5 Reasons Why You Should be at the #CardinalCrit

At face value, the #CardinalCrit is just a bike race, but if you look deeper, you’ll find much much more. 

Here’s why you should either race or show to support at the Cardinal Criterium on March 11 & 12.

The First Race of the Season

It’s the kickoff. The opener. The big one. Chances are, the Cardinal Crit is the first road race anyone in Louisville has done in 2017 which means there are always fireworks. Dark horses can win, favorites crumble and it’s all done in the name of improvement. A win here is no small feat– it can be a harbinger for future success, but losing here isn’t as disappointing as it is in the summer. 

The Who’s Who of Louisville

This race has changed names over the years, but two things have remained constant: the weekend of the event and the course. It’s a community staple and everyone knows it. That’s why the fields are so big and the community comes out to be a part of it. You’ll see all the local teams: Team Louisville, Texas Roadhouse, Clarksville Schwinn and VO2 Multisport among others. Be here and you’ll get connected. 

Bike Bling

Did we mention it’s the first race of the year? This means riders are rolling out with brand new bikes, sponsors, kits and rosters. It’s so cool to see and be seen with all the glitz and glamour of new Lycra. GCN needs to stop by and do bike checks. 

Fun Atmosphere 

The #CardinalCrit isn’t quite the #SSCXWC’s but it’s a fun mixture of young and experienced cyclists. The regional reach is big, so you meet lots of folks. Oh, and did we mention the playlist received the most Kudo’s out of any race I was at in 2016? Get ready for another fire mixtape.

$15 double-ups

Was one race not enough? Did you win? Or just training for the summer? We’re not going to break your bank. We understand you’re working toward peak fitness and want to help you. That’s why we offer $15 re-entries– as long as there’s room for you in the next race. 

Convinced? Pre-register for the Cardinal Crit at UofLcycling.com/CardinalCrit

What’s better in 2017: #CardinalCrit

“If you don’t evolve, you die,” is the quote every successful operation lives by. 

Although the Cardinal Crit moved pretty smoothly in 2016 there’s a few things we’re looking to improve. Here’s what’s better: 

Schedule:

Last year was pretty wacky. We wanted to offer the best possible schedule for collegiate riders, which meant putting Juniors and Cat 3/4 at the end of the day. 

This year we went back to a more traditional schedule, moving from lowest to highest categories through the day, allowing those faster racers to do another race. 

But what about the Juniors? The faster, older juniors can get even more races under their belts if they want– race Domestics on Sat, Juniors on Sunday, showcasing their abilities to the college teams in town. Younger racers will race the safer Shawnee course in plain daylight as opposed to last year, when they completed their races at Long Run Park in the twilight. 

Same as last year: $15 Junior entries, $15 entry for each additional race (savings of $20!) 

Circuits: 

The addition of Collegiate Races on Sunday at Shawnee Park add value and diversity to visiting college racers’ experience in Louisville, the cultural capital of Kentucky. Can you say “Y’all”?

 Same as last year: Long Run Park Circuit 

Officiating

There were a few hiccups last year with results coming out slowly. This year we’ve added a fourth official to help ensure the accuracy and speed of results tabulation. 

Same as last year: Beloved local officials Bev, Chris and Matt will be back!

Amenities

Last year we  got a few complaints about water, portable toilets, and the food vendor choice. 

Here’s how we’re setting it right: 

  1. The Louisville Water Company’s Pure Tap will be on hand with FREE drinking water for all! Not only does this keep plastic bottles out of the environment, but it promotes our lovely city while saving everyone money.
  2. We’ve doubled the amount of portable toilets for Long Run Park. And we’ll put them somewhere isolated… You guys know why.
  3. Fried chicken clearly didn’t do it for a few people last year, and in an effort to keep the European vibes going we’ve contacted a Crêperie! You know, those thin little pancakes stuffed with your favorite meats, sweets and fruits? If you’re not following, think of it as a European taco. 

 Same as last year: locally brewed Heine Bros Coffee will be on tap and local products will be for sale.

Bib numbers:

Last year the Cat 4/5 and the Cat 1/2/3 races were so popular we literally ran out of bibs and registrations. The circuits are wide, smooth and safe, so we’ve ensured this won’t happen again. 

Be sure to pre-register given entries are filling up… you may just never know what might happen! 

Pre-register here: uoflcycling.com/CardinalCrit

UofL Cycling kit for sale!

You’ve probably seen other UofL jerseys at bike shops or online. Hideous white and red UofL bike jerseys. The material is more offensive to the touch than to the eye- itchy, thick and hot.

When we started our organization in 2013, we were given two options: buy those horrible jerseys and look amateur, or jump through the flaming hoops of litigation to make our own professional-quality attire. We chose the latter and since then, our racers have competed in national championships throughout the country in our very own designs.

In 2017 we’re stoked to share our kit with you at an attainable price. When you buy, you’ll help our club become stronger and more financially stable.

For the spring, we are offering two products:

  1. Road jersey – $95 + Free Shipping
  2. Triathlon front-zip suit -$180 + Free Shipping

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The products will be available for pre-order effective immediately until Saturday, January 14th, 2017.

Because the products are custom ordered, refunds will not be available. Shipment will arrive the first week of March 2017. 

You can purchase products securely through our Facebook page.

Registration (2)

 

Francisco Elected President, SCC Election Results 

The student members of the Student Cycling Coalition cast their ballots on Nov. 30 to elect the organization’s student leaders for the 2017 calendar year. Headlining the results is the selection of engineering student John Francisco as president.

Francisco brings years of experience to the leadership of the Student Cycling Coalition. A three year member of the organization, he has experienced and contributed to the growth of the organization. He has extensive knowledge of the cycling industry both from a retail and experience standpoint, having worked with the SCC’s partner bicycle shop VO2 Multisport and his racing in national and international events as a junior.

“I am looking forward to the challenge of leading the team,” said Francisco. “I will work to continue to grow and improve it.”

The former president, Jacob Holtgrewe, was elected to the recruitment position. During his tenure as president in 2016 the team grew it’s non-racing activity extensively and developed a strong mountain bike program.

Studio art student Nick Reader was retained as Triathlon Coordinator and will be joined by pre-med/biology student Chris Nupp as co-coordinator.

After organizing the mountain bike team to its best-ever season, Kalem Fetters will take the reigns as the Cycling Coordinator.

Elijah Eisert, a political science major, was elected secretary of the organization. He will manage both internal and external communication of the organization.

Engineering student Greg Lewis was elected controller and will manage the budget of the Student Cycling Coalition.

The uniform and merchandise coordinator will be Charlie Hamilton.

The new officers will begin their terms on January 1st, 2017.

Journal: Kelsey takes on Storm Eva Bandman as a Tomato

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Sunday, October 23rd, 8:10 AM. I slip my lights on, snap my helmet, chug the last of the water in my glass, grab my backpack, and head out the door. Today is a great day for cyclocross.

My sleepy muscles start to loosen up as I pedal the 6 chilly miles towards the river. I’m feeling both excited and nervous for the race because I haven’t ridden or raced cross in a month but I’m pumped to have the opportunity to do it again. I roll up through the greenway, and here we are: Eva Bandman. After registering and finding my teammates, we make our way to the start for a pre-ride, and well, let’s just say I realized that I hadn’t done anything technical in a year. But hey, technical courses are what most excite me about cross, so this should be all the more fun.

9:53 AM. I’m chilling at the start, admiring people’s costumes. This is Storm Eva, so folks are encouraged to dress up. Oh, I’m a tomato by the way. I roll up to the grid, adrenaline pumping. I think this is one of the larger women’s fields I’ve competed with – we have more than 3 rows.

10:01 AM. We’re off! I’ve had a bad habit recently of taking the hole shot and then not being able to sustain my own pace, so I’m glad that I managed to be somewhere around 7th in the field after my start. The first part of the course was pretty wide and grassy but soon came around the bend to a sharp hill, and I got caught behind a crash on the first lap. I’ll stop giving you the blow by blow and just leave a few highlights:

  •  THAT SAND PIT. I felt like I spent a solid 5 minutes every time drudging through the sand. Next time I’m at a beach, I’m going for a run.
  • Every time on a grassy straight, I could hear my tomato leaf flapping on my helmet
  • I ran up both of the longer steep hills, but there weren’t many Cat 4s riding up them anyways
  • A Cat 5 man crashed before the first of those hills a couple laps in
  • That quick remount after the boulder staircase was tricky
  • I passed somebody on that first grassy section as the UofL peeps were cheering which was fun
  • And shout out to everyone who cheered for me: Abner, Jacob, Alex, and whoever else was cheering at the UofL team tent; Rachel Langdon; and whoever was at the VO2 Multisport tent

When I crossed the finish line, I didn’t know where I’d placed, but I was pretty happy with my race. I could’ve done another lap or even two, which is good because I’m usually very much dead and out of breath, so now I know that I can give a little more next time.

I wanted to do well to represent not only UofL Cycling, but also women in cycling in general. As (currently) the only woman on the cycling team, I feel obligated to perform even better to make up for every girl who’s not on our team.

Anyways, the rest of the day consisted of hanging out with my wonderful teammates, selling Heine Bros coffee for the team, cheering people on, celebrating Jacob’s birthday (!!!), missing my podium and then taking a solo pic (thank you, Scheller’s, for the bike light), seeing a skeleton with a helmet on in someone’s passenger seat, and scheming for the Cardinal Crit (stay tuned!).

All in all, Storm Eva was a blast and made me feel less guilty about not being able to prioritize cycling because I was able to just enjoy being present and participating in my favorite sport – cyclocross.

On to the Derby City Cup this weekend!

-Kelsey

Journal: Volunteering at Road Nationals

By Abner Miralda

I’ll go ahead and let the cat out of the bag. The USA Cycling Amateur Road Nationals were in Louisville this past weekend! I think it might have been the best kept secret of the year!

In all seriousness, despite the less-than-expected spectator attendance and lacking media coverage, the event was a smashing success with world-class athletes and amenities.

What the Louisville Sports Commission does is absolutely admirable. Their thin staff put in thousands of hours in planning, doing the intricate “white collar” work first and then showed up on raceday with work gloves ready to do all the heavy lifting.

I have to thank Troy Killian, the Event Planner at the Sports Commission, for getting us involved. The experience exposed us to the operation of a world-class event, which is invaluable given our desire to make the Cardinal Criterium a staple of the local race season.

I think our team left an indelible mark on the event. We collectively volunteered about 65 hours. We did it all, ranging from set up to tear down, held bikes at the TT, course marshalled and even drove the officials’ follow cars during races. I even had the distinct honor of zooming through Cherokee Park at 50 mph with Mayor Greg Fischer in the back seat!

It’s pretty amazing that this weekend put us over 220 hours of community service for 2016, a mark that many on-campus organizations don’t match.

Maybe next year our involvement will be a little greater and I hope more people come out to support it!

 

Blog: King finishes 2nd at the Louisville Short Track Finale

UofL graduate student Ben King finished in 2nd place in the Men’s A race at the Louisville Short Track finale at Waverly Park on Saturday.

King excelled throughout the series, taking a  win in the Single Speed category and earning two podiums in the Men’s A onboard a single speed mountain bike.

Here is what King had to say about the race:

Parcours were tight and twisty compared to previous short track weeks. I was skeptical after hearing comments from other racers but was pleasantly surprised when I got on course myself. I was able to slide the back wheel around and maintain speed through the tight corners. And I really liked how they rerouted the exit from the “jump” which allowed you to carry more speed, and achieve total SS flow.

My 2nd place was a little surprising. I don’t think I’ve ever beaten Slo (Anthony Slowinsky- VO2 Multisport) before. In the previous race, I was able to catch his wheel after being stuck in traffic for a while but couldn’t stay with him.

This time I didn’t get caught back in traffic. On lap 2 I saw an opening and went for it going into the twisty section. I got a gap and held it to the finish!

It’s a career-best short track result for me. I’m focusing more on road this summer and short track is probably the only mtb racing I’ll be doing until fall. Last year I tried doing a lot of mtb over the summer, right after a busy collegiate road season. It was too hectic switching back and forth and I got a little burnt out.

It was great doing short track on my no-fuss singlespeed. The good results are a bonus and they have me excited for CX and mtb in the fall.

King finished in 4th place overall in the Series while teammate John Francisco finished 6th. Rikus Van Zyl finished 12th overall in the Men’s B.

Short Track is a mountain bike race format in which riders compete for a designated time amount along a short-distance, completely rideable, off-road course. For more info on the Louisville Short track series go to louisvilleshorttrack.com.

Photo by Drew Dillman.

Get your own UofL Cycling & Triathlon kit!

 

During the month of June you can purchase our official UofL Cycling & Triathlon race-day attire. Our friends at Hincapie Sportswear outdid themselves by producing our beautiful, clean look of red and black and it can finally be yours.

Items for sale & prices

  • Road Jersey $100
  • Bib Shorts $120
  • BMX Jersey $60
  • Triathlon One-Piece, Front Zip $160
  • Lightweight Wind Shell $75
  • Arm Warmers $40
  • Leg Warmers $60

Support your Louisville Cardinals out on the road with our high-quality clothing. The order closes on June 30th. 

About the process:

  • Ordering window June 2-June 30
  • Payment window July 1- July 4
  • Shipping $8
  • Membership Fee $10

To protect our student-operated club from any actions by the U of L Athletics Department and the Collegiate Licensing Company, you must become a community member of the Student Cycling Coalition. Payment can be made at moment of purchase. Go Cards!

kit

Rider Journal: I’m slow

By Abner Miralda

I’m a slug. I like to ride my bike, though. It was all this bike riding that kept me from gaining the Freshman-Fifteen, Sophomore-Sixteen, the Junior-Year-Jelly, and now that I’m a senior, it better keep me slim during all this internship anxiety.

As I type this, I’m feasting on a post-ride meal of Greek yoghurt and peanut-butter & Nutella sandwiches—I’m not sure I’m allowed to say that because we’re not yet sponsored by Nutella, ma sto ascoltando, eh, Ferrero SpA? *wink*

The team just went on a ~70 mile frolic through the Southern Indiana hills to Corydon, Indiana, the first State Capitol of that breathtakingly beautiful, God-fearing state (Let it be known, I’m from Indiana), and I was mercilessly dragged up monster hills by dudes that are WAY faster than I am.

Corydon, Indiana! Jason and John found dinosaur bikes to train on.
Corydon, Indiana! Jason and John found dinosaur bikes to train on.

Here’s the real beauty of what I just said: The UofL cycling team went on a bike ride and I got whipped around by dudes faster than me. There was a time, exactly two years ago, November 2013, when Josh Goodman and I WERE the UofL cycling team. Hold on while I reach for my box of tissues.

Well, Josh and I are still slow, but at least we can take advantage of our “old men” status to bring along other riders. We’ve managed to build this team to give equal opportunity to advanced riders—see John Francisco, Ben King, and Mark Renn—and the new generation—see literally everyone else on the team.

The first two years have been a slow development, kind of like when you get your brand new Felt Bicycle—an unfair advantage– and the cables are setting in and you’re figuring out what it’s like to ride with the best frame geometry on the planet. Now, a new era is about to begin. The organization is having its first-ever full election on Nov. 23 which means I will dutifully step down as President (now I understand why dictators don’t respect election results). Hold on while I grab another box of tissues, the other one ran out.

This new President is going to have the joy of being in charge of the first ever bike race on campus in March 2016, will have the stress of dealing with opinionated seniors like me, and will experience the glee of running the team.

Maybe they’ll ride their bike faster than I do. I’d love them to, because honestly, I only want the best for this organization. And it’s cool that others do too. Recent graduate Jason Eisenmenger was literally –original Oxford Dictionary definition– pushing me up a hill near the end of the ride today when he said, “I’m moving to Chicago next month.” My first thought was, “Oh crap, this dude has helped us develop the team so much this past year and he’s been pivotal in setting up this race.” He tried to lessen the blow with, “Although I’ll be far away I want to help as much as possible. I’ll stay in touch.” And that’s when sense slapped me across the face like a cold hand. I said, “That’s awesome!! I’m really happy for you!” because in reality, college exists to build something for one’s life, and here he is with an incredible opportunity to make something happen for him and his wife.

That’s why I love that this organization is getting a new president. This individual will improve their leadership skills, will develop business acumen, and will have an excellent piece on their resume. It all fits in with the grand scheme that college prepares one for real life. What’s even better is that they won’t have to figure it all out as slowly as I did—remember I’m a slug?—and they’ll be able to make an impact immediately.

I’ll tell you one last story from the ride. I’ve been slow for so long now that I’m proud to be really good at it. Ryson Walden, who I’m convinced is from the French Alps, beat me up Doolittle Hill by about 5 minutes aujourd’hui. When I got to the top, I carefully rested my bike on the grass and collapsed on the ground. John said he was amazed at how I was able to ride up Doolittle Hill that slow and not put my foot down. At that point, I just smiled, munched on my Clif Bar, and covered my eyes with my Flower Power sunglasses so I wouldn’t see the haters.

Maybe I didn't rest my bike on the ground very carefully after all.
Maybe I didn’t rest my bike on the ground very carefully after all.

Ft. Knox Gold Rush Circuit Race

Race report by Ben King

The Weather

It has been a dry spring in the Ohio river valley. The weather forecast for Saturday’s race showed a 50 to 60 percent chance of rain throughout the day. In retrospect it seems that a much-needed day of rain showers was inevitable. Reading a road race is a bit like guessing the weather. You know a few things ahead of time: What some of the riders’ strengths are, and what the teams in the race will try to do. But, when everyone lines up at the start and the gun goes off, much like a cold front descending into the valley, there is always an element of uncertainty. And, hindsight is 20/20

The Parcours

I arrived after the finish of the cat 5 race. The rain was already falling and there had been a crash on the last lap. *insert joke about crashes in cat 5 races* Ryson and Josh stayed safe, finishing 2nd and 7th respectively. Josh got held up slightly in the crash and Ryson is stuck on 2nd place, having narrowly missed out on 1st multiple times this season. The finishing segment of the course took a sharp left hand turn, downhill, little chicane, then slight uphill to the finish. There was a strong headwind on the downhill before the chicane which slowed everybody down, making it much less technical than it could have been.

Cat 3 Race

Jason and I were the squad for the 3s. We got our teamwork going in the pre-race airing up my front wheel. Someone else put a tube in it with a valve stem that is almost too short. It works, but you need someone else to hold the pump head on it while you air it up.

The struggle
The struggle

Rain continued intermittently as the race began. Many cat 3 races in my experience have had a breakaway go on to win the day. So in the latter half of the race, I was pretty active at the front. A couple times I got into a small group with a gap on the field, but we didn’t commit, and the move didn’t stick. Then with 3 to go, I had resigned to a bunch finish when a group of 6 almost casually rode off the front. I saw that they weren’t working very well together and decided not to bridge. But I should have paid more attention to what was going on in the bunch. The two biggest teams in the race, Papa Johns and Clarksville Schwinn, weren’t chasing (they both had a man in the break) and neither was anyone else. I realized that they were away as we approached the left-hander into the finishing stretch (coming up on 2 laps to go). However, it all became a moot point seconds later as I felt my rear tire go flat!

It must have picked up a small fragment somewhere on the course, just enough to puncture the tube. I pulled off and spectated for the finish. Jason finished in the bunch for 15th.

Intermission

Ryson and Josh doubled up for the cat 4/5 race, which finished in a bunch sprint. I dodged raindrops and watched Ryson finish in the bunch for 16th. Josh fell just off the back during a fast final lap and got pipped at the line for 28th. We then drove to check out a German place in Radcliffe that Josh recommended. Finding it closed, we settled for Greek food instead and took shelter as the rain kept pouring. I was doing the 1/2/3 race in the afternoon so I returned to the course and took a surprisingly good hour-long nap in the car to the sound of raindrops overhead.

1/2/3 Race

We had an hour of no rain leading up to the race start and the course was even starting to dry in spots. Early in the race, Rolf Eisinger, our city of Louisville bike and pedestrian coordinator, escaped, and he had strong teammates in the bunch who dissuaded the chase effort. Rolf has a reputation as being undraftable. That is, when you’re riding behind him, he doesn’t break the wind for you very much. I have experienced this firsthand and admittedly, it was on my mind when I thought of attacking the group to go join him up the road.

So, I settled into the group, occasionally participating in a half-hearted chase. The rain came back in fits and starts, which was the most interesting thing going on for much of the race. I wish I had tried a big attack at some point, just to break up the monotony (you always wish you had attacked more after the fact, unless you won). Rain escalated as the race wore on and with 2 laps to go, my socks had graduated from ‘damp’ to ‘completely soaked.’ The pace sped up, and my position going into the finishing stretch was ok but not great. I picked up one spot, got held up, then lost two spots on the downhill into the chicane. I sprinted for the line and came out 7th, last spot in the money!

The rain kept falling as I picked up my winnings and drove home. Until next time…