Sunday, July 13, 2008

State Championships

On Saturday, Yojimbo's Track Cats raced at the Illinois State Junior Track Championship.

All the kids performed beyond anyone's expectations.  They competed well, competed safely, and formulated and executed tactics.  We'll have pictures and reports soon, but for now I just want to gush about how proud of the Track Cats I am right now.

Thank you, Cats and all the people that made Saturday happen.  Go Team!

Coach Brean

Sunday, June 15, 2008

First Night of Racing (part 2)

The first Track Cats races were great. It was amazing to see what progress the kids have made, and how comfortable they seem to feel on the track.

Let's hope they keep it up in the weeks to come, and thanks to all those that made a contribution.

First Night @ Northbrook Velodrome

Friday night was the first time the team got to ride on a real track (as opposed to our usual practice on a jogger filled foot path).  We caravanned in a patchwork of borrowed cars thanks to Working Bikes/Nick Colombo; 4 Star/Mike Morell; and Andrea Fritch/car owner and Sarah's roommate. 

The six Cats were the bulk of the teen racers (they were caught between kids on training wheels and the Cat5 adults).  With a lot of paper scrambling and rule limbo Chuck got all of us officially registered to race!  

Each Cat showed their own style on the track.  Nadia was steady and fought her battles on a shoulder to shoulder basis.  Reneka thought she could lap everyone and spent 3 rounds sprinting with the pack at least 100 meters behind her (till she got exhausted).  Gerardo learned the rules quickly and did an excellent job of racking up the points on the snowball and pulling out in some energetic sprints.  In true Grindcore fashion you could tell that Adam was going for it as aggressively as he could.  Guy, who'd had a frightening crash earlier in the season, got over his nervousness.  When the first $5 prime (pronounced "preem") was announced he kicked it up and was the first across the line.  Patrick took Coach Brean's advice and hung back in the pack until the final pushes and then gracefully pulled in-front to win each of the 3 races! 

Friday, June 6, 2008


We had some new kids out at practice last week, and it looks like we will have some more noobs tomorrow.  That's all good, because we are looking to get as many riders out to the track next Friday, which is the first evening of Friday Night Funtrack hosted by the Northbrook Cycle Club.

Anyone who is interested, is welcome to come to practice tomorrow.  We practice at the running track at Pershing and Cottage Grove.  You don't need a track bike, you can use one of ours.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

P.E.P. Olympics

We rode down to Washington Park this morning to hand out flyers (still looking for a few good kids) at the P.E.P. Olympics. Just to liven things up a bit, we brought bikes and rollers attached to a computer.

Due to a technical problem, only one set up worked, so we rigged it with a timer and had time trials. Here are some of the fastest times over 150 meters:

Top girls:
Zaquina 16.20
Nakita 16.33
Carolyn 16.60

Top boys:
Kevin 14.60
Henry 14.80
Brian 15.20

Marcus had the brilliant last-minute idea to bring cow bells, so we yelled ourselves a little hoarse cheering them on --cowbells are way more fun than they sound. Congratulations to all who participated.

Special thanks to our friend Evan for being a computer genius and hooking us up with the equipment.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Practice Makes Perfect

We have three practices under our belts, but there are more spaces available to highschoolers who wish to join. You are welcome to attend practice no matter how much experience you have, from beginner to track star. Kids who are on other teams are welcome to practice, as well.

Practices are being held on Saturday mornings at the running track at Pershing (3900 South) and Cottage Grove (about 600 East). The running track is lightly used, has a soft, grippy, rubber surface, and provides a nice grass infield. There is a water fountain at the park, and bathroom facilities across the street. However, there's not much to eat around, so get a breakfast in.

We're giving a shout out to Peter Arzate for perfect attendance so far. And it shows. Peter has mastered the toe clip exercises, is getting better at turning on the bike and pointing while riding straight, and he's able to pick up and carefully place his water bottle in the grass (even though he claims to have short arms). He's also getting pretty fast, and more importantly, he's getting comfortable learning a little strategy. But he should watch out for Andre, Antonio, and Justin . . .

The girls have represented with Reneka, Ashley, and Dominique testing out the track bikes we provide. If any other girls have questions at the track, these three would be good people to ask.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Yojimbo's Track Cats is a developmental track bike racing team for Chicago teens.  Track racing takes place on a banked track, or velodrome, using special track bikes, and is very fast and exciting for both racers and spectators.

Yojimbo's Track Cats provides instruction, guidance, licensing, and equipment for city kids who are interested in racing their bikes.  That's right, this team is made up of kids just like you who want to race bikes.

The local velodrome for Chicago is in nearby Northbrook.  There is also a velodrome in Kenosha, Wisconsin and another in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Our racing generally takes place in Northbrook.