Thanks From THE Psycho

A Letter of Gratitude from Ted, THE Psycho, in Psycho Cross 

Well, a few days ago we pulled off an amazing cyclo-cross race; this was the culmination of months and months of planning, many e-mails, calls, on-site meetings and recruitment of many people to assist. As the promoter, I definitely had to work until my brain was ready to boil – or so it seemed – in order to get as much done as I did. Alas, there is just so much time and money to make things happen. I did the best that I could do with the time and resources that I had. It was a great race and a lot of fun. The weather really cooperated with us and as the t-shirt that I was wearing that day said, “And on the Seventh Day God Created Cyclo-Cross” which pretty much summed up the day. 

Okay, so enough about me and what I think. So now let me write about the other people, companies, and organizations that helped make this race such a great event. In no particular order, I want to do a lot of thanking. 

First of all I need to thank my wonderful wife, Karen and Daddy’s little girl, my daughter Annaliese, for helping me and putting up with me for the many months that I was organizing Psycho Cross. They incessantly herd about flyovers and ‘cross this and ‘cross that. They were massively helpful with everything from goodie bags, registration, creating signs, picking up medals to give to juniors to helping me divide up swag and money for prizes and payouts. Thank you very much for everything that you did and also for what you gave up to help out with this race.

Next, I want to thank my friend Mary Phillips. She is the Best Best Friend I could ever hope for. She flew up from Florida two days before Psycho Cross to help out and almost from the moment we got her in the door of our house after picking her up at O’Hare, she was helping with organizing things and moving boxes and the day before the race she was non-stop trying to help get the course set. She owns her own business and does something that involves hospitals, budgets, statistics, and computers and only she and four other people understand exactly what she does. So it was amazing to see her grasp the complexities of ‘cross, and start setting the course and doing whatever needed to get done. On race day she helped at registration, worked as a course marshal, ran errands, and helped break the course down and so much more. Thanks Phillips, you will always rule!

I want to really acknowledge the financial sponsors that I had for Psycho Cross:

Complete Orthopaedic Care in Lincolnshire stepped in for the first year and helped me out financially. Thank you to Dr. Joe Meis, as well as his physical therapy/medicine staff: Donna Sadeghloo and Marzena Inman. I appreciate them coming out to the race and being there to help. Alberto’s Cycles and Village CycleSport both helped out with the maiden voyage of Psycho Cross way back in 2008, when I held the race in Hawthorn Woods and they both generously came back with financial assistance this year. Thanks very much Brendan from Alberto’s and thanks, once again Joe Sr., Joe Jr. and Vince from VCS. I really value your support, friendship, and business and hope to be seeing you back at Psycho Cross in 2011. Also coming to the rescue financially were Danny Warner from Team Verdigris Cycling, who contributed generously without me having even have met him first. I know that Danny is a loyal Verdigris team member and he demonstrated the best attributes of a teammate by helping with set up and race day efforts, by racing, and also by contributing generously. Thanks Danny! Then I want to thank Jeff Wellek from The Trek Store of Highland Park who also contributed generously, with just days left until the race. This was super nice of Jeff and the funds were put to good use and greatly appreciated. Rob Roop of North Branch Cycling, contributed to the race as a sponsor/friend and did yeoman’s work with course design, negotiations with the owner of The Golf Farm, course set up and announcing. Thanks tons Rob. You are a solid citizen and I know why I wanted you involved with Psycho Cross; you are a voice of reason and balance when it is most needed. Thanks. Lastly, I want to thank Mom, who also helped out financially. Thanks Mom. I wish you could have been out at the race last Saturday. Maybe you can make it next year?

Once again I had two Chicago friends, Jordan "Budwardo" Grauer and Mark Acerenza come to the rescue and volunteer to help out with the race. These guys did a fantastic job back at the original Psycho Cross in Hawthorn Woods, and they repeated their efforts this year. Jordan volunteered to help out with registration, which was great, but it was so under control that he found himself not having stuff to do, so he got right in the mix and did course marshaling, hung banners, and fixed course tape, among other things. Periodically, he checked on my sanity, as well. Mark was there to take photographs and once again, he did a great job at that. He also helped by hanging banners and pitching in wherever he could. My thanks also, to Mark's wife Renee for accompanying Mark and Jordan and being there for support and to learn about 'cross.

I need to thank Steve Melling and Jim from Erehwon Mountain Outfitter. They were out there early and stayed late. They helped to keep the course safe, to keep people from riding bikes on the good turf grass that The Golf Farm owner wanted protected and to break down the course. They could have been relaxing on their days off or even working and making money, but they decided to help me out at the race and I am super appreciative. It's nice to be able to depend on great people to put on a great race.Thanks Steve and Jim!

Next, I want to acknowledge the bicycle industry companies that generously provided swag to give out in goodie bags and/or prizes for racers:

BaileyWorks and Toni Smith from Portsmouth, New Hampshire provided a couple of messenger packs that two hard-racing individuals won. Blue Competition Cycles and Chance Regina sent up 72 Blue pint glasses and an amazing 800 feet of Blue snow fencing to be used by the Chicago Cyclocross Cup Series throughout this season and many to come. This is Blue’s fifth year of supporting the Series. Deuter USA and the mighty Joe Osborne sent me seat backs, pant protector leg bands and mini stash pouches for belts, bags, and packs; thanks Joe. Magura USA sent five Uvex (German made) helmets up to me from downstate Illinois, but what was even better, Jeff Enlow the General Manager of Magura USA and his son Matt drove up to Wauconda from Olney, Illinois to set up a booth and do their part to make our Expo worth checking out. This can only grow and I really appreciate the fact that Jeff and Matt made the long drive, Jeff raced, and they got to tell racers and spectators about the excellent products that they distribute. I am grateful to Paceline Products and Steve Matthews, their president, for sending out lots of Chamois Butt’r sample packets (about 600+) which made their way into all the goodie bags. They also sent many banners that we put up on fences around the venue. Next I need to thank Reynolds Cycling and Andrew Gavin for also sending banners and a pair of Reynolds alloy mountain bike wheels, these made some ‘cross racer happy I am sure, especially if they ride mountain bikes in addition to winning ‘cross races. Road ID sent the CCC Series 100 Road ID gift certificates. Thanks to Edward and Mike Wimmer at Road ID, helping to make cyclists safer. Then there was another generous contribution of bike swag from Speed Goat Mountain Bikes and Action Village in Wood Dale whom contributed over $500.00 worth of merchandise to be raffled off or won in preems as announced from the tower. I want to thank Brendan Gecik and Alan Walton from Action Village for their generosity and support with the raffle merchandise. Then for the Series, as well as my race, I have to thank SockGuy and Ken DeCaesari for sending out 310 pair of SockGuy socks, as well as banners. They are doing their part to “Spread the Luv around,” all over people’s feet. They really stepped up and I am appreciative of SockGuy’s support. Continuing in alphabetical order I want to thank Timex MultiSport in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin and Mr. Tristan Brown who sent bunches and bunches of the Timex hats that many of the racers received in your goodie bags. Lastly, I want to send a thank you to my next door neighbor, Rita Monaco, for all cologne and perfume that she graciously donated to the CCC Series. Because of Rita ‘cross racers all over Chicagoland and the points beyond, are smelling just a little bit nicer now. 

I want to thank my website guru, Peter Pawlus, down in Sarasota, Florida, without whom, you wouldn’t be reading this exceedingly long thank you letter. I met Peter at Interbike and he said that he could help both my race and my business with a Google-based website and here we are. Thanks for helping me to go viral Peter. Peter is intuitive about this stuff and knows more about what I want on a website than I do…but I am learning.

I want to thank super sales rep Rich Delgado, promoter of the El Bandito, bandit ‘cross races. Rich loves ‘cross, Rich loves bikes, Rich rides a Blue Norcross (thanks), Rich is the best dressed sales rep in the bike industry and has – by far – the best ponytail in the industry, as well, Rich is a good friend, Rich helped to set up and break down the course, Rich did a great job, along with Rob Roop, of announcing, Rich is a solid citizen. 

And then how about paying some gratitude to a hometown favorite, the SRAM Corporation? Thanks to Ed Nasjleti for coming out to witness the Bridge of Sighs flyover and the second coming of Psycho Cross. I appreciate what SRAM does for the industry, and what both they as a company, and Ed as one of their employees do for the Chicago Cyclocross Cup Series. Hopefully, we will see them even more as the Series and the sport continue to grow. I also need to thank Jose Alcala, the Technical Director for SRAM Neutral Race Support, for being out there with the red SRAM Volvo and his fleet of ‘cross bikes, wheels, and tools to help racers stay – or get back – in the game. Ed and Jose really helped to add a “pro” feel to the race this year.

Next I want to call attention to Dave Fowkes from the ICA and USA Cycling and his team of officials that did a wonderful job at my race and also took the hunting in stride – thanks Dave. Also, thanks to: Jerry Busser, Loch Miwa, Steve Feehery, Nikki Cypranowski, David Papadopoulos and Emir Jaganjac. Results and the starts all seemed to go smoothly due to this group of officials, thanks very much. 

Then there is the Chicago Cyclocross Cup Series, without them, we wouldn’t have races, or at least we wouldn’t have the organization, equipment, leadership, and Internet presence that the Series currently has. So, I want to acknowledge the directors of the CCC Series: Jason Knauff our every-weekend and much-of-the-week leader, who has done an amazing job; Robert Sliwinski who was Jason’s predecessor and gave shape to much of the CCC Series as it now exists; Greg Heck who is the promoter for the Jackson Park race that leads off the Series, and Jeff Provisor who is the promoter of the Carpenter Park Race, # 5, in Carpentersville. Special mention for Jeff here” I have known Jeff for something like 20 years and we used to work together. He is a Blue Competition Cycles and Pearl Izumi dealer of mine, so in a sense, we are still working together. He was my inspiration and basically, my mentor for becoming a ‘cross promoter. Jeff does tons for the Series and his race, as well. And he is always willing to lend advice, time, and/or labor to help out a fellow promoter and ‘cross fanatic. Thanks Jeff, you are a true Bro. 

Okay, if anyone is actually reading this whole letter and you were out there, I want to thank you, whoever you are. But I would be completely remiss if I left out this last group, so here goes: I have to pay a huge THANK YOU to Verdigris Custom Homes and Verdigris Cycling. The team was helpful in so many ways, with physical effort, money, time, and advice. They are a wonderful team and it is evident in how they conduct themselves and how well they race. Thanks Verdigris!

But, now that I am closing in on the end of my novel of appreciation here, I really have to mention Tim Boundy and Chris Lombardo of Verdigris for their passion, persistence, precision, experience, and friendship. These guys put in countless hours of time and pour their hearts into the creation of the flyover and the design of the course. Since Tim is Verdigris Custom Homes, he had more to do with the flyover but also helped out a lot with the course and Chris in contrast helped out some with the flyover but Chris used his Google skills to map, re-map, and re-map (again) the course some more, until it was dialed. We ultimately had about eight or nine versions of the course. Tim shepherded a group of architects, carpenters, roofers, painters, and equipment suppliers together, to create and deliver a first rate product that we believe no one in the ‘cross community had ever seen before. The flyover was something that I wanted from the start and while I had a vague destination, Tim knew the path to take to the destination – as if he were using a laser beam and military GPS – and he brought the destination into focus. I never knew that we would have a Tudor flyover, but Tim sure did. The Bridge of Sighs makes all other flyovers seem kind of like Leggo projects in comparison. Tim, Chris, and I exchanged many, many e-mails and phone calls and had so many meetings out at The Golf Farm that it is hard to believe that it is actually over for almost a year. I knew both of these guys from my race two years ago and from seeing them at the races over the last few years, but the process of working with them made me add a couple of more really incredible friends to my already incredible list of friends. You could not ask for a couple of guys to be more dedicated, helpful, experienced, passionate, fun and willing to help. Thanks Tim and Chris for helping to make Psycho Cross a reality and a success. Cheers, until next year!

Ted Schweitzer