A clown show gone wrong

October 23, 2013 § 71 Comments

So, yesterday morning I wrote about the dangers of cycling, and a few hours after posting I went out and joined up with the NPR for our twice-weekly beatdown. With a thousand yards to go, a wanker who had sucked wheel and flailed for the entire ride dashed up to the front, grabbed the wheel of the leadout train, touched a wheel, slid out, and knocked down ten other riders.

You can see the video of the crash here.

My head hit the asphalt at 37.4 mph, according to Strava, leaving my helmet structurally disintegrated, but firmly attached to my head. Aside from skinned knuckles, a touch of road rash, a very sore hip, and a blinding headache, I was good enough to saddle up and ride back to CotKU, where Em and Jake bought me a latte. From there I pedaled in to work.

Others were less fortunate. Shattered frames were everywhere. Shredded uniforms. Road rash galore. Stitched up knees. Broken collarbone. Broken wrist. Trashed wheels. I still can’t believe that no one was catastrophically injured. “What,” I wondered, “was it all for? What in the world were we doing?”

What, indeed?

Foremost, we were dressing up in clown suits, riding clown bicycles, and trying to go as fast as we could without crashing. We failed. The queue of motorists could have only thought one thing: “What a bunch of fucking idiots.”

So, there’s the inevitable post-mortem. Choose the one(s) you like best.

1. The Dominic Felde Theory: Everyone who hasn’t raced in Belgium and had 30 years experience racing at the highest levels is a fucking kook. Kick them out of the ride or avoid them by doing your own ride or scream at them until they slink away.

2. The Rahsaah Bahati Theory: This was a teachable moment. We should be patient educators with people who dash up to the end of the lead-out train at the end of the ride and then take out ten people and cause $25,000 in damage because they overlapped a wheel.

3. The Seth Davidson Theory: Bicycling is dangerous. You will eventually fall and get hurt. No exceptions.

4. The Pablo Maida Theory: After a huge crash like that, the one thing we’ve learned is that it’s important to finish the pedal home by strapping your helmet onto your handlebars and ride with the wind in your hair, carefree.

5. The Joe Yule Theory: I have catastrophic crashes all the time, and it’s because of those damned kooks.

6. The Pokey-Kneed Dude’s Theory: Did I do something wrong?

7. The Chris Gregory Theory: What in the world was I doing up there?

8. The David Jaeger Theory: When you are in a group ride winding up to a sprint and you neither know nor trust most of the riders around you, swing over, head to the back, and let someone else take the glory or the road rash, as the case may be.

9. The Peyton Cooke Theory: Make sure you’re going fast enough so that the crash happens behind you.

10. The Eric Anderson Theory: I won. Again.

11. The Marc Spivey Theory: Never go anywhere without your camera and the ability to quickly upload to Facebook.

12. The Damian Stevens Theory: Find the escape chute and let the other wankers hit the deck.

13. The Suze Sonye Theory: Next time I see someone riding like a jackass, I’m chewing his ass. Oh, wait, I already did!

14. The Elijah Shabazz Theory: I was the fastest dude there, except for the dudes ahead of me.

15. The FB Commenters’ Theory: What the fugg were you wankers doing going that hard in October?

16. The Baby Seals’ Theory: Is the ride still on for Thursday?

As a participant to the crash, the only one of the above theories that I can discuss with any intelligence is #16. And the answer is “Yes.”

§ 71 Responses to A clown show gone wrong

  • Winemaker says:

    Personally, I like #1 and #3, especially #1.
    #15 has a bit of logic to it, though, and it is a known fact that those going fastest between now and March will go slowest between April and September.
    Some conflict arises when I review my own theory:
    If you don’t crash three times a year, you aren’t being risky enough.

    • fsethd says:

      Older riders love #1, and #3 is the dreaded one we all have in the back of our minds when we ride.

  • Arkansas Traveler says:

    I’m with Jaeger on this one, but if you can pull it off, #12 demonstrates real panache! Cycling is kind of like flying: You’ve got your old pilots, and your bold pilots- but very few old, bold pilots.

  • murf says:

    The Nietzsche Theory: Glad it wasn’t me.

  • CB says:

    The 2 categories of cyclist: those who have crashed and those are are going to crash.

  • Brian in VA says:

    Corollary to #3 – Buy helmets in bulk to save money on the inevitable crash.

  • joe demunk says:

    #8 – for sure
    re: #1 -Guys/Gals that have raced in Belgium or have 30 years experience racing at the highest levels don;t do these types of wank fests

  • KGR says:

    So I may be the author of #15…..an adjunct comment to that question; it is very difficult to teach a set of clean concise skills going hard…one of the many advantages of going slow……this requires leadership and discipline.
    If someone does not wish to participate then the collective group must impart banishment upon the offender until such time as he/she demonstrates adequate remorse and humility. This is a collective training effort, not a street fight…these are your friends!

    • fsethd says:

      Yep, but it’s a public ride on public roads. Often, the offense happens when people are gassed. Hard to discipline with your tongue in the spokes. Also, it’s a headless snake. No one owns it or leads it. It’s been happening for 25+ years …

  • channel_zero says:

    I think #14 covers quite a few of those riders. Of course, they will never admit it.

    You guys spend $5000+ on equipment you fully intend to use in dangerous situations and then you cry when it gets broken. I know this is crazy talk, but what if you went at the consuming bike equipment knowing it **will** get broken?

    Most of a competitive ride is the fashion show and that hasn’t changed in 20 years. I bet the whining about entry fees still happens despite hundreds of thousands of dollars in gear on the starting line too.

    • joe demunk says:

      guys i used to know who were really racing their bikes out chasing crits every weekend were on aluminium “crash” frames with mixed -matched ultergra/105 parts – cause they wore them out or crashed em so often

      • fsethd says:

        We posers would never do such a gauche thing. Especially here in the fashion-conscious South Bay. Egads!

    • fsethd says:

      As Checkerbutt noted on my FB page, “Everything happens for a reason, and that reason is usually physics.”

  • channel_zero says:

    Changing subjects, someone broke the pulling commandments and the Old Testament God saw it and was not pleased. No holy hand grenade needed. God took care of it.

    It’s right there in the scriptures.

  • channel_zero says:

    With a thousand yards to go, a wanker who had sucked wheel and flailed for the entire ride dashed up to the front,

    This is typical roadie story telling. I will **never** forget my last ride at Telo. A couple of laps to go and the big group of negative-racing wankers winds it up and a regular tries to force his way between two well positioned riders who won’t move. I WATCHED THE GUY DO THIS. Total carnage ensues. Afterward, the coward didn’t own his own stupidity. Then the story is told that “some guy didn’t hold his line.” Uh huh….

    What actually happened? I didn’t see anyone “dashing up to the front” in your video.

  • Team Black says:

    Crashing sucks. Glad you will all be ok.

  • R.C. White says:

    #16 and Optimism Bias.

    Okay, besides #15, which really needs to be answered first, the real explanation lies in the question of the Baby Seals Theory.

    When we were cavemen(and women)(maybe not “when”…I digress) we relied on a cognitive survival mechanism now referred to as the “optimism bias”; in order to believe it was safe to leave the cave to hunt for food we have to believe that we would not end up in the jaws of a sabertooth tigger. Reality was that was a real possibility. We needed to ignore that reality if we wanted to eat. So our brains help us out and made up believe that it was safe to go outside, and also probably because some higher power knew that sabertooth tiggers needed to eat too. The problem today is that the sabertooth tiggers dress just like us and they ride bikes too. They are hard to spot until it’s too late.

    The NPR Crash and the 2008 Stockmarket Crash:
    Alan Greenspan said of the 2008 Stockmarket Crash: “We thought that ultimately people would act in their best long-term interests. We were wrong.”

    • fsethd says:

      ” … and also probably because some higher power knew that sabertooth tigers needed to eat too.”

      Ha, ha! Best line of the day!

      • R.C. White says:

        You mean “tiggers”. That wasn’t a typo. “tiggers” as in “chiggers”…. and we all know how annoying chiggers are…

  • schills says:

    There are two things I learned during 10 years of racing.

    I can’t beat the big hitter sprinters in my category. Not even close. So I’m not going to put myself in with them at the finish. Only 3 things can happen, and they are all bad.

    Second, 50% of my thinking was focused on how to move up in the line and 50% was focused on my exit plan when shit happens.

    Never won a sprint. Never got hurt in crashes in my races. ALWAYS had fun. . .which is really the point.

  • Dominic Felde says:

    Seth, that is a bit of a Hollywood exaggeration. I don’t think you have to have raced 100’s of races in Belgian to be a superb bike handler. Of course if one does his skills will be vast. What I’m saying is to let the anxious inexperienced mingle with the calm experienced you get carnage and problems. Of course ALL riders crash, no matter what skills you have, but why raise the chances so much with beginners, or those struggling, that’s when falls happen. Ok they can keep up and are strong. That is only 1/2 or 1/4 of the equation. Skill and experience is precedence. Require a Cat. 1 or 2 rating for group A and then the others can do their group. Police it and enforce it. If not it’ll be the same ol thing… I’ll be in the kitchen cooking some fabulous b-fast, my stomach will be getting bigger, I’ll be pouring a double IPA and then I’ll browse FB to see Mark Spivey’s up to the minute pics of blood and broken bikes, and broken bones and maybe worse…

    If you want to help the newbies, and be the nice guy, it must be done at a mellow tempo, 30kph, so you can talk and explain and they can see how the etiquette of the peloton moves, they must respect the skilled and listen and learn especially! If they don’t, kindly tell them to ride on there own or they get boxed in the gutter and wheel swiped or a head butt to the ribs to show them who is boss.. That’s how it’s done… Everyone must pay there respect and dues… That’s the way it is in Belgium, you must earn the respect of the more experienced, then you get invited. Your not entitled.

    • joe demunk says:

      racers crash in races – not out training (too often) –

    • Tom says:

      Seems to me cat1 & cat2 racers crash just as often as cat4s.

      Pros in the Grand Tours crash all the time, despite being so “expert”. They just take more, high-risk chances.

      And BTW, from the video, there is still no clarity how the crash was caused. Seth’s eyes are 18-24″ higher than camera level, so maybe he saw something the camera did not.

      • fsethd says:

        The rider who slid out and started the crash touched a wheel and went down. I had a long message exchange with him. One thing the video doesn’t show is how fast we were going. My Strava was at 37.4 at the moment of impact. Those are incredibly fast bike speeds, faster than most race finishes because it was a huge tailwind, huge pack, fast lead out, and big surge coming up the middle.

        It happened in the blink of an eye. I’m still trembling.

      • Tom says:

        Wonder if it was the same triathlete goon (or maybe a diiferent tri-geek) who crashed me out in a crit earlier this year?

        Many of them are aerobically fit, but have poor bike skills.

        • fsethd says:

          No. A beginner rider with enough engine to dash up at the last minute after sitting in for four laps, got gassed, touched a wheel, boom.

    • R.C. White says:

      Dominic, that would be the ideal in a realistic world but these grope rides are filled with neophytes who feel that their expenditure or powdered drink mix gives them the right to get in the mix. Talk to Ivan Domniguez and he’ll tell you they have infiltrated the pro ranks as well. One local guy went from Cat 5 to Cat 1 in little more than two years; no time to build depth in skill or experience there, just speed. I agree with you; pay your dues and prove you are worthy of respect and position in the peloton. But we’re living in West LA, the land of entitlement and overblown egos(writing checks they’re forcing other people to pay for). For every 10 new riders that you help, unfortunately there will be that one who ignorantly responds “F-off, I know what I’m doing” and then rides his front wheel into the mech of the bike in front of him. And it only takes one bad rider to take down ten, as we’ve seen.

      This is a relatively new phenomenon, as I’m sure you know. Unfortunately there are too few people in positions of influence banding together to re-establish the protocol that made cycling a fun-fest as opposed to a fear-fest. The lone voice that calls a negligent rider out gets all the flack and the unskilled rider goes un-corrected. I even head someone say “let it go, it’s Sunday” recently. REALLY??? Because it’s Sunday it’s okay to ride like an asshole and endanger the well-being of everyone else? What about Tuesday?

      So far we’ve all gotten off easy; a broken bone, a cracked frame, all things that can be replaced or repaired, albeit not cheaply. But one of these days, someone we all know very well, a good friend perhaps, probably a skilled rider as well, will hit the deck and he or she will not get up.
      When they do open their eyes they will be staring at a white flourescent-lit ceiling surrounded by the soft beeping of medical monitors and the taut, worried faces of their family. Worried not only because the person they love and depend upon is seriously injured, but worried also about the enormous medical bills, how the mortgage is going to get paid and whether they will lose the house. Forget the kid’s college fund, that was gone the moment he/she hit the pavement. Weeks later when they wheel him/her out of the hospital, permanently assigned to four wheels, a live-in nurse, and an assured early grave, there will be a moment to reflect on whether it was worth it.

      The best pre-race admonishment I ever heard was at Sea Otter just before the Expert Men’s Dirt Crit: “Okay, Expert Men 35+. Most of you guys have a job, a mortgage, and a family to support. You want to be walking at the end of this race. Okay, Racer’s ready…”

      “We hang together, or we’ll all hang separately” – B. Franklin

      As Boss Paul once said: “Some men, you just cain’t reach, so you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it… ”

      I for one, hope not.

      • fsethd says:

        Dom’s point is the best one, right? We need to step up and call people out. It can be done respectfully, but it needs to happen. Of course, it’s hard to be respectful when your heart is in your throat.

      • channel_zero says:

        For every 10 new riders that you help, unfortunately there will be that one who ignorantly responds “F-off, I know what I’m doing” and then rides his front wheel into the mech of the bike in front of him.

        So, so true. I have to check the holy cycling scriptures for this one.

        Unfortunately, it isn’t new. I’ve been off the bike for 14 years now and it was true more than 15 years ago.

        Overall though, you are exactly right.

    • fsethd says:

      Hard for people to swallow this, because it’s true.

      Since it’s a public ride on a public road, anyone can join, and they do. So the question becomes, what to do? I can’t enforce anything because it’s not “my” ride. It’s been around for decades.

      However, I can — and henceforth will — increase the length of my ride from four laps to five, increase the sprints from one to five, and tell people politely who’ve been dropped not to sit on my wheel or hop into my group. I love the phrase “you are not entitled.” Because in truth, you aren’t. And after taking a blow on the head at speed, I feel suddenly less charitable than I did this time a week ago.

      • R.C. White says:

        Yeah, it’s a dilemma of sorts. One “leader” can’t do it. It takes a posse willing step up and crack a few eggs, day in, day out, and exert some heavy peer pressure. Eventually the herd will learn, but, yup, it’s a tall order given how chaotic the rides have become. Spare the rod and spoil the child has created a dangerous environment. Same thing is happening on the LG rides. I know at least 20+ top riders who no longer do them on account of the bar being lowered.

        I came over to the road after 12 years of MTB racing. The first thing I noticed was that there was a lot going on that I needed to learn. Cat 1 MTB racer or not, I sat at the back for 9 months, stayed out of the rotation, learned how to spin, sit on someone’s wheel safely, learned how the peloton worked. After getting into the rotation, I found there was even more to learn, finesse, etc… There’s a lot of gratification to be found in learning how to ride well in a real peloton. It’s not all in the sprint.

      • channel_zero says:

        R.C. White’s right.

        You need some other willing participants.

        IMHO, breaking a group up into two or three is probably best. You need a leader in each group.

        At Encino, they’d do flying 200’s to set brackets. It worked well. I think maybe a drag race into the wind on World Way West (???) to sort it out into 3 groups would be best.

      • channel_zero says:

        We’ve already established several posts ago that the holy cycling scriptures in fact give you some kind of precedence for breaking big groups up because “the rider must sprint straight with all thy might in service of the Lord.”

        See? If you explain it to them like that, then everyone will understand.

  • Sidamo says:

    No-one’s picked #9 or #10? Losers.

  • Edmund Dantes says:

    Today, as I prepared to upload the dialogue for my newest short animated film about the wonders of Wanker logic, I learned that the site is no longer in business. There is nothing out there that compares. I’m afraid this will be the end of those films for good. But since I had the dialogue prepared, and I feel this needed to be said, here it is in the raw. You will have to imagine it is being said in that same choppy, sometimes hard to understand spoken word.

    Edmund: Hi Seth
    Seth: Hello baby seal.
    E: Baby seal?
    S: Yes. Baby seal.
    E: What do baby seals have to do with anything?
    S: It is what I say now most of the time instead of wanker. It means wanker.
    E: I am so confused. But anyway. I heard about the crash on the NPR. What happened?
    S: A flailing baby seal that didn’t belong at the front went and flailed all over the place and crashed out ten guys. The guy is such a jerk. He single handedly destroyed tens of thousands of dollars worth of carbon and forty seven million dollars worth of ego. But it didn’t happen on the NPR. It happened on the NPR.
    E: What? That is what I said. NPR.
    S: No, you said NPR. It didn’t happen on the NPR. It happened on the NPR.
    E: What the hell is the difference?
    S: You said NPR, which means New Pier Ride.
    E: Yes. And you said NPR.
    S: No. I said NPR, which means New Pier Race. It is different.
    E: Oh, I have never heard of the New Pier Race. When is it?
    S: It leaves at exactly the same time, from exactly the same place, does exactly the same course, and is made up of exactly the same people as the New Pier Ride. Isn’t that awesome?
    E: No. That is totally confusing.
    S: That is because you are a baby seal. It IS awesome. You just don’t know it. I know it is awesome because I made it up then wrote about it in my blog.
    E: What? You turned a training ride into a race?
    S: Yes.
    E: When the hell did you do that?
    S: Just two weeks ago. I made up the rules and wrote them down in my blog. Which makes them awesome. Do you want to hear the rules?
    E: No.
    S: Rule number one. There are no rules. Rule number two. There are no rules. Rule number three. There are no rules. Rule number four.
    E: What? Wait a minute! How many rules are there?
    S: Almost three thousand.
    E: Oh my dog!
    S: But I condensed them down to the 20 most awesome ones for my blog.
    E: And are they ALL the same?
    S: Yes, basically. With some subtle variation.
    E: So then how is it that this guy is taking the blame for this crash? By definition, he has followed the rules to the tee. Shouldn’t you take some responsibility for helping to create the situation?
    S: No.
    E: Why not?
    S: Because cycling is dangerous.
    E: What? You are saying that people crash because cycling is dangerous?
    S: Yes.
    E: Don’t you think that the correct argument is that cycling is dangerous because people crash?
    S: (pause) Go to the front!
    E: What? Didn’t the crash happen at the front?
    S: No. Just near the front.
    E: Oh, my dog! I am so confused.
    S: That’s because you are a baby seal that needs to be clubbed.
    E: What does that even mean?
    S: It means you are a wanker. But not in a good way.
    E: Oh, my dog!
    S: Have you seen the results?
    E: What results?
    S: The results of the NPR so far this NPR season?
    E: What?! There is a season?! And results?!
    S: Yes. I am keeping track and posting them after every race.
    E: And everybody is just going along with this?
    S: Yes, like baby seals. I won the very first New Pier Race and so far, my team has won every race.
    E: Let me guess, you are in the individual lead?
    S: No. I’m in second place.
    E: Wait. You just admitted to being the first loser?
    S: No way wanker. First worst, second best.
    E: Oh, my dog!
    S: Go to the front!

    • fsethd says:

      You are a cruel, biting, funny dude. I’m laughing, if you can laugh through chagrin.

      Maybe one day you can fix the problem for us, which is this: Let’s ride hard and easy and be friends and bitter competitors and be safe while doing something lethal with modesty and arrogance while we enjoy something that is brutally unpleasant until it finishes, after which we can’t wait to do it again.

      And cut me this much slack: I didn’t invent cycling.

      And then let’s see you put up and make it better.

      Funny stuff, all essence and no context. Which web site was it that you used to put these up on?

      • Edmund Dantes says:

        From my heart and soul, I think you deserve a great deal of credit. You regularly do stunningly beautiful work. You and your writing command and inspire. I have the utmost respect for you and I can see that an overwhelming majority of others in the local peloton reflect this sentiment. I see it in their eyes. I see it in their response to your work. Mostly I see it in the way they follow your wheel.

        We are following your lead and so you have become our leader; like it or not; realize it or not. Now be good to us and lead us well. Show us you are not simply some velo-mounted Pied Piper; undeserving.

        I remain anonymously yet faithfully yours,


        PS – It was XtraNormal via YouTube. As of now, there’s just no viable alternative.

        • fsethd says:

          Kind words, but there’s a lot of conflict in trying to ride fast, ride fun, ride with a group, ride safe. Your dialogue exquisitely dissects it, and makes me reflect on these conflicts … brilliant writing, unfortunately.

      • Edmund Dantes says:

        I guess the most important message I’m trying to convey is this (and don’t forget this is all being said with complete respect):

        We are all following your lead. This is true whether you like it or not. It is true whether we realize it or not.

        If you’re going to lead us down a rabbit hole, don’t decide it’s too dark down there for your liking and abandon us.

        Speaking for myself, some of your FB posts recently feel very much like you have done exactly this. “Hey, it’s not my ride”, “I don’t own NPR”, “It was here before me and will be here long after I’m gone” “You guys can do what you want but here’s what I’m doing from now on” etc.

        Nobody expects you to fix all the inherent risk or any of the antithetic truths of cycling. Leading doesn’t mean changing who you are. Just get us the hell out of this rabbit hole. Do it your way and with your integrity. It will be totally awesome. I believe this.

        And, to me, the “two group” approach is desired. Look at how many people have mentioned it as a solution. Some of them are quality riders, I might add. How many others are scared to voice that opinion? G3 has a whole bunch of guys who would gladly take charge of a B group. Put all the Cat5s and non-racers there. B group can leave 120 seconds after A group. Just give us something; anything definitive. At least as definitive as the gift of The New Pier Race (which was brilliant, by the way).

        But then, who am I to say these things? All I know is that it’s dark down in this hole. I’m looking around and I see a lot of lost people.

        • fsethd says:

          I’m not going anywhere, except Philly for four days. Skipped out this morning and got checked out by a doc, who told me to take pain pills and go home; x-rays negative. Had a nice pedal around the Hill.

  • Al Lakes says:

    Blame the newbs…

    What’s a beginner? I know a bunch of guys who have been riding for 5, 10 years but are too afraid to do fast group rides. They’re decent bike handlers (most have backgrounds in bmx and mtb) but they let the mythologized reputations (“you have to be a PRO to do the Rose Bowl!”) distort their perceptions of the true risks. I only see a few new guys every season and they’re pretty tentative in their initial appearances. It’s kind of a natural selection. I know the Westside and South Bay have their own culture, but self-preservation is universal and Tri-Dorks are the exception. Anyway, I just think most riders wont attempt an NPR ride until they’ve gained most of the experience they’ll need to not take out 20 other riders. So, theory 17? Sometimes shit happens.

    Btw, Seth, buying the book when I get my mac air back from the apple store. Gots the kindle app on the thing…

    • fsethd says:

      Awesome! Thanks!

      Skill is relative, and you can never be more than a tiny bit better than the people you ride and race with.

    • joe demunk says:

      in my experience, what I’ve seen is that it’s not a question of beginner v. experienced riders in these situations it’s the difference between “training” rides and “group” rides – riders that are serious about their racing and want to perform IN RACES… they go out an do “training” rides, objective based riding with a predetermined and agreed upon protocol that is just one step in a much bigger training plan designed to make said riders better RACERS. “Group” rides, on the other hand are kind of like faux races – there isn’t really and training going on – it’s ride hard at the front for as long as you can and drop as many as you can – Training rides are safe, manageable, include opportunity for leadership and mentoring. Group rides on the other hand are made up of many riders with varying objectives, skills and fitness – it’s chaos – and dangerous (and yes, fun) – so, IMNSHO – it’ not a question of setting up 2 “group/ faux race” rides (the same dorks that push to the front will think they;re entitled to the fast group anyway) – set up one group that want’s to “train” and another that wants to just ride hard .. offer 2 distinct options .. it will be very illuminating to see who joins which group

  • Jeff Gandy says:

    If you join a group with a guy who describes the ride as a “beatdown” you get what you deserve.

  • Noel says:

    Jeff, it’s not a group ride so much as a practice circuit race. Most of us know each other well and have either raced together for years or trained together for years. LA is a big small place. Seth has been promoting this ride… I stopped doing it when I stopped racing.. the risk to reward wasnt worth it, I got tired of yelling at people (especially those that get dropped and cut over to rejoin and then try and contest the sprint. And yes, I have ‘won’ the sprint so I feel I have the right to an opinion), I saw too many folks that had no right to be at the front, and I got tired of yelling to be let back in line when I was doing a lot of work for the sake of keeping it hard, and… I stopped burying myself on the bike to be a happier person. That being said, shit happens.. and people happen. There’s a bad crash on the ride every few years just as there are in crits. It is what it is. It is fun, typically safe enough, and we have a uniquely deep well of skilled generous riders (Suz, Bahati, Rudy,.. dozens and dozens dozens really) in LA only matched in number by strong enough to sit in but not experienced enough to know they suck… it makes for some interesting moments. We are a community here… and we will work it out. In the mean time… it’s easy to remember days past when newbies and the less fit sat on back and the guys up front were given respect… but somehow those days exist larger in my memory than they do in fact. We had a great guy die this year on a super safe wide crit course… we do look out for each other.. and this moment will have an impact and then be forgotten as they all have. Shitting on Seth for trying to write out loud stuff for our entertainment and that exists just to knit together some form of community… in this huge ass city… misses the point. The other thing is it’s our winter… maybe time to nix the idea of a winner on the ride and just use it for steady hard tempo for those that need 40 minutes of the good stuff mixed in with their base. If you’re reading something Seth wrote its because he’s trying to entertain you and make meaning. It’s just a fucking bike.

  • Jim Karlovec says:

    I can only narrow it down to 8, 9 & 13. I’m too dumb to consistently follow 8. Too slow to consistently perform 9. And since 13 doesn’t happen often enough I will commit to being that guy.

  • […] South Pas prioritizes sidewalks over bike lanes. Best wishes to Seth at Cycling in the South Bay, who hits the pavement hard in a gnarly 10-bike crash caught on video; he credits his helmet with preserving his brain matter. […]

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