Southside Sprint 2015

11174368_1168063796542325_6317879995171181033_oPhoto by Matthew Pastick

In Minneapolis the Southside Sprint has a special place in the heart of every crit champion and hill climbing queen.  The 3/4 mile course on the south end of Chicago Ave is known for its tight curves and tree-lined thrills.  This past Sunday four Koochella racers rolled out of bed early to compete in Southside’s Category 4 women’s race.

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Always ready to pounce, Koochella took a quick lap around the course after the conclusion of the Juniors race and lined up just behind the start finish while officials readied the road.


While she couldn’t compete, June “Tiny Terror” Osaki came in her best dress and cape for moral and mechanical support.

11110186_1167885926560112_7919614647216477439_oPhoto by Matthew Pastick

When officials gave the go-ahead, the team was quick to grab as many front-row seats as they could.

11056557_1167886403226731_4984395479282680165_oPhoto by Matthew Pastick

Tiana “T-Bits” Johnson set herself up for early success with a prime position in the pack.  While a a minor crash in the final laps threw a wrench in this mechanic-messenger’s game, she quickly jumped back in the saddle earning herself a 9th place finish.

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Beth “Treasure” Franklin fought her way to a 5th place finish proving her calves could carry her through a crit almost as well as a chariot race at the track.

For Rachel “Lazer” Zaidman, Southside marked the one year anniversary of her first sanctioned race and the day she decided she wanted to be on Koochella (that’s Lazer in the back on the right).

Photo by Matthew Pastick

Rachel finished the race stoked to see just how much she improved over the past year.

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Rookie racer Emily Wade paced with a well-organized chase group, making new friends on the Birchwood and Omnium teams.

10986803_10206563227666899_5696275399910044225_oPhoto by Matthew Pastick

Of course, no bike race is complete without Lilah “Fratboy” Guertin.  Also unable to race, Lilah made it to Chicago & 48th in plenty of time to cheer her face off for fellow trackie Heidi “Game Face” Goodson as she #yolosolo’d her way to the state championship title in the elite women’s race later that afternoon.  



Save the NSC Velodrome Part 1

If you’re in town this weekend, please join Koochella at Fulton Brewery for a fundraiser to help pay for track repairs at the NSC Velodrome.

In addition to some killer prizes for raffle and silent auction, and some pieces for sale, Koochella will be auctioning off one of our All-City Koochella edition team framesets to the highest bidder (the winner gets to choose between a 49cm or 52cm size).

Until now, the only way to get one of these framesets was to earn it.  We feel so passionate about our velodrome that we are willing to break with our tradition for this event.

Please join us!


Jingle Cross 2014 Report!


Last Friday, Tiana and I drove down to Iowa City for Jingle Cross.  We were accompanied by our old friend Erin (Second Chance p/b Zubas) and our new friend Rhys May (Loose Nuts) from Georgia.

Well, technically, Erin drove.  Like a champ.

I had managed to talk Tiana into going, despite her being very sick.  And injured.  And exhausted from her day job on the streets as a super cool bike messenger.  I had even made her take an ice bath the night before… which had only made her more sick.

Poor thing.  I’m a horrible friend.


We didn’t arrive early enough to race on Friday. We raced on Saturday but didn’t have a camera (and couldn’t poach pictures from our friends).

Tiana, who coughed her way through the night, finished a respectable 10th out of 25th, her hand swollen to the size of her gloves by the end.

I finished a few spots behind her (after nipping Valerie sprinting at the finish) after a few technical difficulties with apparel, namely my legwarmers fell down and stuck in my chain a few times. After almost biffing it on a downhill for this reason, I vowed to not wear them for Sunday. Embro would have to do.

Sunday morning!

We went to breakfast at Bluebird. Note the straw wrappers (which we promptly shot at one another, because we’re all adults).


Tiana and I ordered the same breakfast.  Already in Hero Mode, I handily won.


 At the event, we ran into friend of the show, Fattie, seen here crushing a piece of breakfast pizza.


The Minnesota Tent Complex was packed with friends and aggressively heated (thanks for inviting us to hang out, guys!).  Everyone was excited because, well, we’re pretty good at snow… and over night we had received a respectable few inches of it.


And it was cold enough to stick around.


Tiana suited up but couldn’t race.

I, burned by my legwarmer experience the day before and apparently unaware of how embrocation works, put a thick layer of embro pretty much everywhere. Here is me at the start, completely unaware of the burning that would come.
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 Fortunately, most of the major right turns on the course were banked.  I can counter-steer left all day long, it’s what I do all summer at the track.  Counter-steering right, however, is much more challenging.  I fee like Zoolander.

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I was delighted to not have crashed.  Still high-fived every kid with a mitten-out.  Maybe even had a good time… and rocked some lobster red legs.


Then Rhys got on the course.  Being from Georgia, Rhys was a little less experienced with riding on snow.


She crashed five-seven times (depending on who she was talking to…) but just kept getting back on it. You can’t keep this girl down.


The last crash twerked her saddle… just a little bit.


 Other friends of the show:
Craig Whatshisname being all fast.(Raleigh or something)


Heidi Goodson (Birchwood) having one of the best races yet.  She looked great!


 Fred (Fred)


 Anya (Northstar)


 Chelsea (Fulton)


 And Chelsea’s boyfriend, Jeff (also Fulton), seen here clearly taking the race seriously (probably because Chelsea was way ahead of him).



 Matt (Cat 3 Cross Pro/Fulton) crushed the “cool” game.


Anyway, we had a ton of fun and look forward to doing this next year with a bigger, better crew.



Flyer Gallery

In order to get everyone stoked on race night, I made flyers throughout the season.

They are collected here for your personal amusement.

Also, so you know, I was striving to use as many different typefaces and Photoshop filters as possible.