Three Questions

Luke Seemann, 32—the founder of chicagobikeracing.com and a member of the local racing team XXX-Athletico—will compete in the city’s first-ever Chicago Criterium bike race.

Q: What’s a criterium?
A: A criterium is held on closed roads, often in urban areas, on laps between a half mile and a mile long. Since there are so many turns, the races typically rely on a lot of skill and technique. At my level, it lasts between 40 and 90 minutes.

Q: How often do you race?
A: About 30 to 40 times a year. Most are criteriums, although my preferred discipline is the longer road race [40 to 70 miles, which takes Seemann two to three hours]. I’m a little nuts about it. Most people probably do 10 to 20 races.

Q: Why participate in so many criteriums if you prefer longer races?
A: Crits make up the bulk of what’s available here in the States. They’re easier to throw, because you only have to worry about a small section of road. They’re also more fan friendly. Our girlfriends can come out and watch us zip around every three minutes, rather than every 30 to 45 minutes at a road race. 

Photography: Ellen Wight

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