The snow is back and so are the far below freezing temperatures. It’s now winter break and the semester, for all of us, has flown by both on and off the bike. We’re all happy to say that everyone for BKB is healthy and feeling strong with our sights set on the spring. In the past few months we’ve been very busy and so here is our update on the fall semester:
At the start of the semester we were all thrilled to get back to school for some Bloomington riding, and we were not disappointed. The summer and well into the fall treated us kindly with great weather all around. As a team we did the Hilly Hundred giving us a couple awesome days of hilly rides along with all of the men over the age of 50 in the Midwest. Everyone was in good spirits within the team and feeling good.
Many of our distinguished alumni were able to come to Bloomington throughout the semester for rides and visits. Nick Hartman, Steven Gomez, and Tyler Hart were able to join us on a ride or two. Steven Gomez successfully completed the Nashville 90 even after being nearly 3 years removed from college. Also this fall, we added another BKB alumni to the IRONMAN club. Brant Powell finished IRONMAN Louisville, proving that the “alumni body” holds no one back from accomplishing their dreams.
During the fall we also hosted our annual BKB Homecoming Tailgate. Between the mad grilling skills of former Race Director Jordan Bailey and the deep pockets of alumni with real jobs, the tailgate was a great success. With more alumni every year it was great to get everyone back together in Bloomington for a fun weekend.
By far the most prestigious events within the Little 500 community, Fall Series was the next event on BKB’s calendar. Having won the previous few years, the team had a lot of pressure to perform well. As a team BKB went first, second and fourth (Xavier Martinez, Charlie Hammon and Michael Chettleburgh respectively) in ITT’s the first day. Although this was a strong start to the series we needed a good performance out of Street Sprints the next day (historically BKB’s worst event). Thanks to Noah Voyles and his BMX background, he pulled out a top 4 finish in the event. At this point we were in the lead for Fall Series as a whole, but we still had to perform well in Cyclocross to secure the overall win. Our senior pairing of Michael Chettleburgh and Charlie Hammon we were able to win Cyclocross, and with that the Fall Series overall was then won thanks to a great team effort.
Throughout the fall TNRS (Thursday Night Race Series) consumed a few of our Thursday evenings. Our rookies and returning riders both got some track time in with the Scratch, Points, and Miss-N-Out races, among others. With track conditions being poor and a lot of inexperience on the track the team played it safe and avoided (most) wrecks. But regardless of track conditions and rider experience it’s always great to get back on the cinders.
Lastly, we had our annual team trip to Carmel, IN in November to stay with alumni Steven Gomez. Although the returning riders would not have any issues with the 80 mile trek, it was the longest ride some of our rookies had done. Happily, but with a lot of bonking they all made it. This really capped off the semester with one of our last long outdoor rides before winter hit and cemented the team chemistry as a whole.
With a hard semester’s worth of work, both on the bike and in the classroom, all BKB’s are very much looking to a bit of relaxation over the holidays. But, at the same time we are all looking forward to our annual winter training trip in Gulf Shores, Alabama. This year we’ll be taking a full team of 6 returning riders, 3 new rookies, and 3 alumni to help with support, food prep, etc.
With fall semester done, it means Little 5 season is only just getting started. We hope the next 4 months will treat us as kindly as the last 4 have. Happy Holidays to everyone.