Posted by: Adam Fuson @ 2008.08.15.0942
Wednesday, July 23 we all planned to meet at Stratford Heights and leave for Milwaukee and a few days racing at Superweek. We had planned to meet and leave before 5pm, but Aaron had flipped himself over about a week prior and was still getting his bike put back together at the shop, so the rest of us spent time eating and getting some things ready. Aaron finally arrived to us sharing a dessert of Katie's birthday cake, and the boys began packing the van. Within an hour we were on our way to Milwaukee leaving about 8pm EST. Our host had left their basement door open, so when we arrived in Milwaukee about 4am CST, we had no trouble getting to sleep without bothering anyone in the house.
The first day of racing was early Thursday in Racine, Wisconsin. Poptic finished his first race in Racine, as did Paul Ryan, but Aaron was still sore from his recent crash and Kevin and I got dropped. After the race we stopped at a grocery store and a Culver's before returning to the basement to shower and sleep. Friday's racing was in Kenosha around the Food, Folks, 'n' Spokes Festival. We all watched Poptic race and were surprised when he was minimally involved in a crash right in front of us. We helped him back into the race, but he spent the remainder of the event chasing the pack. We also noticed that he had lost his water bottle during the crash, so we handed it up to him on the backside of the course. During the ladies and masters races Katie and I went and played at the beach a few blocks away. Then before the cat 3 race I rode a few miles to the nearest KFC to get some pre-race fried chicken. Kevin and Aaron had no trouble finishing their race, and though Paul crashed himself on a straight section he got up and managed to finish with the group. I managed to finish 96 of 100 laps of the Pro/1/2 race.
The final day in Milwaukee was spent at Downer Avenue. For the first time all races were held on the Downer Avenue course. The Captain found the local pancake restaurant near the finish line, while Poptic prepared for his race. Poptic raced well staying towards the front of the pack and looking comfortable. Unfortunately, with 6 laps to go he had a puncture and with no free laps his race was over. After Poptic's race Katie, Poptic and I rode north to the nearest Culvers to get some chicken. The cat 3 race had a sizable crash, in which Aaron was involved. Paul Ryan managed to avoid the crashes and stay with the pack to the finish. I was only able to finish 12 laps of the big race.
My first Superweek was 10 years ago with my grandmother in 1998. That year I raced the 4/5 race and drove home through the upper peninsula of Michigan. The following year the Captain and I went and I raced the cat 3 race, which I did until 2004, when I first finished the pro race. I have only missed 2000 and 2006. During these 10 years several have raced with me at Superweek: Scott Denny, Bob Schoettinger, Eric Humbert, Domanie Granger, Brian Nieport, Nathan Bremer, Frank Hollenkamp, Aaron Hoffman, Paul Ryan, Chris Poptic, Kevin Harsley and others. Superweek is some of the longest, fastest and most fun racing in the US.
Posted by: Adam Fuson @ 2007.12.01.0129
Katherine Robinson moved to San Diego this past spring and without knowing her exact end destination she took as few things with her by arranging to have items shipped to her at a later date, when she was settled. I stored her Look carbon bicycle in my garage for several months, until she arrived in San Francisco and found a semi-permanent place there. After about a month of requests from Katherine to ship her bike, I acquired a bike box from Reser Bicycle and started fitting the bike into the box. I called UPS and quoted a price for the box at about $70. I spent a day or two taking my time packing the bike, using old hubs to protect the frame from being squashed and wrapping parts in towels, tape, bubble wrap, etc. Then I called a few UPS centers and decided to take the bike to the nearest UPS store on Beechmont, but when they measured and weighed the box, I was quoted about $120 to ship the box to San Francisco! I must have mis-communicated the dimensions to the previous agent. However, the lady informed me that if I were able to trim 8 inches from the box, it would only be about $75.
So I returned home with the bike in the box with hopes of trimming a few inches from the box. I spent another few days trimming the box and repacking the bike to fit the new smaller space, which mainly involved hiding the handlebars. Finally, at the Rookwood Pavilion UPS Store I was able to ship the bike for less than $80 to San Francisco and to Katherine. Unfortunately, in all the excitement of the multiple attempts to ship the bike, I misplaced the seat post bolt. The missing part was not realized until John was assembling the bike in San Francisco. Katherine was naturally disappointed with me, but did buy a new bolt and is hopefully enjoying her Look road bicycle on the streets in the Mission in San Francisco, finally.
Posted by: Katie Bartholomew @ 2007.08.08.0114
The evening of July 25 marked the beginning of a long journey toward Milwaukee, Wisconsin and 3 days of cycling and fun as part of Superweek 2007. Adam and I began preparations for leaving around 4 pm, picking up the rental van and packing it up before picking up Aaron Hoffman, who was making his first appearance at Superweek, as well as the Captain (and his many snacks) from the farm in Patriot, Indiana (or was that Liberty ... ?). We completed the journey to Milwaukee around 3 am when we arrived at the house of my friend and roommate, Katy Murphy. After a much-anticipated sleep and a nice breakfast, we headed off to Sheboygan, WI for our first day of racing and picture-taking.
Being that this was Aaron's first trip to Superweek and he had recently upgraded to cat 3, he was a bit nervous for his first race, but he proved that he was up for the challenge as he easily finished the race at Sheboygan (a pretty solid 24th out of 37), enjoying a warm and sunny ride and avoiding the rain showers that hit before and after his race. It got significantly cooler and the rain clouds moved in as Adam geared up for the pro/1/2 race, and the rain began soon into the race. The combination of a rainy, wet course and the quick pace caused Adam to drop about a third of the way through, and we quickly packed up the van before it really started pouring.
Following the Sheboygan races, we had the most stupendous restaurant experience of all time at a place called The Forum, which was near Katy's house. We were thrilled to find a place so late at night that was not only still open, but advertised pasta as a food choice - and we eagerly went in. We completely railroaded our poor waitress and bombarded her with questions and requests for water refills - but the kicker was when Aaron requested pasta with a sauce that did not contain meat - a marinara sauce would have been delightful - however, our waitress did not really understand what was going on and continually brought him "marinara" sauce, which was coincidentally the same sauce as Adam's meat sauce, hmm. He ended up eating pasta topped with Italian dressing and tomato pieces, which he had to cut up himself. We were all very anxious to leave, and in our haste completely forgot to tip our poor waitress who was very cordial to us despite us being the nightmare table of the night. Yikes.
The second day of racing was in Kenosha, which was a town that was definitely geared up to host the Superweek race - the carnival-like atmosphere made it very enjoyable for the spectators and the riders alike. Adam and I took advantage of the town's proximity to Lake Michigan as well as the gorgeous weather that day as we walked the 3 blocks to the lake and enjoyed some time there, making sure to take plenty of pictures. We made it back to Aaron's race in time to take many more pictures of him living the dream as he again was tearing up the field. Unfortunately, he crashed within sight of the finish on the very last lap, scraping up his elbows and his backside pretty well. We tended to his injuries as he moaned and groaned and Adam got ready for his race, and unfortunately he was again dropped about a third of the way through. The best part, though, was that this one guy had been giving out cold beers to riders who had finished the cat 3 race earlier in the day and who were dropped from the pro/1/2 race, and he eagerly tried handing Adam a beer as he rode slowly by at the end of his ride and was thrilled when he saw Adam turning around, not realizing that he was just heading back in the direction of the car, thinking that this rider was coming back for a beer. Just think - spectators yelling and cheering the ENTIRE time and EXCITED to give out free, cold beer to riders. And why is it that nobody else came to Superweek?
After enjoying some time at the hotel pool the night before (and completely ignoring the "no open cuts" rule) as well as some delicious ice cream, we set off the next morning for the cat 3 race at Brewer's Hill and the pro race on Downer Avenue. We were again greeted with beautiful weather and Adam and I took a bike ride from Brewer's Hill to Downer, enjoying the very bike-friendly city of Milwaukee - all the bike lanes were super! We came back and took many more pictures of Aaron finishing his third race at Superweek. After chatting it up with some workers who were remodeling a house nearby, Aaron hosed off and we finally found a Culver's, much to the Captain's delight. With full stomachs we headed to Downer, which was by far the most exciting race that we went to. The place was packed and noisy, and whether or not people knew anything about racing or what was going on, they were cheering. It was "fantabulous". I met up with my friend Katy and another one of her friends and we enjoyed the atmosphere of the evening - it was just incredible. The pace of this ride seemed to be even quicker than at Kenosha, when the consistent squealing of tires from the pace car as it rounded turns was an indicator of the quickness of that race. After Katy left, I made friends with a handful of people who were enjoying a party at a friend's house which was located at the last turn of the race. I was able to explain some things about the race to them and got them to cheer for Adam for the last third of the race - it was the best company I had had at the races, despite one woman thinking that I was not yet old enough to drive, yikes. Our excitement grew as we realized that Adam was going to finish Downer, and the excitement peaked when he not only finished but beat a racer we nicknamed Gigantor, who was at least 6'5" and ... gigantic.
All in all, Superweek was a huge success. Aaron finished 3 races, Adam finished Downer for the first time and beat Gigantor, the Captain got his Culver's, and I managed to snap over 4 GB of pictures, living up to my title of "The Photographer". I hope that more of you will make it to Superweek next year and that I might be able to hop in some races eventually, once I get myself a racing bike cough-Reser-cough.
Posted by: Adam Fuson @ 2007.05.24.1556
A few weeks ago John Adams asked me to ride Godzulla with him. Without much hesitation I told him I would, and then I encouraged the other UC riders to approach the event as a group event. Though Godzulla has many difficult climbs, the majority of the climbs are near the end of the 125-mile course. With long flat and rolling stretches it can actually be helpful to stay together as a tight group. Nathan Bremer and Aaron Hoffman agreed to ride Godzulla as a group and so we each arrived at River Downs last Saturday morning prepared to ride a long and hilly ride except for Bremer forgetting his helmet.
Bremer raced home to get his helmet and my mom dropped him ahead of the group about 5 miles into the event. The group was over 50 strong, though barely more than 20 intended to ride the entire event. Huntington Bank drove the pace for most of the way to the first climb and continued a few miles further until turning around and heading home. Approaching the first climb I suggested to John and the boys that we should try to stay in contact with the only male/male tandem in the big group. Unfortunately for us, that tandem raced up the first climb and left all other riders behind. At the end of the day the tandem had set a new course record.
Meanwhile, John Adams, Bremer, Aaron and I took our time getting through the course. I would push John, he would hang on the van and occasionally Shaun would jump out of the van to push John as well. We stopped so Bremer could eat a salami sandwich, and we took a few restroom breaks. After 110 miles John Adams was yawning on the bike and decided to call it a day. While the three of us rode the final climbs, John slept in the van on the way to Shawnee State Park. There we rinsed off in the showers and headed home with a few other riders in our vans.
Shaun Misses Bottle Finds Floor
Posted by: Adam Fuson @ 2007.05.20.1544
Wednesday evening the boys of UC Cycling met at TUC at roughly 6 pm and headed east to Ault Park. This has become fairly standard and the size and consistency of the group has been admirable. Two goals were set forth for the evening: 1 - a few hill repeats, 2 - practice handling skills. After ascending Heekin on the south side of Ault Park twice we headed toward a church parking lot in Fairfax, where we occasionally do some cornering practice. After picking water bottles and wrenches off the pavement, we setup a short, curvy course and played follow-the-leader until most of us were dizzy. We then brainstormed for awhile before deciding to practice water bottle hand-ups.
After we had set a course for the hand-ups and gotten all the bottles ready and the riders going around the course, Shaun Thobe was the first to receive a bottle. Unfortunately, he missed the bottle, which went flying into the grass, and somehow he fell directly to the pavement. Shaun's bike slid a little to the left and he ended up on the floor nearly in Indian style with a few patches of skin missing from his left hand, elbow and hip. We walked him into the church and cleaned him up in the bathroom. Shaun washed his hands, while I called The Bull, who was kind enough to drive us to my house to properly dress Shaun's wounds.
The other riders returned to campus, while The Bull drove Shaun and I to my house. There Shaun showered and scrubbed his wounds. Afterwards we cleaned them and applied some non-stick pads, which we held in place with burn-netting - the most amazing road-rash treatment device in my first-aid kit. Finally, Shaun ate an ice-cream sandwich while I took photos of his injuries, and then I returned him and his bicycle to campus.