Chicken Farm races from the 80's

Before 8spd. was invented the Boulder Cycling Club and Team Monger were putting on very informal races Sterling Circle on east Valmont.

Apparently the developers had built the roads but no or few buildings were in place so every Tuesday riders would show up to race in 1 race... men, women, beginners to pros. The BVC (Boulder Velo Club) even had no permits, no cops (approval) and no officials... just riders, their bikes and their passion to compete. The only requirement for the BVC event was that you joined the Boulder Velo Club which was $12... that is one fee for the entire year! Since the race was not an official race riders didn't have race numbers so scoring was "blue helmet guy, green bike, etc. The course was a 1/3 mile loop on what is now called Sterling Circle. The format was a 40 lap points race, sprinting every 4th lap for 3 deep points. Racing started in April with 20 lap races (due to sunlight) season ended with an omnium, which consisted of a points race, a miss-n-out, a one-lap flying start TT, and a scratch race. The BVC event was started by Harry Buss and Dave Finamore.

The Team Monger event was a permitted race under USCF/BRAC and was only open to Cat 4 and juniors since its purpose was to act as a learning crit series for beginners. This development was owned by the Eggleston who just so happen to have a son at CU and was the roommate of the guy who made the Team Monger race happen. This relationship made it easy to get the permission to race there.

Regardless of which race you did the course had three hazards: Two concrete drainage "troughs" and the sharp turn at the north end. The trough at the southeast corner had a two-inch gap between the concrete and the asphalt, which was fixed free of charge one day by one of the racers, who was a concrete contractor. The real hazard was hitting the inside curb, which I don't think ever happened.

"Some years we'd run the points race series too long and had to cut the omnium short for lack of daylight. Everyone looked forward to the omnium and we'd get a big turnout."

One thing that is very memorable was not so much the race but the King Soopers egg farm that was next to the course (now the site of the dog park), a rider comments "NOTHING like racing a hot summer afternoon, and rounding the last turn, winding up a sprint into a solid wall of Chicken Farm "Aroma" downwind of the plant....". In the end the race would net hundreds of dollars for the club. For one year 83 or 84 Team Monger ran a 4 week series of Cat 4 newbie, juniors and citizens races only to build experience but that only lasted 1 year.

There was also a USCF licensed race that took place once a year over on the now flatirons parkway area but from what I have heard from other readers of 303cycling that the passion was at the chicken farm races.

These races had all kinds of racers from your career Cat 4, total newbie and even some pros like the Sprago team and Thomas Frischknecht. One of the early competitors was Blake Caldwell.

Team Monger began in 82 and became the Cycle Logic team (sponsored by Ed Kuh's bike shops) in 83 or 84. and Boulder Velo Club ended in the early 90's. More on both of those entities later this year.

BVC was very active in the 80s, racing, touring, commuting, city hall activisim. Promoted criteriums in the flatiorn industrial park (one of them won by some upstart young Triathelete named Lance something...), and promoted the last 2 or 3 races ever run on the Morgul Bismark full loop

Comments from the riders

some of us rode Criterium Setas in the race, which made us feel like pros

I remember something like this...at one point during one of the races, I even remember a crash that left one of the local cyclists with a scalloped size chuck out of his knee because he was missing a bar end plug. The USCF official (was it Beth) wasn't too pleased that we failed to ensure that this equipment was inspected before the race. I remember I replaced by bar end plugs after I witnessed that event! Of course, this could all just be something my aging mind created...but I can almost taste the mud and the hay bales!

I remember these races fondly. My first races as a too green Cat 4.
I had just gotten soft contacts that day and was excited to revel in the
comfort of not having hard contacts dry out on my eyeballs. I think Eric
Michieli and Mike Long were in the race. After a couple of laps one of the contacts started to flutter under the high speed airflow created by the torrid cat 4 pace. It soon took flight. Damn, I can still see with one eye. Two-three laps later, the second lens took flight. For the average contact wearer they might be able to stick with it, but being one of the poor souls with horrible vision (correction 12 diopters), I was doomed and had to drop out. Given that I had just dropped $400-500 dollars on the contacts, several folks actually offered to help look for the lenses on the course. As you can imagine, none were found. Upon calling the Eye Docs office the next day to order another pair, the Dr. was surprised that I had rode a bike on the first day of getting contacts. Feeling guilty that he didn't warn me about staying out of force five winds for a few weeks, he replaced the lenses at no cost. Damn, that's a set of wheels and sew-ups. My memory of the chicken farm races.

"NOTHING like racing a hot summer afternoon, and rounding the last turn, winding up a sprint into a solid wall of Chicken Farm "Aroma" downwind of the plant...."

This on is on Team Monger's developmental race

"I think we advertised them a development series early in the season. Anyone with any sense steered clear of those races. Lots of hairy legs and t-shirts on the starting line."

at one point during one of the races, I even remember a crash that left one of the local cyclists with a scalloped size chuck out of his knee because he was missing a bar end plug. The USCF official (was it Beth) wasn't too pleased that we failed to ensure that this equipment was inspected before the race. I remember I replaced by bar end plugs after I witnessed that event!

One of the nice things about the race was that we were polite, so crashes were very rare. I remember only one, in which two guys went down on the backstretch and lost skin. One of the guys was in his first race and was deathly afraid of crashing. I don't remember if we gave him his $12 back, but he never raced again.

Special thanks goes out to Donn Hobbs, Dale Riley and Dave Finamore for all of their detailed information on the races

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