Mud doesn’t dampen bicyclists’ enthusiasm at Carpentersville cyclocross
By Erin Sauder For Sun-Times Media October 20, 2013 2:50PM
Cyclists make their way up a bumpy section of the course during the Chicago Cyclocross Cup bike races Sunday in Carpenter Park in Carpentersville. | Erin Sauder~Sun-Times Media
Maple Avenue rehab ongoing
Carpenter Park’s location, at Maple Avenue and Carpenter Boulevard, has been the focus of some other activity as well.
Work on the Maple Avenue reconstruction project is about 10 percent complete, according to officials.
Weather permitting, the entire project — which will include new roadway with curb and gutter, storm sewer, water main, bike path and lighting — is to be completed by the end of next summer.
Currently, crews are working on improvements between Washington Street and Carpenter Boulevard.
“Once those are substantially complete, we’ll continue east to Besinger Drive,” said Village Engineer Kevin Gray.
Tentatively, the first week of November, Carpenter Boulevard to L.W. Besinger Drive will be reduced to one-way traffic heading eastbound for the installation of a 16-inch water main. The one-way traffic pattern will continue through the completion of the project.
Weather will determine how quickly the project can be completed.
“If we have a good winter, we can keep working,” Gray said. “Should weather conditions worsen, we’ll have to shut down.”
— Erin Sauder
Updated: November 22, 2013 6:24AM
CARPENTERSVILLE — Few of the cyclists who participated in the Chicago Cyclocross Cup bike races Sunday in Carpenter Park were able to make it to the finish line without a little mud on them somewhere.
“But it’s not as bad as last year, when it was raining,” said McHenry resident and cyclist Ty Kurth, who has been competing in cyclocross races for nearly a decade. A friend from Belgium initially got him into the sport.
He said the Carpentersville event continues to be a draw.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “It’s definitely caught on.”
Sunday’s event was the fifth time the races were held alongside the village’s Oktoberfest, which included vendor booths, area civic organizations, a food court, beer garden, children’s inflatable amusements, petting zoo and live music.
Jeff Provisor of Main Street Bicycles in Carpentersville, and a coordinator of the event, said cyclocross race participants continue to increase in number.
“The first year we had 100 racers,” he said. “Now we have well over 700 registered for today. The festival is growing nicely as well.”
Many of Sunday’s racers described the Carpentersville course — which included a 1¼-mile lap through the park as well as a corn maze — as challenging.
“It’s twisty, and a lot of people have been going down, but they’re not hurting themselves too bad,” he said.
Sean McCarthy, 14, of Lockport did a few practice laps on the course before his race Sunday.
“It was really hard and really slick,” he said.
Chicago resident Lindsey Fahey was psyching herself up before her race began.
“This course is going to be challenging,” she said. “It’s kind of wet, and in the cornfield it’s really muddy.”
But it wasn’t just cyclists who made it to the park Sunday.
Carpentersville resident Scott DiDonna brought his niece and nephew to enjoy the festivities.
“I love watching the races,” he said. “I’m a runner, so I like racing in general. Plus, it’s a beautiful day.”
The fall celebration was sponsored by the village of Carpentersville, Main Street Bicycles and the Northern Kane County Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s exciting to see all the enthusiasm and people coming into the area,” said Melissa Hernandez, president of the Northern Kane County Chamber of Commerce.