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Crashes, Stories and Scars: Conine Ready to Ride in Beverly Hills Cycling Classic

By Grace Kuikman

When the riders in the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic line up for the Masters’ race on Fri., July 19, Beverly/Morgan Park neighbor Dr. Brandon Conine will be making his debut in criterium racing. How does Conine manage to switch gears from his demanding job as an Emergency Room physician at Metro South Hospital and busy family man and father of two to a demanding training schedule for an elite cycling event that draws rides from around the globe?

It seems like he’s as adaptable as he is hardworking.

Conine and his wife, Maura Conine, owner of Capsule Chicago clothing store on Walden Parkway, have two sons, Liam, 5, who just finished kindergarten at St. Barnabas and will start 1st grade at Sutherland in the fall, and Jude, 3, who will be enrolling in preschool in the fall.

The whole family bikes, just for fun and to get to neighborhood destinations like Maura’s store and out to dinner. But Brandon has taken riding to a higher level – that level is known as Cat 3.

Race categories are set by USA Cycling determine the events for which competitors qualify. The lower the category the higher the qualification. The Beverly Hills Cycling Classic stages Cat 1, 2, 3 races — the highest levels.

Conine started out riding for enjoyable exercise toward the end medical school. “The Tour de France or something like it must have been going on because I thought I’d like to give [cycling] a try.”

When he moved to Ohio for a four-year residency in Emergency Room Medicine at the University of Cincinnati, Conine found friends to bike with and started on his way to becoming an avid rider. He and Maura, who grew up in Beverly/Morgan Park, moved to Chicago four years ago. Following the move, Conine changed his focus from cycling as a sociable form of exercise to training for and competing in races.  He has competed in more than 100 racing events. “It’s a lot of fun if you’re doing it well,” he said with a smile.

Motivated by the change in the race course for BAPA’s Beverly Hills Cycling Classic last year that now brings the racers zooming past his house, Conine decided to work hard to meet one of his goals: to qualify as a Cat 3 rider and participate in the Classic.

The Beverly Hills Cycling Classic is the first of ten days of racing in the Prairie State Cycling Series Intelligentsia Cup. Conine not only qualified as Cat 3 rider for the local race, he qualified to compete in the omnium — all ten days of the race series.

Criterium road races like the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic are lapped races done on closed circuits that range from one to two miles – the local race is 1.54 kilometers, slightly under a mile. Conine will be racing in the Masters’ race, starting at 5:45 p.m. and lasting 40 minutes. At times, he will be riding at 30 to 35 mph on straightaways, and even faster going down the hill.

He expects a crowd of family, neighbors and friends to be cheering him on from his front yard.

In order to be ready to compete on July 19, Conine has been training about 10 to 12 hours a week since March, fitting in his riding around his work and home schedules. He has been practicing on the local route, up and down the hills, and making the sharp turns that will be required in the race which could attract more than 100 professional and elite amateur riders.

The speed at which these steely-nerved competitors are riding is stunning when you’re standing on the sidelines feeling the breeze as they go by in a blur of brightly colored jerseys. Isn’t that scary? Conine says no. “It’s scarier to go slower than faster,” he said, explaining that the faster the cyclists are going, the better the momentum keeps the bikes straight and upright. In his racing experience, Conine has crossed handlebars with another speeding bike and managed to get free without consequence. “Of course, there have been plenty of crashes, stories and scars to get this far,” he said.

Conine has competed in road racing, cyclocross (including the races at Dan Ryan Woods) and a little mountain biking. His competition history includes a 110 mile race at 10,000 feet elevation in Colorado and a 105 mile race on all gravel roads in the middle of Kansas.

Competing in the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic is a thrilling new challenge. “The best part of this ride is that it’s fun to do something you’re not sure you can do,” he said. “I’m really excited. I’ve worked a long time on this.”

Beverly Hills Cycling Classic #16 – Bikes and Brews

On Fri., July 20, a burst of smoke will explode from a starting gun, signaling the start of day one of the 2018 Intelligentsia Cup cycling series, as well as the return of BAPA’s Beverly Hills Cycling Classic: Bikes & Brews Festival.

The Races

The local event for the Prairie States Cycling Series Intelligentsia Cup features six pro/am races on a 1.54 kilometer criterium course that includes hills and thrills that attract professional riders from around the world. This year’s course has been rerouted and will take riders in a loop through the historic Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood from Longwood Drive to Seeley Avenue between 100th and 102nd Streets.

The first competition is a Juniors race for ages 9 through 14, and it begins at 4:15 p.m. Other races are Juniors ages 15 to 18, 4:40 p.m.; Men’s category 2 and 3, 5:10 p.m.; William Blaire Masters 35+ categories 1, 2 and 3, 5:55 p.m.; Pro Women, categories 1, 2 and 3, 6:40 p.m.; and Pro Men, categories 1 and 2, 7:35 p.m. Neighbors are encouraged to cheer on the racers as they whizz by.

The Festival

The Bikes & Brews festival location is also new this year — the St. Barnabas parish parking lot, 10100 S. Longwood Dr. Festival hours are 4 to 10 p.m. Leadfoot will perform following the races, about 8:30 p.m.

Craft beers from Lagunitas and local brewery favorites Open Outcry Brewing, Horse Thief Hollow, Blue Island Brewing Co. and Argus Brewery, and wine from PRP will be for sale for customers age 21 and up.

Plenty of food will be available for purchase, including Original Rainbow Cone, Franconello, Misericordia cupcake truck, Reilly’s Daughter, Calabria, Home Run Inn Pizza and Cilantro Taco Grill.

The Kids Zone will feature a gaming truck, face painting, crafts and more.

Mercy Home/Walsh Campus will provide a bike valet service for people who want to ride their bikes to the event.

The Presenting Sponsor

The presenting sponsor of this year’s festival is Beverly Bike and Ski, 9121 S. Western Ave. The shop has been serving the community since 1921, and a lead partner in sponsoring the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic since the beginning of the event’s history – this year is the 16th annual.

Beverly/Morgan Park resident Paul Weiss has owned Beverly Bike and Ski since 1996 and says it’s an honor to be part of Bikes & Brews because of its history within the community he serves. Weiss is a passionate rider himself, and although he jokes that he is nowhere near the skill level of the Cycling Classic competitors, he likes the idea of encouraging the community to become more interested in riding.

“Racing has its ups and downs,” he said. “But we have to keep it alive.”

For many years, the store even has its own racing team and offers its own racing events in late summer and early fall: The Gravel Bike Race is set for in August and the CycloCross Cup is coming up in October in the Dan Ryan Woods.

Get In on the Action

In professional bike racing, riders make their living by winning prizes. To attract the best riders to the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic, BAPA needs to offer top primes – cash prizes awarded to the winner of a lap in a race. The amount of primes available in a pro/am cycling race is a strong incentive for elite riders to participate – only one rider can win the top prize; several riders can win the primes. And the more competitive the event, the more exciting the action for spectators.

Area residents and businesses are invited to sponsor primes in the 16th annual Beverly Hills Cycling Classic | Bikes & Brews. Primes are collected in increments of $200, $100 and $50.  Donors have their names announced over the public address system during the race. The more you give, the more often your name is mentioned. 100% of the money donated for primes is awarded to riders competing races.

The final deadline for donating a prime is Mon., July 9.  For information or applications call 773-233-3100 or email reception@bapa.org.

Summer Bike Raffle

Once again, Beverly Bike and Ski has donated a brand new Giant Cypress bike to be raffled off this summer. Tickets are $5 each or three for $10 and available at the bike shop as well as at Bikes and Brews.

Be a Volunteer

People are needed to help out as course marshals and at the festival on race day. Sign up at bapa.org/support-bapa/volunteer/ or call 773-233-3100.

Thanks to the Sponsors

Other sponsors of the event include Mike Haggerty Buick – GMC – Volkswagen, Beverly Bank & Trust, the 19th Ward Youth Foundation, CIBC, Smith Village, Marquette Bank, AT&T, The Beverly Review, State Farm/John Harrell agent, Xpress Tax Appeal, Lagunitas, Horse Thief Hollow, Open Outcry Brewing Co., Blue Island Brewing Co. and Argus Brewery.

Check Out What’s New at the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic 

New location! 

New course! 

More races! 

The Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA) presents the 16th Annual Beverly Hills Cycling Classic: Bikes and Brews Fri., July 20. The start/finish and festival grounds are moving to the St. Barnabas parish parking lot, 101st and Longwood Drive, and the new 1.54KM criterium course takes riders down Longwood Drive to 100th Street to Winchester to 101st Street to Seeley to 102nd Street and back to Longwood Drive.  

The first day of racing in the Prairie States Cycling Series Intelligentsia Cup, the local event features six exciting pro/am races sure to provide plenty of action for spectators all around the race course.  

The Bikes and Brews festival opens at 4 p.m. and features craft beers from Lagunitas and other favorite breweries including Open Outcry Brewing and Horse Thief Hollow. There will be plenty of food, a kids’ zone, live music following the races, and lots more.  

The Racing 

Founded in 2012 as the Prairie State Cycling Series, the Intelligentsia Cup features top-level professional and elite amateur athletes. The Beverly Hills Cycling Classic will host two juniors races, a Masters’ race, women’s race and two men’s races. Racing starts at 4:15 p.m. 

Be a Volunteer 

Many volunteer opportunities are open for the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic, including assistance at the festival site and course marshals around the race course. For information on volunteering, call 773-233-3100 or visit bapa.org/support-bapa/volunteer/. 

The Sponsors 

Beverly Bike Racing Team is the local presenting sponsor of the race. Also sponsoring the event are Mike Haggerty Buick – GMC – Volkswagen, Beverly Bank & Trust, the 19th Ward Youth Foundation, Smith Village, AT&T,  

The Beverly Review, Lagunitas, Horse Thief Hollow, Open Outcry 

For information on becoming a Bikes and Brews sponsor or donating primes for rider prizes, call 773-233-3100.  

BAPA hosts the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic as a community-building summer event. The suggested donation for admission to the Bikes & Brews festival area is $5 and supports BAPA’s community-based programs. 

Village Viewpoint

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It is hard to believe we are heading into the month of August! As we soak up these last bits of summer and prepare for a productive fall and winter calendar of programming and back to school activities, it is also a time to be thankful for all the support that BAPA receives in the spring and summer – please know your attendance at our events and volunteerism are never taken for granted. We are so thankful for this amazing community!

We have had many proud moments over the last month, including the 15th annual Beverly Hills Cycling Classic. Over 3000 people came out to check out the race and sample some brews from area breweries and especially Lagunitas Brewing Company, which contributed over 20 kegs to help BAPA raise funds for our beautification efforts. Other generous breweries were Horse Thief Hollow, Blue Island Beer Co., Argus Brewery, Baderbrau and of course Western Avenue’s newest brewery Open Outcry Brewing Co.! What an amazing show of support of our community – thank you!

Another highlight of the summer is all the investment into the Dan Ryan Woods by the Cook County Forest Preserve in honor of the 100th anniversary of the woods. We are so lucky to have this resource right here in our community. They have lots of family fun planned on Aug. 27, so please mark your calendars; you will not be disappointed!

Also coming up in August, BAPA is excited to host a seminar with an expert on navigating the high school entrance process for both Chicago Public Schools selective enrollment and the private schools. We are lucky to have many options for all levels of education in our neighborhood. Please join us for this free event.  We are also looking forward to a great month of September when BAPA will host a girls night Shop and Sip supporting local women-owned businesses. It should be lots of fun!

Thanks for all your support through BAPA membership and event attendance. See you around the neighborhood enjoying the rest of the summer!

All the best,

Margot

15th Annual Beverly Hills Cycling Classic Rides on July 14

Gears, Beers & Cheers! Family Ride, Festival and Pro/Am Cycling

Four thrilling pro/am cycle races are the centerpiece of BAPA’s 15th Annual Beverly Hills Cycling Classic: Bikes and Brews on Fri., July 14. The first racing event in this year’s multi-day Prairie States Cycling Series Intelligentsia Cup, the races are sure to provide plenty of action for spectators all around the race course and plenty of fun in the festival area.

The start/finish and festival grounds are located at 107th and Longwood Drive, with the race course running in a one-mile loop south on Longwood Drive to 108th Place then up to Hoyne, down to 107th Street, over to Seeley, down 105th Place and back to Longwood Drive. The Bikes and Brews festival opens at 4 p.m. and races start at 4:30 p.m. Following the last race, Coyote Riot will take the stage and play until 10pm.

Shorter Lines, More Beer

We admit it: At last year’s Bikes and Brews the lines were way too long and the supply of beer was way too short. That won’t happen again! “Lagunitas Brewing has stepped in as our beer sponsor, and they’re donating several kegs of beer,” said BAPA Executive Director Margot Holland. “That donation takes some of the burden off the area microbreweries what will also be pouring their craft beers at the festival.”

Alongside Lagunitas, look for craft beers from Horse Thief Hollow, Open Outcry Brewing Co., Argus Brewery, Blue Island Beer Company and Baderbrau Brewing Company.

“Based on our experience last year, we’re expecting a huge crowd to join us at this exciting summer event – and we’re ready for the crowd!” Holland said.

Festival goers will also be able to purchase wine and soft drinks.

Mobile Food & Games

A variety of portable edibles will be served up from food trucks. Calabria will be serving favorites from their new food truck Pollo Locuas will be serving a variety of tacos, Mike’s Revenge will be serving a menu of hearty sandwiches and sides, and Misericordia’s Hearts & Flour food truck will be selling desserts. Dappers Game Zone will keep the kids busy aboard their video game truck in the festival’s expanded Kids Zone.

Music by Coyote Riot

Area fans of rockabilly and bluegrass won’t want to miss the live performance by Coyote Riot that begins at 8:30 p.m. The festival area will remain open until 10 p.m. for music, brews and socializing.

The Racing

Founded in 2012 as the Prairie State Cycling Series, the Intelligentsia Cup brings competitive bicycle racing to the Chicago metro area, featuring top-level professional and elite amateur athletes. The Beverly Hills Cycling Classic is day one of the nine-day series, and this year will add a professional men’s race that’s sure to step-up the action.

Area residents and businesses can also add to the racing excitement by donating primes — cash prizes awarded to the winner of a lap. Only one person can win the overall race, but several riders and win prizes throughout the races.  The amount of primes available to win is a strong incentive for elite riders to participate. The more competitive the event, the more exciting the action for spectators!

Primes are collected in increments of $200, $100 and $50 and donors have their names announced over the public address system during the race. The deadline for donating a prime is Mon. July 10. Call 773-233-3100 or email mholland@bapa.org for information.

Family Ride

Area residents are invited to ride their bikes to the event and join the fun for a half mile family ride on the race course at 7:05 p.m., between the women’s race and the final pro men’s race. Participation in the family ride is free. All riders must wear helmets and all children must be accompanied by adults. A free bike valet will be provided at the festival site.

The Bike Raffle

Don’t miss the chance to win a brand new bike donated by Beverly Bike and Ski! Tickets to BAPA’s Bike Raffle will be available at Bikes and Brews.

Thank Our Sponsors!

Beverly Bike-Vee Pak Racing Team returns as presenting sponsor of the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic. Underwritten by Beverly Bike and Ski and Vee Pak Manufacturing, the racing team is composed of several amateur riders who compete in races throughout the area.

Also sponsoring the event are Mike Haggery Buick – GMC – Volkswagen, Beverly Bank & Trust, the 19th Ward Youth Foundation, Smith Village, AT&T, Beverly Bike and Ski, MetroSouth Health Center at West Beverly/Dr. Kevin Dolehide, John Harrell State Farm. Lagunitas Brewing, PRP Wine International and The Beverly Review.

BAPA hosts the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic as a community-building summer event, the suggested donation for admission to the Bikes & Brews festival area is $5 and supports BAPA’s community-based programs.

For more information or to volunteer to help with Bikes and Brews, call 773-233-3100, sign up on the Bikes and Brews event page at www.bapa.org or email bapa@bapa.org.

 

 

 

Beverly Hills Cycling Classic: Bikes & Brews

Join us on Fri., July 14 when the Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA) presents the 15th Annual Beverly Hills Cycling Classic: Bikes and Brews. The start/finish and festival grounds are centered at Beacon Therapeutic Center, 107th and Longwood Drive, with the race course running in a one-mile loop between 105th Place and 108th Place, Longwood Drive to Hoyne and Seeley avenues.

On the schedule of the Prairie States Cycling Series Intelligentsia Cup, the local event features four exciting pro/am races sure to provide plenty of action for spectators all around the race course.

The Bikes and Brews festival opens at 4 p.m. and features craft beers from Lagunitas and other favorite breweries.  The expanded Kids Zone includes a game truck, bike activities from the Pedalpushers and more. Food trucks include the Roost Carolina Kitchen serving friend chicken and homestyle fixings. Live music starts at 8 p.m.

The Racing

Founded in 2012 as the Prairie State Cycling Series, the Intelligentsia Cup brings competitive bicycle racing to the Chicago metro area, featuring top-level professional and elite amateur athletes. The Beverly Hills Cycling Classic is day one of the nine-day series. The Beverly Hills Cycling Classic will host a Masters’ race, women’s race and two men’s races.

Area residents are invited to ride their bikes to the event and join the fun for a ½ mile family ride on the race course. All riders must wear helmets! Free bike valet will be provided at the festival site.

The Bike Raffle

Tickets to BAPA’s Bike Raffle are now on sale. Don’t miss your chance to win a brand new bike donated by Beverly Bike and Ski.

The Sponsors

Beverly Bike-Vee Pak Racing Team returns as presenting sponsor. Underwritten by Beverly Bike and Ski and Vee Pak Manufacturing, the racing team is composed of several amateur riders who compete in races throughout the area.

Also sponsoring the event are Mike Haggery Buick – GMC – Volkswagen, Beverly Bank & Trust, the 19th Ward Youth Foundation, Smith Village, AT&T, Beverly Bike and Ski, The Beverly Review,

BAPA hosts the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic as a community-building summer event, the suggested donation for admission to the Bikes & Brews festival area is $5 and supports BAPA’s community-based programs.

For more information or to volunteer to help with Bikes and Brews, call 773-233-3100 or email bapa@bapa.org.

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