Team Jeni’s Cycling’s 2013 cyclocross season is underway, with another Cap City Cross race this weekend, a doozy, at Smith Farms, 3285 Watkins Road. Teams and volunteers throughout the season take turns hosting and laying out the courses, and this Sunday Nov. 10  it’s Team Jeni’s turn.

The Smith Farms course is fast and very spectator-friendly, so if you’re looking for an alternative to football Sunday afternoon, bring your family and friends to the races, have some Mikey’s Late Night Slice and some Jeni’s (if the Team Jeni’s riders don’t scarf it all down after they destroy the competition!) and cheer on the racers.

Some background on cyclocross and Team Jeni’s:

Cyclocross

Cyclocross racing is a mix of on- and off-road racing that requires deep reserves of lung and leg power and road and mountain bike skills. The courses are set up in parks and fields. Obstacles by nature and built by man make for challenging riding—and spectator-friendly races. Racing cyclocross puts your heart and lungs in the red. It is full-bore racing, with respites only on downhill stretches. An explanatory video, An Hour in Hell, explains cyclocross’ appeal and here’s super biker Denis de Verteuil, grinding through a course:

Team Jeni’s

Team Jeni’s includes racers from central Ohio and is sponsored by us and our partners in ice cream: B1 BicyclesKrema Nut Companythe Hills Market; Middle West Spiritsthe North Market; Rockmill BrewerySassafrass Bakery; Snowville CreamerySullivan Builders; and Tip-Top Kitchen & Cocktails. Team Jeni’s gals and guys mainly compete in the Ohio cyclocross circuit during fall and winter, but some riders also race in road and mountain bike races throughout the year. We sponsor the team because we believe that life is about balance: eat great food, drink great beer, ride your bike. And, we just loves bikes and biking in general, which is why we made available this sweet civilian jersey.

TEAM JENI’S CYCLING HISTORY

2007-2010

Mason Morgan (now owner of Westerville Bike Shop), Nate Ziccardi, and I (Aaron Beck) founded a squad called Team Awesome over beers in Bodega in 2007. Jeni’s, which kindly donated some money to put toward custom-made jerseys, was the main sponsor. Bike messengers and weekend warriors comprised our co-ed team. The name Team Awesome was tongue-in-cheek. From 2007-2010, we took the weekend races seriously but not ourselves. En route to races we talked heavy metal more than bike diets and how to shave grams from our bikes and whatnot. Mason has a chicken tattoo on his thigh for crying out loud. Here’s yours truly screaming into 19th or 20th place (out of 30-something places):

2011-2012

In 2011, Team Awesome splintered into two teams, Team Awesome and Team Jeni’s, with Mason heading up the always awesome Team Awesome. Team Jeni’s acquired almost an entirely new crew of riders to do battle throughout the Midwest. As the team is today, Team Jeni’s was sponsored by companies and farms that supply ingredients for Jeni’s. Each sponsor donated money (and goods in kind) to put toward team uniforms designed by our in-house art department. The co-ed, fun-loving bike team competed primarily in cyclocross races, but also included riders who raced mountain and road bikes throughout the year. All the racers, except for one who competed in Nashville, hailed from central Ohio. Here’s a 2012 season roundup.

2013

The women and men of Team Jeni’s are doing beautifully out there. We’ll file a full report when the season ends, but for now you can follow Team Jeni’s 2013 adventures here. Keep up the great work, Team Jeni’s!