PSIMET Racing – Roll Your Own… Thu, 13 Apr 2017 15:01:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 PSIMET Racing – Roll Your Own… 32 32 June 6th, 2017….Ladies Night at the Track… Thu, 13 Apr 2017 14:04:20 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Psimet Racing and Yojimbos Garage bring you ladies night at the Kenosha Velodrome!!

Bringing you $500 worth of women specific payouts this should be a great night of racing.

This is a brand new season for the Kenosha Velodrome with a brand new track. We and track racers alike are thrilled to get to race on this new facility.

What better way to have the first of two ladies nights at this track.

Races will be determined day of the event. We look forward to seeing you there!!


Two Weeks of UCI… Tue, 14 Jun 2016 15:31:42 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Two weeks of UCI races…ends with a quick trip to Cleveland to race after seven races the day before. 100 days after brain surgery…quick little update.

Currently ranked 15 in the country. Waiting on world ranks, wont be posted until next month probably.

Win the party!!

Win the Party

PSIMET and Pittsburgh Babes on Bikes Sun, 24 Jan 2016 19:36:56 +0000 From the “other” PSIMET office…

Pittsburgh Babes on Bikes presents….Go Red and Gold Sprints at OTB SouthSide.

Sprint for a great cause and win some cash while you are at it.


CCC#10 Melas Park Wed, 26 Nov 2014 13:13:11 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Sunday brought out all kinds of awesome for the penultimate race of 2014 Chicago Cross Cup. Thanks to a great race put on by Garner Cyclery.  The continuing rain throughout the afternoon made for a slippery start for the Men’s Cat 4 race and made the course continually more challenging. By the end of the 4/5 race, a good amount of water was starting to pool and collect at the bottom of the last climb out of the basin. Climbing, straights, high-speed barriers, sand, twisty-flowy sections and mud, lots of mud. Ironically, although I chose to run all of the sand, I still managed to wipe out spectacularly in the sand. As it turns out, if you don’t have your left foot on the pedal, it is a bad idea to go ahead and swing your leg over the saddle to dismount. I went sprawling into the long sand after the descent on the second lap in the 4s race and packed enough sand into my helmet vents that I was still shaking it out well after the race ended.

The course was challenging but because I started mid-field, there was a lot of traffic to deal with the first lap. The course was still fully rideable for the 4s race, but congestion in the first two climbs out of the basin made running a good alternative for portions. By the 4/5 race those sections became almost unridable at the end because the were so slick. I picked up quite a few places in both races by just choosing to run. The other place that I think my running helped was the barriers. If I concentrated and kept my stride long, I was able to make only two steps in between the barriers. This helped because I was able to carrier a lot of speed into and out of the barriers.

My only other mishap on the day also came on the second lap, but this time in the 4/5 race. On the second descent into the basin, on the last right turn before the bottom, my bike washed out. I slid from the top side of the course near the tape all the way to the bottom. I was actually worried at one point that I was going to slide all the way to the bottom. Luckily I stopped right at the tape and was able to stand and remount. I had a couple of guys close behind me, but was able to maintain my position even after my spill. I can only assume they had some trouble negotiating the corner also.  Melas was a good example of a course that the worn line definitely wasn’t always the fastest.  As the rain kept falling, the worn line started to become slicker and slicker because of the slick mud it created.  To top off a great day, my dad attended his first cyclocross race along with my wife and son.  Unsurprisingly given the conditions, my dad thinks we are all a little crazy.

I was happy with how I raced.  Even though the conditions were deteriorating as the day went on, I was actually a little faster in the second race:

Lap                         1st Race                          2nd Race
1                              11:37                                11:07
2                              11:42                                11:53
3                              12:01                                11:55
Total                      35:20                               34:55

I believe all of the difference is due to starting position in the two races – 8th row in the Cat 4 race and 2nd row in the 4/5 race.  I finished 32nd in the Cat 4 race and 10th in the 4/5 field.



Men’s Cat 4 Race

Cat 4/5 Race

2014 CCC#5 ABD Sunrise Park Tue, 28 Oct 2014 01:52:02 +0000 Continue reading ]]> CCC#5 ABD Sunrise Park

Another weekend of racing and I had another weekend of unspectacular consistency. Outside of the first lap in the Cat 4 race, all of my lap times were within 10 seconds of each other. The lap times for the second race were all within 3 seconds.

Cat 4                             4/5
First Lap                 8:24                             8:09
Second Lap            7:59                              8:06
Third Lap               8:05                             8:07
Total                        24:28                           24:22

No wrecks, a few competitive rubs, but nothing dangerous and it was an awesome setup. The first time this year I’ve really had to think about cornering. (Disclaimer, I missed Hopkins Park.) Caldwell Woods and Dan Ryan Woods were fast and great on a file tread. Carpentersville had gotten enough rain during the week by the end of the day the wetter areas were really tacky so there were no traction issues. Between the off camber and patches of dry, loose soil you really had to concentrate this week if you wanted to carry speed through some of the turns without washing out.

Last year I bunny hopped the logs every lap. This lead to me endoing on the last lap when I was tired and didn’t quite clear my rear wheel over the log. I had no issues hopping them on my pre-ride, but keeping last year’s experience in mind, and generally being around other riders every lap I decided to just run them every time by. This paid huge dividends when on the second lap of the Cat 4 race, two riders went down in front of me as I was getting to the barriers and I was able to pretend I was a running back carrying my bike through the hole and dodge the carnage without breaking stride. The rest of the day was uneventful, but a ton of fun. I was in and around other riders the whole time in both races and felt good.

Links to videos:

Cat 4 Race – 31st at 13:42 you can see me weave my way through the two downed riders

Cat 4/5 Race – 24th

Now I’m going into seclusion to prepare for Woodstock. I’m so focused that I’m skipping Campton Hills this year. (Translation – my wife and son indulge me in this racing thing a lot and they prefer to have me around for at least one weekend out of the month.) I’m looking forward to mixing it up again in two weeks. The racing, courses and participation have all seemingly taken a nice step forward this year and I think I’m having the most fun yet.

CCC#1 Caldwell Park Tue, 30 Sep 2014 11:36:27 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Cross is delightfully brutal. The ChiCrossCup is a series that brings suffering to life in always changing ways. This year, the season’s first race changed venues from Jackson Park, in downtown, to Caldwell Woods on Chicago’s Northwest side. I initially liked the change in locations because it cut about a half hour off my drive. After racing the course, I like it because it was awesomesauce.

This course had a little bit of everything: power sections; a little bit of technical; fast, sweeping sections; off camber; climbs; and a big, steep run-up. The only section that seemed like it offered a chance for recovery were the few tight turns after the run-up. That section was fairly short and then you were directly into a little power section into a downhill and then a short, steep climb.  Just enough to catch your breath a little before cranking it right back up again.  One of the things that I really liked about the course was it was super fast. Turns were tight enough that you couldn’t stay full gas, but if you chose good lines you were able to carry a lot of speed through turns and maintain speed. The layout also presented plentiful areas for passing safely.

It may be a euphoria just from CX season returning, but Caldwell Woods has immediately jumped toward the top of the list of courses I like. Great job by the xXx crew and our USAC officials. Awesome way to start off the season. From a racing perspective, my races were fairly uneventful. My only close calls were skimming my right foot over the barrier next to the beer garden on the second lap of the 4/5 race and hitting my rear canti arm with the outside of my right knee at some point during the first race (counts as an official race because I drew my own blood). My fitness isn’t quite where I’d like it to be, but I was encouraged by the consistency I had during the day. All six laps were within 18 seconds of each other and my overall time for the second race was 1 second slower than the first race. My last lap of the day was only three second slower than my first lap of the day.  34th in the Men’s 4 Race and 18th in the Men’s 4/5.

Race Videos

Men’s Cat 4

Men’s Cat 4/5

Tour of America’s Dairyland – Beloit Men’s 4/5 Fri, 27 Jun 2014 01:53:20 +0000 Continue reading ]]> I managed to take a day off work and head North for a day of racing Tour of America’s Dairyland (ToAD). This is the second time I’ve done a ToAD race, the last race being 2011 in Thiensville. With Beloit added as a stop this year and being a little over an hour from home, I thought it was a good fit for my schedule. While there were some scattered showers on the drive up, by the time I arrived and started warming up, it had stopped sprinkling. By race time, the sun was coming out, the winds were calm and the temperature was in the mid 70s. About as nice of conditions as you could hope for.

I scored a spot on the front row for the start and after receiving instructions we were off. The course is a five corner “L” shaped layout with four rights and one left. The last right leading onto the front stretch was a wide sweeping turn that sent you through almost a 180 turn, but had you returning a block over from the backstretch. The corners were all really wide open with plenty of room. I learned later that there was a crash in the last turn on the last lap, but had no idea at the time. I found myself behind the series leader early on, figuring that was probably a better place than most and decided to follow him for a bit. There were a couple of attacks that went up the road fairly early, but nothing stuck. With the corners being so wide open, the speeds stayed pretty high and every attack was brought back in short order. Early on, I also found myself briefly behind Sean McCarthy for the South Chicago Wheelman. Sean has come a long way in the few years that I’ve raced with him. Unfortunately for me, he has still not gotten big enough for me to draft off of. Remembering the futility of even trying to draft him on Wednesday nights at Pella had me quickly finding another wheel to follow.

About twenty minutes into the race I found myself third wheel coming across the line and heard the call of “Prime!” The field was fairly strung out at that point because the pace had been up for the lap prior. I was on a Michael’s Cycles rider’s wheel and moved into second wheel as the lead rider dropped off down the back stretch. Heading into the last corner, another Michael’s Cycles rider came up on my right with another of his teammates all the way to the inside. The first arriving Michael’s Cycles rider swung in front of me and it looked like their teammate was starting to dig to try to create a gap going into the last turn. With no teammates in the race, I figured I might be seeing a chance to have someone else’s teammates block for me. I came out of the last turn second wheel and with about a 150 yards to go swung out, put in a little effort and took the prime. I hadn’t really intended to go for the prime, but I was lucky to be in a good position at the end of the lap and thought, “What the hell.” I scored a $25 gift certificate to Beloit Bicycle Company, the local shop that was right on the course.

Most of the rest of the race was uneventful. I maintained good positioning in the waning laps of the race, only to find myself in the middle of the pack with no room to get out and move up going into the last turn. This is the area that I’m consistently finding I need to work on. I really have to make sure that I’m either inside or outside heading toward the last turn so that I at least have an opportunity to move up heading to the line at the end.   I ended up taking 14th.

No wrecks for me, a prime, I got to hang out with Rob Curtis to watch some races and I got to talk briefly with Laura Van Gilder her teammate Laura Jorgensen and Jeannie Kuhajeck as Rob visited with them. It was a good day all around.


Prime Lap

Fox River Omnium Fri, 23 May 2014 07:05:14 +0000 Continue reading ]]> 2014 PSIMET Fox River Omnium

This Omnium encompasses my favorite and least favorite races to compete in. They are by far my favorite races to watch. The Omnium is comprised of the Elgin Cycling Classic and the Fox River Grove Criterium. The Elgin Cycling Classic is a six corner L shaped course. Flat through left-hand turns one and two, a short climb up the first quarter of the back stretch, level to the left hand turn three with a downhill into another left-hand turn five with a quick upslope into the only right-hand turn in six. Then a hundred fifty yard sprint to the finish. The course is a little technical and all of the corners give ample opportunity for someone to attempt a break.

My first race of the morning was the Men’s Cat 4 race. Eight-thirty start time has me warming up when it has even broken 50°. I’m really glad I packed my knee warmers. As far as the race, not much to write about here. I was feeling good… then I wasn’t. Fifteen minutes in I’m at the tail end of the back. The rider two wheels up gets gapped and I and next-to-last rider, Gary Dicicco from Bike Haven, attempt to bridge back for the next two laps. The Gary made a last attempt to bridge, and I was left with my thoughts for three laps. I hopped on with two other riders as they caught and passed me and we swept up two other riders. Five laps after seeing him go, I learned that Gary had failed in his attempt to bridge as we swept him up. We picked of a few more riders and had a rather anti-climactic sprint as we were pulled. The officials were considerate to give us a one to go before pulling us, so we got to pretend and sprint a little at the end. For whatever reason, I wasn’t feeling it and finished 29th.

Elgin Cycling Classic Cat 4

The Masters 4/5 race was a big contrast. The sun came out, it warmed up and my cheering section extraordinaire showed up in the forms of my lovely wife, Lisa and son Matthew. We had a good number of PSIMET riders in the field including Andrew Lowe, Kurt Bentsen, John Meyer, Randall Swanson & Matt Sebo. I hung around the front of the field and about fifteen minutes in, Andrew Lowe is in a group of three that has eased off the front and is hanging about 50 yards off the front going down the back stretch. I’m content to hang on the front and set a false pace with the two xXx riders who also have a rider in the break. Then another xXx rider eases up and I’m boxed in. I figure that if xXx is intent on blocking then they done need my help and if we can establish a four man break with two PSIMET riders in it, all the better. I jumped going into turn three and by turn four I’ve covered half the gap. I’ve got a clear line going through the chicane and I’m able to ease onto the back of the group halfway to the start-finish line. Halfway down the back stretch we are caught by another PSIMET jersey, that has Tower bibs paired with it. I’m a little confused by this but welcome another red jersey being flown by Mark Misicko. Somebody apparently thought it was a bad idea to have three guys with the same jerseys in a five man break and while the field is strung out, it is pretty much back together headed for the chicane. About 27 minutes in, a Mad City Velo rider is off the front and a Bloomington Cycles rider attempts to bridge. Andrew Lowe is immediately on his wheel and there are several xXx riders, myself, Kurt Bentsen and Mox rider Chris Kim at the front. There ends up being about six riders in the break and Kurt and I do a good job of sitting on at the front and setting a false pace. xXx also has a rider in the break and three of their riders join and we effective control the rest of the field until, much to the dismay of his teammates, a xXx rider attacks and attempts to bridge to the break. He makes it, but has the rest of the field in tow. Going into the last lap, the Mad City Velo rider is off the front with a Wild Card rider and I’m sitting about fifteenth going down the back stretch. I picked up several spots between turn three and four and missed tenth by a half a bike length. I take eleventh, my best road finish to date.

Elgin Cycling Classic Masters 4/5

Sunday is Fox River Grove. I’m not a climber. I didn’t finish last. Mercifully, I’m the first rider pulled. I end up 37th of 39 finishers. Back on my diet and additional hill training is added to the training schedule.

Fox River Grove Cat 4

2014 Monsters of the Midway Wed, 14 May 2014 23:47:13 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Monsters of the Midway

I really enjoy this race. With half mile straight-aways on the front and back side with about 100 yards separating turn 2 from turn 1 and 4 from 3, the pace is generally really fast. Saturday was no exception in several ways. The pace was fast as normal, the rear of the field inevitably stacked up because some would slow going into the corners, and people would call out a significant bump on the back straight every lap. The braking isn’t necessary because the corners are wide open and the hole on the back straight hasn’t moved since I did my first race on the Midway Plaisance five years ago. Quick history lesson, this venue is pretty cool from a historical perspective. The Midway Plaisance was built as a grand entryway for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. A lot of the credit for the design of the Plaisance goes to Frederick Olmstead who also designed Central Park in New York.

Back to racing. It was a perfect day for racing, unlike most seen in May for the Chicagoland. Temperatures were mid 70s with a very week wind out of the WSW. Usually I found it to significantly windier and this is the first time I can remember there being a tail-wind for the finishing straight. I’d picked out a couple of guys that I was going to follow if they went and skated around the pack most of the race. One of the riders that I picked to follow around a bit is Josh Shough from the Chicago Cuttin’ Crew. He is the husband of PSIMET teammate Molly Shough and I’ve ridden with him on a training ride or two and in some races on the road and in cross. Unfortunately, Josh got caught up in a crash on the back straight coming out of turn 2, about 27 minutes into the race. Like any good opportunistic pack does, the pace quickened on the back straight and having pushed to catch back up I was glad to see the pace moderate a bit as we came onto the front stretch. I found myself behind Ryan Giuliano from Sammy’s and followed him for the next lap an a half as we received the notice for 4 and then 3 to go. On the back straight, Ryan G. made a move and I followed. After a decent push we caught and passed a rider attempting to bridge to a Team Got Wind? rider who was up the road a bit. Our surge caught the lead rider and that’s where I made a mistake. Initially, it looked like Ryan G. was going to roll onto the TGW wheel and establish a 3 man break that I was envisioning. Ryan G. actually ended up swinging back out and putting another surge on and increasing the gap. I was indecisive and found myself in no man’s land about 15 yards back by myself. I didn’t thin a two man break was going to make it for the final two and a half laps and ended up rolling back into the pack. After thinking about it more, I believe I made the right evaluation but given the chance again I would have worked to establish the two man break to see what would happen. Live and learn. I ended up finishing in 19th.

Cat 4 Video

Wash, rinse, repeat… The 4/5 race is back to back with the Cat 4 race. This race was pretty uneventful. There was a two man break of John Polmochak of Region Racing and Nathan Bridges of Bloomington Cycle racing established with about 5 to go that did end up sticking. I thought it wouldn’t work because of the number of laps left, but eventually either everyone forgot about the break or didn’t have enough interest in reeling them back in. Nathan Schneeberger from Johnny Sprockets took third in a field sprint. I’m happy for him because he is a really nice guy, a heck of a photographer (you may recognize his work at SnowyMountain) and semi-regular training partner in the Fall on our Tuesday night group CX rides. I ended up at the tail end of the pack in this race. I compounded some bad positioning choices on the back straight for the bell lap by hitting the hole. My bars rotated down and caused my brakes to rub pretty significantly. I didn’t realize it at the time, but does help explain why my legs suddenly felt like molasses with a half lap to go. I ended up cramping my right calf coming out of turn three and eased in to the finish, shedding positions the whole way. I ended up in 35th.

Cat 4/5 Video

2014 Lincoln Park Crits Tue, 15 Apr 2014 01:28:02 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Lincoln Park is an interesting course. Some slight elevation changes and a wide open course.  It is the second time I’ve raced year here out of the three years it had been held.  It runs on some of the roads that surround the Montrose Harbor cyclocross course.  I don’t know if it is the proximity to Lake Michigan, but wind seems to be a normal factor in the race.  A strong thunderstorm rolled through the Northwest suburbs around midday but thankfully rolled north of the city.  We instead got to contend with sunny skies and a  steady 15+ mph wind out if the south.

For the Men’s 4/5 race, I made the same mistake as last year. I didn’t warm up well enough.  I wasn’t ready for the surges at the beginning laps of the race.  I blew up too quick and led a group of stragglers around to be pulled by the officials.  Fifteen minutes of racing in a thirty minute race.  Not good. I placed 31st out of 52 finishers.  John Cline joined me in this race.

The Men’s Cat 4 race went better.  I surfed around the pack most of the race but found myself in a bad position going into the hairpin last time. I’d planned to come up the inside and cut the corner tight, sprinting off the turn and picking up positions.  It had worked in earlier laps, but unfortunately I was not the only rider with this idea.  Finding myself in the middle of the pack going up the incline to the hairpin I could see a food of riders going up the inside on the left.  I found some open space on the outside and took it.  With the crush of riders inside I ended up getting pushed all the way to the curb coming out of the corner.  My post was clear, but required bunny hopping a storm grate and nit being able to cleanly accelerate out of the corner.  Bad positioning going into the corner = bad positioning coming out off the corner.  I really need to concentrate on better positioning at the end of races.  I think I end up subconsciously trying to save something for a sprint I don’t get to participate in because I’m too far out when it starts.  On contrast, watching and talking to Katie Isserman after the traces have me some good insight into a good strategy. Katie hung toward the end of the pack most of her race and moved to third wheel in the pack with three to go.  (Teammate Sarah Szefi made a bold move with ten to go by soloing off the front.  Ellen Ryan of xXx and Dani Marie of Ego pb Sammy’s tried to cover the attack but ended up in no man’s land not being able to bridge to Sarah but staying away from the rest of the field. On the bell lap, Katie gapped the remaining pack on the back stretch and cruised to fourth.  Way better planning and something for me to chew on before my next race.  In my opinion. The women’s 123 race provided some of the best racing off the day and was very entertaining to watch.  I finished 32nd out of 50 finishers.   Andrew Lowe, John Cline and Randall Swanson joined me in Men’s 4 race.

Men’s Cat 4 Video