill but nothing worth writing home about. The wind was pretty strong and the gusts got worse as the day went on. Temps were perfect in the morning and got a little warm in the afternoon. Enough to make me not want to warm up on the trainer for race #2.
In the morning I raced the Women's Masters 35+. Not a huge field. 10-15 riders. There were a number of strong riders in the field including Pascal, Cathy and Ginger from Project 5 so I had to pay attention to any team tactics from them. Despite being a small field it was a lively race with lots of attacks. I had my eye on a couple riders to make sure I was on anything they did. The others, I'd let someone else cover. The biggest break was when Ginger got away for a few laps. I knew no help would come from Cathy or Pascal so it fell to 3 of us at the front to keep the situation in check and gradually reel her in, which we did in the last lap. I timed my sprint just right and felt super strong and took the win. I think I channeled a little Kristin Meshberg at the end as I felt my face split into this smile/grimace/effort thing.

I had 3 hours to wait until the Cat 4 race, so after the podium I ate and chilled out. It was hard getting motivated to race again since it was hotter and I was not as fired up. I kitted up and rode around. Spotted Jeanette Rho (Bouledogue tout noir) and Molly Godlewski (Chicago Cuttin Crew) and we talked about trying to make a break after the 1st lap. I tried to go but I suck at attacking and nothing really happened except I wore myself out. After a lap, I straggled at the back, trying to recover. Just when I started feeling better, a girl touched wheels and went down right in front of me. No where to go but down. I jumped up and tried to get my chain back on but noticed my rear derailleur was jammed into my spokes. Race over. Won some fun road rash and my wrist is pretty swollen. No hard feelings though. That's racing.

Thanks to Ted and Sanda for the baby wipes to clean up my bloody leg, Cathy Frampton for offering all her bandages and Cuttin Crew for the hospitality. Turns out my bike is fine. Just needed a new RD hanger. And Ken Schiffman is looking at my wrist, which, so far, seems not to be broken. Fingers crossed.

Leah Sanda

Friday, June 12, 2009

This weekend

This weekend brings us Sherman Park crit hosted by XXX. This is a great event for a few reasons, It is in a closed-to-traffic city park, it is in the City of Chicago, the park was designed for bike racing. I see 5-6 members signed up to race, and want to extend wishes for a safe and successful race. We have a great number of podium spots so far this year and to take a few at Sherman Park would be great.

Also Jason Meshberg will be doing the MS150 ride Saturday,(camping)and Sunday. With the help of friends and teammates he raised a good chunk of change for a great cause.
We all wish him a safe and dry 150 miles!!!!

For those of us non-racing, we will meet at Loca-Mocha Saturday at 6am for a ride. We have been very lucky with the weather and have not repeated the same route (usually 50-70 miles). I encourage you to come out if you can make it.

Be safe,

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Be carefull out there, crazy people are all over

Read this article,
Be grateful you arrive home safe everyday, Be safe out there.


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Group ride 5-30-09

I would like to thank everyone who took part in todays group, ride. 100K of fast riding is a great start to the weekend. This will be a perminant fixture for the team; Saturdays, 6am Locha Mocha.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Team ride

This past Saturday a group of Flatlandia teammates took part in the inaugural Saturday ride, a great time was had by all. We will keep this ride going every Saturday, We will meet at Locha Mocha (8836 Brookfield Ave,Brookfield, IL 60513) at 6am. Locha Mocha is across the street from the Brookfield stop on the Burlington northern line. Pace, distance will be up to the group.

Also today is opening night at Northbrook Velodrome, come out and cheer your team on!
I will be there (cheering not racing).

Also this Saturday is the Monsters of the Midway crit. With 2 long straights it is sure to crack some folks as it did me last year.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Results from Kermesse

ABR has Posted results

We are working on the women's races that are not listed.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Leland Kermesse

Leland Keeremesse demonstrated everything a great bike race should be, a tough course, unpredictable weather, great sportsmanship. 180 brave souls traveled from far and wide to race an unknown race. I may be biased in my opinion, but I will say it was an extraordinary event. We will be posting pictures and writing reviews shortly. If you were part of this spectacle and would like to comment please leave a comment here or email me or any member of the team.

Thank you to all the sponsors, The Town of Leland IL, and all who raced.

(pics by ted)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Down to the wire

It has been a few days since our last post, mostly due to the fact that we have been working like Santa's elf's trying to build a bike race. We have a great interview on today featuring Chicago hart-throb Ted Burger, this will help calm some peoples nerves, or get some people more nervous.

As we sit 5 days before the race we are in need of volunteers, anyone willing to help race can race for $10.

I think the Beatles put it best; Help, I need somebody, Help

Please email me at if you can help out.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hillsboro-Roubaix wrap-up

Well, 2 races 2 podium finishes, I am proud to be on the same team as Leah. Here is her report;Hillsboro Roubaix. 4/4/09. I could really get used to this. A weekend in the RV with the family. Great weather. Great friends. Banana bread (Thanks Cathy!) And a spot on the podium. It was an awesome weekend for sure. The women's cat 4 race was short (one 22.5 mile loop) but it was fairly dynamic. We rolled out with 34 riders. My goal was to stay near the front and cover any attacks. That is easier said than done on these roads. With the center line rule in force, and a stern lecture from the start official that if we cross it and advance we get the boot, we were all boxed in to a narrow slice of road that allowed riding 3 abreast. Molly Godlewski (Chicago Cutting Crew) and I talked about trying to work together but we got separated at the start. I found myself about 10 riders back and boxed in. The pace was very erratic with lots of speeding up then braking. Then, true to her aggressive form, Liz So (Team Tati) jumped shortly after the 1st turn and we were off. She set a good hard stiff pace that ended up leaving over half the field behind us. She eventually folded back into the field to recover and our lead pack of about 14 kept a pretty respectable pace with me staying near the front. There were a couple of attacks, one which lasted a few minutes but I was too boxed in, and too focused on avoiding the sketchy movements by some riders, to notice or respond. I got a sudden itch with about 3 miles to go to hit the gas. I went past Molly and said "let's go!" but we both petered out pretty quick. Too hard and bad timing. Now it was just a wait until the finish. I knew the final climbs were going to hurt. I don't climb well. So I snuck to the front before the start of the hill to minimize the damage. Imagine my surprise to find myself still near the front after the 1st climb. But, dang that 2nd hill looks steep. I dug real deep and it hurt but I crested the hill in about 3rd position. The screaming descent onto the cobbles and the next couple turns were fast and furious with multiple changes in position. I got on a wheel before the last turn and didn't let go. There were 2 riders a second or 2 up the road then me sitting 2nd wheel in a trio, trying hard to catch my breath. I was seriously hurting and thinking "4th place is good" but I had to try. At the last second possible I popped out and glacially slowly crept past the rider in front. There wasn't much left in my legs but it was just enough for 3rd place and a chunk of brick to call my own.

It was great being able to help support Kristen Meshberg and her new team (Team BH USA) and provide some exposure for The Bike Shop that sponsored the Women's 123 race. Ted, Sanda and mini Burger were all looking happy and healthy. Jason Meshberg was "the man" all day, helping the BH girls and communicating with them on their race radios. Lest I not forget my awesome hubby for getting the RV ready, schlepping my butt and gear around all weekend, dealing with my usually pre-race snippiness, taking great pictures, making sure I ate and being his generally helpful self.

Great job!!!!

Friday, April 3, 2009


I would like to extend a wish of good luck and a safe race to Ted and Leah who are signed up to do this weekends Hillsboro-Roubaix. Also to Team BH Womens Cycling, who are making there midwestern debut. The weather looks to be mid 50's with no rain at 11am. Good Luck!!!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday

This Sunday we will be doing a recon-ride of the course. We plan on getting to Leland at 8am, road bikes. Car pooling is a good idea. The address is, 370 N Main St
Leland, IL 60531. Email me if you want to be part of this.

Leah wins Burnham Super spring(??) crit

Yes folks we have our first win of the season. I am very happy for Leah, here is her race report;
Burnham Super Spring Crits, Saturday 3/28. Weather was looking sketchy all week but the day ended up being dry (at least for the morning races). It was cold and WINDY, however. Luckily I had my new Flatlandia heavy wind vest which kept me warm and stylish at the same time! My 1st race was the Women's Cat 4. The cold and a collegiate race in MI kept the field small at 6 riders. I lead it out at the start, trying to decide if I would play nice and go easy or let 'er rip and see what happened. I played nice then rounded the 1st corner and BAM into the head wind. Enough of that. I pulled off and let the rest of the girls enjoy the wind. We continued to play nice and take turns. I thought about attacking but decided to wait and see what the others would do. On the prime lap, Cathy nicely pulled us all the way up the front straight and I sprinted, and took, the prime. (I don't think Cathy was trying to be nice!) It ended up being a pretty tame race. We kept a respectable pace and eventually lost 2 riders off the back. The other girls seemed strong but I knew Molly (Cutting Crew) had won Thursday night at Calumet Park so I decided to sit on her wheel the final lap. She surprised me by taking off hard after the last turn. It's a long stretch into a strong wind up the front straight and I thought she'd gone too hard too soon. I let her go a little then I jumped and put in a super hard 20 second effort that overtook her as she faded. Win!

A 50 minute spin on the trainer and I lined up for the women's open race. True to form, Jessica Prinner (ABD) attacked early. I was asleep at the wheel and didn't get on it right away. A group of 4 was off the front, I was sitting alone in no man's land and another group of 3 was a ways back. I decided to try and finish bridging up, and I did, but couldn't make it stick. I slid back and regrouped with the 3 girls behind me. We had a solid pace line working but then we lost 2 off the back and it was just me and Tamara (XXX Racing) trading pulls. I started feeling fatigue accumulate and I lost her wheel with about 20 minutes to go. With no one in sight behind me I rode steady tempo alone for the rest of the race, finishing 6th out of 10. A good day and some more upgrade points for my cat 3 quest.


It is the first, but hopefully not the last!!!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Flickr pool

Josh has created a Flatlandia Flickr site It is a place where we can put photos we take, bike races, kids, family, our garden anything we would like to share with each other. It will be private until you create an account and Josh lets you join.

I hope everyone has a safe weekend, on and off the bike.

Photo of Ted Burger by John Rowland, Bike by BH, Photo of Dave Pilotto by Ed White, Bike by Jason Wagner.

Monday, March 23, 2009


I would like to send a big shout-out to Curt Warner from Bike Fix for letting us use his shop for out meeting yesterday, Curt is not only one of the nicest guys on the planet, he can also fix your bike!! Check him out

One of our teammates has a gift for previewing courses, and this past week he made a trip out to Leland to uncover the mystery that is the gravel section. Ted was kind enough to Shoot video of the gravel , and take A ton of pictures A big thanks to Ted.

For some of us who would like to see/ride the course first hand we should set up a date when we can make a group field trip out to Leland. Email your suggestions.

I also need volunteers to work the race, A few brave souls have signed up already, but we need more!! Email me at

Saturday, March 21, 2009

RSVP For Sunday

Can you please email me if you plan on attending tomorrows team meeting- clothing pickup at Bike Fix. We are trying to get a head count. Everyone see Milan-San Remo?Read about it here

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sunday,Sunday,Sunday Pick up your kit!!!!

We will be holding our clothing distribution this Sunday March 22nd at 3 PM at Bike Fix, 252 Lake Street Oak Park, Illinois 60302, You enter from the alley. If you owe money you should be prepared to pay-up. We will also discuss the upcoming Race.

Team Email list

If you are not getting team email's and would like to please contact me at

New Day New Blog, Leland

If you are reading this you found the new Flatlandia Team Blog. We have a great spring planed starting with The Leland Kermesse. We will need people to volunteer, work registration, course marshal, everything that happens at a bike race can not happen without volunteer's.