Donut report 3/7/20

March 7, 2020 § 1 Comment

Yesterday’s Donut Ride was a little thin. Thin on participation but thick on drama.

In an ever shifting landscape of rules and etiquette, the dominant playbook seems to require that only riders who complete the entire ride, and who complete all fast segments of the ride such as the glass church and Western, are eligible for points.

The first climb to the Domes was won by Chris Tregillis, but after discussion and mutual assent the point was given to Stathis Sakellariadis.

The second climb to the Domes was won by Jon Petrucci, but since he did not complete the ride, no points were awarded for his crushing climb or for his solo sprint at Hawthorne.

The final climb up via Zumaya was won by Stathis.

POINTS TOTAL

Stathis Sakellariadis 8
Leo Bugtai 4
Jon Petrucci 3
Seth Davidson 3
Aaron Wirthwein 3
Cole Lewis 2
Andy Engel 2
Arturo Anaya 2
Julien Bourdevaire 1
Rich Mull 1
Nigel DeSota 1
Charon Smith 1
Kevin Phillips 1
Matt Brown 1

END


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Donut report 2/29/20

February 29, 2020 § 5 Comments

This was a Leap Year Donut. Even though it only comes around every four years, it comes around every week.

This edition featured a “race” Donut instead of a “ride” Donut. Usually the ride starts very fast and stays fast until the Switchbacks. Then it goes faster and a small group rides away.

Having completed the first and likely the only hilly road race of the season, race-fit riders decided to ride cautiously; most of them, anyway. It wasn’t until after Terranea that Wes Morgan, Greg Leibert, Jon Petrucci, and Hector Morales attacked and rode away.

When we reached the Switchbacks, Alex Barnes rode hard to pull back Jon and Greg, but the easy pace out meant that the chase group had sixteen riders in it. Once on the climb no one attacked, but the pace stayed fast. I got dropped early, and rode the rest of the way with Fred Mackey and Alex. Fred has been riding a lot and is going strong. It was also good to see Troy Emanuelson, slimmed down and riding well.

Greg, Jon, and Zach Labry had joined Chris Tregillis on the Switchbacks. Zach pulled into the headwind to Turn 1, after which Greg accelerated to Turn 2. Out of Turn 3, Jon attacked, dropped Zach, and gapped out Greg. Approaching Turn 4, Chris closed the the gap to John. Leo Bugtai bridged on Crest with Kyle Jax, who was finishing a scorching Homes/Domes as part of the ROD ride. On Crest, Kyle came roaring through and stayed with Jon to the top, just ahead of Chris.

Leo scored the first Donut point of the day. He has been logging a lot of miles and it shows. There were two Vancouver riders from “Ful Gas” and they rode well. Sam Wise of La Grange also rode hard and fast the entire day, but I didn’t get his name because he was either too far ahead or I was too out of breath on his wheel. Chris Tregillis and Greg Leibert came in after Leo/Jon, making an excellent showing for the Very Old Bicycle Rider crowd.

The second time up, things broke apart on Via Colinita. Many of the riders who had played cat-and-mouse during the first climb were suddenly doing a “rest day,” and a smaller group was now setting the pace. When we got back to PVDN it was Chris, Jon, the Vancouver guys and Sam, Stathis Sakellariadis, Rebekah Potter, Ivan Fernandez, and one or two others. Chris continued to push, and barked at me for shirking. Sorry but, well, not really …

Things fell apart quickly on Crest. Jon attacked again and got the second point of the day.

For the Hawthorne sprint, Jon attacked early with someone else. There was a big tailwind on the Glass Church rollers and the La Grange rider split the group and strung out the remainder. I tasted the bitter oily burn of breakfast bacon as it jumped up from my stomach into my throat trying to hold his wheel. We caught the red light at Terranea but I doubt we would have caught Jon as he had a good gap and got the third point of the day.

The pace was slow to Via Zumaya, and then Stathis attacked. Only a few riders could follow; I wasn’t one of them. Leo and Jon fought it out for the point and I think Leo got it although if he didn’t I’m sure someone will tell me.

In another four years or seven days it will all mostly happen again.

POINTS TOTAL

Stathis Sakellariadis 6
Leo Bugtai 4
Jon Petrucci 3
Seth Davidson 3
Aaron Wirthwein 3
Cole Lewis 2
Andy Engel 2
Arturo Anaya 2
Julien Bourdevaire 1
Rich Mull 1
Nigel DeSota   1
Charon Smith  1
Kevin Phillips   1
Matt Brown 1

END


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Donut report 2/22/20

February 22, 2020 § 6 Comments

It’s hard to do a ride report when you’re in the back, then off the back …

The group was tiny because it’s the end of February, everyone has peaked, and the hard riding season is over. Plus, there was a road race today, a real one.

After this weekend folks will return to their off-season work, because it takes a solid eleven months of building to peak for that one big race in which you get dropped on the first climb.

I didn’t have to drive out to Pearblossom to get dropped. Evens Stievenart, Kevin Phillips, Alex Barnes, and that kid from Long Beach did it for me right here in my own backyard.

After getting shelled I gave up and pedaled sans group, however, they came by on Western just before the turn up 9th Street. Then someone on the front made the call to effectively cancel the Donut and do the “let’s just ride along” ride, a/k/a Friendship Park, where everyone just labors along to get up and over.

So today was an “off Donut” day and I guess the #fakepoints standings remain unchanged since it was a different route. Maybe I’ll not be so slow and broken next week and have something more interesting to report. Maybe, but not likely.

POINTS TOTAL

Stathis Sakellariadis 6
Seth Davidson 3
Aaron Wirthwein 3
Cole Lewis 2
Andy Engel 2
Leo Bugtai 2
Arturo Anaya 2
Julien Bourdevaire 1
Rich Mull 1
Nigel DeSota   1
Jon Petrucci    1
Charon Smith  1
Kevin Phillips   1
Matt Brown 1

END


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Donut report 2/15/20

February 15, 2020 § 6 Comments

First, a correction from last week. Cole Lewis of the USC cycling team took the first ascent to the Domes.

Second, honorable mentions for this week’s Donut:

  1. Alex Barnes. Despite having logged 32 miles for all of 2020, Alex hit out on the Switchbacks and broke the field. I had the misfortune of being on his wheel for a while until I wasn’t. Then Alex dropped himself out of the lead group, overhauled me as I limped along, and dragged me all the way to the top. Not bad for 32 miles …
  2. Chris Tregillis. At the bottom of Western I said, “We can go now,” and Chris went. Many in a greatly reduced field made it even more greatly reduced as he motored all the way to Weymouth, caught his breath at the red light, and charged off again with Tom Duong in tow. Tom got punched out the back at Via Colinita and Chris stayed away all the way to the base of Crest. Not bad for a very vintage piece of meat who is only now “getting into shape.”
  3. Rebekah Potter. Lit it up coming out of Malaga Cove and it took a full-gas effort by Scott Fleming to haul her back. She then crushed it the second time up to the Domes, when only a handful of the fastest riders were able to get there ahead of her. She towed me the whole way up Crest, dropped me at the end, caught her breath and then contested the Hawthorne sprunt.
  4. Robert Efthimos. This dude always gives it 100%, is always smiling even when you know he wants to puke, and is a positive addition to any beatdown. The last time he visited the South Bay was to sharpen his TT form on the Flog, at which time he racked up four lap wins without breaking a sweat.
  5. Greg Leibert. Still the strongest and most consistent aged fellow anywhere. Shows up on the Donut once a year and when he shows, you knows. Ouch.
  6. Scott Fleming. Older than dirt, this Colorado import mashed and smashed from start to finish.
  7. Coffee kids. Daniel Oh and Jerone (?) of some coffee shop bike club beat the snot out of everyone all day long, then had the nerve to say they “really liked” the Donut Ride.
  8. Dishonorable Mention to Jonathan Paris for showing up to the Donut Ride without a helmet. Wow! What a terrible example to the children. And what an awful potential expense to Michael Barraclough’s tax burden should irresponsible JP get a head injury and wind up on Medi-Cal for the rest of his life. People who ride the Donut without helmets should be banned. Sirrously.

Okay, the nuts and bolts: As mentioned, Rebekah began the prayer services out of Malaga with an offering to Satan in the form of the charred bones of those left behind. THE Dan Cobley helped chase her down, which sucks because it’s Dan’s third bike ride in a row and if he has a fourth, then a fifth, he will again be one of the mightiest wheels in the South Bay, if not the universe.

Evens Stievenart countered when Rebekah was caught, and he, Jon Petrucci, and Scott powered away; they were nabbed on Paseo Del Mar thanks to relentless chasing by Fred Mackey, who rode like a house afire. In Lunada Bay Evens punched it again and took some company with him. We got no rest at Hawthorne because the light was unfortunately green, but more hard, single-file chasing was the only thing that brought Evens back.

The pace was stiff through Portuguese Bend, and at the bump before the PB Beach Club Evens struck out again and stayed on the gas all the way to the bottom of the Switchbacks. The field was smeared out behind him like melted butter in a red-hot skillet.

I slipped in between traffic, which then halted to let the other riders through, and that’s when Alex raced by, all 32 miles of him. “This better get me a blog mention,” he snapped, smoke issuing from his orifices.

The coffee kids, Chris, and Aaron Wirthwein made the final selection, and Aaron, of USC cycling, impaled everyone on his very sharp sword for the first point of the day. It wouldn’t be his last.

Rather than lollygagging back to PVDN, Fred grilled and drilled from the college to the start of the reservoir descent, shelling people right, left, and center on the false flat between Miraleste and the drop-off. From cliff’s edge Jonathan took the reins and single-filed it, tire edges smoking in the hairpins until Cobley blitzed by to finish off the downhill death job.

One thing about the Donut this year is that normally “neutral” sections have been neutered, and now it’s basically a matter of, “Can you pedal? Then pedal harder.” It has raised the quality of the ride exponentially.

The second time up the Domes, Greg Leibert led the chase all the way from the bottom of Better Homes to the base of Crest, with everyone hanging on for dear life. We made the right-hander and Aaron took off like he’d been in bed and someone had yelled “Pancakes are ready!” and only Daniel Oh could follow. I’d been sucking gas at the back with Stathis Sakellariadis, and punched it just in time to make it up to the leaders. Everyone else died.

Then I realized why following the leaders, especially when they are named “Twenty Something” is always a bad idea: in seconds I cracked and was passed by Old Money Leibert, and then Stathis, who awoke and sprinted up to the break.

I flailed by myself until Rebekah came along and thrashed me all the way to the top. Again, it was Aaron who bested all comers.

For the Hawthorne sprunt people were pooked. I hit out about three-quarters of the way up the Glass Church, and after the group caught me, Kevin Phillips countered and would have stayed away were he not caught by the light at Terranea. It greened, I pedaled, and there was a tiny selection left consisting of Scott, Emily Georgeson, Rebekah, Aaron, Jerone, and Old Money Leibert. Aaron made it look easier than shooting turkeys in the supermarket, slingshotting off my wheel after Emily scorched it leading up the final rise before the sign.

On the run-in to Zumaya no one wanted to pull through, so I sat and blowtorched through my two remaining matches. We hit the bottom of Zumaya and everything in both legs seized as the fragments of the day all passed me by. Honors went to Canadian Matt Brown, a visitor wearing a jersey saying “Provincial Champion.” I didn’t know if that meant he was a fan of Madame Bovary or what, but turns out he can go very fast when he so decides.

Thus endeth the report of our day of the Donut, February 15, 2020.

POINTS TOTAL

Stathis Sakellariadis 6
Seth Davidson 3
Aaron Wirthwein 3
Cole Lewis 2
Andy Engel 2
Leo Bugtai 2
Arturo Anaya 2
Julien Bourdevaire 1
Rich Mull 1
Nigel DeSota   1
Jon Petrucci    1
Charon Smith  1
Kevin Phillips   1
Matt Brown 1

END


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Donut report: 2/8/20

February 8, 2020 Comments Off on Donut report: 2/8/20

I missed the start this morning due to an emergency room detour, but rode the course in reverse and met up at the college. It looked like a smaller group than normal. Many were doing the Rock Cobber in Bakersfield, and others were “saving” their legs for the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre tomorrow.

According to wire reports, Cole Lewis made mincemeat of all comers on the first climb to the Domes.

I hopped in with Stathis and Fred Mackey on Western. It wasn’t really a fair fight since the group behind stopped at all the lights. Fred and Stathis were on the gas, with Fred hauling us in his dazzling Origin Seizure Suit all the way to 9th Street, after which Stathis took off.

I sat on his wheel all the way to the top of the Domes, where he collected a point.

Then on to the Glass Church, where a small group of Ivan Fernandez, Cole Lewis, Nigel DeSota, Julien, and Wes Morgan pinched off from the group in Portuguese Bend and hung out the “We Are Gone” sign.

Over the final bump in PB, Fred grilled and drilled all the way to the church, where the escapees had a big gap. I got across, catching just as they crested the final bump. There was a mad dash for the #fakesprunt, with Nigel leading everyone out and Cole getting the #fakewin and the #realsocks, as today’s point winners each got a lovely pair of South Bay Cycling socks.

Fred and Leo Bugtai raced all the way to Via Zumaya; I took a couple of weak pulls but after being off my bike for 11 days and stuffing my guts with Turkish delicacies, all I can say is, “That’s poor preparation for the Donut and thank Dog I had the brains to bail on the Rock Cobbler.”

Julien crushed everyone on the climb, but Stathis, Cole, Rich Mull, and Rodrigo (?) made a go of it to no avail. It was good to see Colin the Canadian getting back into form after a lot of hamstring/leg issues. I went home and had a real, old-fashioned Donut coma.

DONUT STANDINGS

Stathis Sakellariadis 6
Seth Davidson 3
Cole Lewis 2
Andy Engel 2
Leo Bugtai 2
Arturo Anaya 2
Julien Bourdevaire 1
Rich Mull 1
Nigel DeSota   1
Jon Petrucci    1
Charon Smith  1
Kevin Phillips   1

END


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Super comfy South Bay Cycling Socks by Forte Sportswear

Donut report: 2/1/20

February 1, 2020 Comments Off on Donut report: 2/1/20

By Foreign Correspondent K. Fox
Dateline: Wankerville, CA

If you thought the day before CBR was going to be chill  at the Donut today, well, it wasn’t. 

Leaving the SB in Redondo, the initial neutral climb out of Redondo leading into PV was soundtracked by a couple of riders lamenting the sad state of racing events currently  sanctioned by USA cycling:

“Are you racing this year?”

“I was going to, but every time I find a race on the calendar, it disappears. I saw that USA cycling will be doing a Nationals for Gran Fondos this year, with wins just for the segments. I guess people don’t want to race the whole ride anymore.”

“That seems to be the direction it’s going.”

But not at the Donut today!

Racers heading out to CBR tomorrow used today’s ride as a stone to file the sharpening edge on the axe tip of their racing legs, priming them for optimal racing tomorrow. That, combined with no red lights, made for a tough, fast, and steady ride out to the Switchbacks.

Coming out of Malaga, Jon Petrucci, as could have been predicted, laid down the watts on his favorite climb, the kicker at the cove, putting all in the box early on, at a pace aptly described as “Fuck.”

Jon P. and Ivan Fernandez took turns keeping the pace hard into the roller just before Lunada Bay, where Wes Morgan attacked, Jon P. going with him, and stringing out the field all the way down to the stop sign. My computer said 43.7 mph going over the second bump and down into the bay. Wes held his gap through Lunada, with some hard chasing by Scott Fleming, Attila Fruttus, Bob Reichmann, Andy Engel, and Tom Duong, and the group was able to rein them back in on the Pacheco bump coming out of Lunada Bay and back onto PVDW. 

The pace stayed hard all the way up to Hawthorne, where the light was green  and Wes again took this chance to attack on the small downhill, Scott Fleming joining him, getting a lead on the group they would hold until Portuguese Bend. 

The group led a constant chase, pulled by David Wells, Attila, Andy, Chris Tregillis, and Bob Reichmann, who closed the gap for the group on Wes and Scott just as we came up the last wall out of the bend and into the pre-Trump flat. 

On the short flat the pace slowed, but only so Wes could catch his breath for another attack, which he launched on the first climb going towards Trump, with Scott Fleming again going with him. This smashed things apart by the time we were into the descent leading up to the last hill before the Switchbacks, where the pace stayed blistering until the left turn to the climb.

Now the climbers took off, with Andy, Stathis Sakellariadis, Chris, Ivan, Attila, and Greg Seyranian fighting for the Domes win. But in the end it was Andy who took it, with Stathis coming in second.

Without Evens and Jon Davy, the ride through Western and San Pedro was rather neutral and back to a normal Donut pace, but at Via Colinita, with Arturo Anaya, Ivan, Greg, Andy, and Scott Fleming throwing down a crushing pace, the race for Domes 2 was on. It was again climbing smasher Andy Dengle who handily won, riding away with his second coffee card of the day, seemingly unbeatable on the hill segments. But! There was still one more to tackle…

On the way back through Portuguese Bend in reverse, the Methods to Winning duo of Charon Smith and Arturo Anaya hammered the group, aiming for the win at the church sprint, and it was Arturo who got it, narrowly beating “bearded guy” from Big Orange who almost took him at the sign. 

No Seth Davidson today meant that the flat and rollers from Hawthorne to the base of Zumaya was not a living hell, and it wasn’t until the right turn up Paseo Lunado that the battle for the climb began, with a small group of Rich Mull, Andy, Greg, and one other rider in green leaving the field for the race to the top. 

After winning both previous climbs and carrying a solid lead towards the top of Coronel, Andy was SURE he had the win…but at the stop sign just before the final 100 feet to the top and the end of the Donut, Rich Mull pulled around him, riding  away and getting the win up the final climb, in what Andy said was the “Quietest bike attack in history. I had no idea he was there.” Rich’s response “He practically had his arms already raised in the air!” Until you have crossed the finish line … you ain’t crossed the finish line!

DONUT STANDINGS

Stathis Sakellariadis 5
Seth Davidson 3
Andy Engel 2
Leo Bugtai 2
Arturo Anaya 2
Rich Mull 1
Nigel DeSota   1
Jon Petrucci    1
Charon Smith  1
Kevin Phillips   1

END


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Training plan

January 27, 2020 § 10 Comments

I was keeping a mileage log starting last November, but I gave it up in January because the numbers are so stupid. I’m averaging 55 miles a day.

Like I said, stupid.

When I quit driving I figured my recreational cycling would suffer because I’d be so tired from commuting everywhere. It doesn’t take more than a couple of client meetings in San Diego or Yucaipa before you start scowling at your bike.

I got crazy tired at first but then not so much. It took couple of months, and in December I reverted to my old recreational ways, that is, Donut Ride, with maybe an hour of motor pacing behind Boozy P. every now and again. In January the Flog started up, so that’s a solid 2, sometimes 3, hard rides on top of all the easy riding.

The result has been surprising. I’m riding better than I have since I was in my 20s. My endurance is sky high. Used to be, on Saturdays I suffered from a Donut coma, where I’d eat, shower, then lie immobile on the couch the rest of the day.

Now I take a quick nap and am fine. More often than not I’ll hop back on my bike to run an errand or two, and in my neighborhood an errand can easily involve 900+ feet of climbing. What matters even more from the standpoint of a delusional former masters #profamateur is that when the hammer drops on the group rides, I do okay, and more importantly, it doesn’t kill me.

A buddy was talking to me about my training, and he then sent me a link to something called polarized training, which is apparently what I do. Ride easy a bunch, and hard a little. I read the article and it really understates my polarization, both in time and intensity. A properly slow ride should be 50-60% of FTP, for 2-3 hours.

My slow ride yesterday after going full gas on Saturday’s Donut was eight hours and we covered maybe 80 miles. I don’t know my heart rate or FTP, but when I’m commuting or slow riding, I go so slow that it is literally effortless. I’ll get home and not even feel like I’ve ridden even after clocking six hours in the saddle.

Is this good for you? Does it make you faster? Is it a way to gain performance even as you age?

I don’t know. What I do know is that I spend so much time on my bike now that if I tried to ride with any vigor AT ALL on these slow rides, I’d be unable to make it through the week. And by “unable to make it through the week” I mean “unable to get out of bed.”

Here are some honest-to-goodness non-data results:

  1. I used to be able to barely hang onto the leaders during the Donut climbs, with maybe a single attack that was never taken seriously and always brought back. Typically I’d get dropped on the first climb, often as early as before the first turn. Now I can sit with the lead group, attack, and then counter. And then counter again.
  2. The Donut has four hard efforts, Domes #1, Domes #2, Hawthorne Sprunt, and Via Zumaya climb. I’ve been doing this ride since 2006 and have had a total of five days when I’ve felt good at each hard section. The last FOUR DONUTS IN A ROW I’ve felt good on every single hard section.
  3. The Donut has two traditionally neutral sections, from Western in San Pedro to Via Colinita, and the section after Hawthorne until Via Zumaya. For the last four weeks I’ve ridden each of the neutral sections full gas, in addition to having good legs on the climbs.
  4. My Flog times don’t appear to have changed much judging by who’s ahead of me, but I’m not tired the rest of the day. In fact, there is no more KDS on Thursday (Keyboard Drool Syndrome).
  5. I can ride 100-150 miles one day and motor pace, do the Donut or the Flog or another hard ride the following day and feel fine. Then follow the hard day with another big volume day … as long as it’s really slow.

None of this means much in terms of racing, obviously, because group riding ain’t racing or even close, but it’s something to feel this good and have this much endurance in the face of so much volume. Fox Training Systems insists that the modern emphasis on rest and recovery is way overblown, and that cyclists should focus on riding more, and Facebooking less.

Not sure she’s wrong.

END


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Donut report 1/25/20

January 25, 2020 § 2 Comments

Old friend Michael Smith is in town for a couple of days, so he came by this morning for sourdough pancakes to go along with his Donut. At the rollout I spied Kevin Salk, coming back after a long convalescence for his hip surgery; props. The best way to go fast is to go fast!

Michael stoked the fire coming out of Malaga Cove with a hard pull all the way to the top. In Lunada Bay, Fred Mackey took the reins and was then followed by in-from-Vancouver David Gerth, who then passed the torch to Evens Stievenart. Evens broke the field into pieces coming out of Lunada Bay, and a lengthy red light at Hawthorne let everyone get back together.

Bob Reichmann closed a ton of gaps to bring the chase group back. The light turned green and coming out of Terranea speedometers hit 39.3; the pace was relentless all the way to Portuguese Bend, with Evens doing virtually all of the heavy lifting. At Trump the peloton broke apart, which was itself less than half of what had started so happily a mere thirty minutes before.

Evens kept the throttle open to the bottom of the Switchbacks then swung over. I accelerated, and was caught by a group that was now down to a handful. Evens then took another huge pull, I jumped once, and the remaining riders were David, Stathis Sakellariadis, Ivan Fernandez, Evens, and Chris Tregillis. David put in a long effort, throwing everyone into disarray, until Evens returned to the fore and towed us all the way to Crest.

I jumped again, we shed David and Ivan, and then Stathis sped away with Chris in hot pursuit. Evens chased hard, me tucked onto his wheel, and when he harpooned Chris I countered and finished just behind Stathis.

On the way down from the college an angry guy in a BMW tried to run over Jon Paris, who laughingly told him to “Hit me or get out of your car.” The guy swerved wildly again, and, smiling, JP said, “I’ll take your car, your wife, your kids, and your bitch. So let’s go, piggy bottom.”

JP is a super nice guy but he is scary AF when he smiles and takes you up on your empty bs. The asshole guy, now frightened, said, “I wasn’t really going to hit you, man,” before speeding off.

On Western I hooked up with Evens, Ivan, and Bob, who passed me going full gas. Evens dragged us to the base of Colinita, and I climbed us back to PVD East. From there it was The Evens Show again all the way to Crest. I accelerated a little at the bottom but it meant nothing. Ivan attacked just before the turn but Evens brought him back, and then I slotted behind Ivan until the road started to go up again. I hit it after Ivan took a pull and stayed away until the finish.

The chase group of Stathis, David, and ?? was followed farther back by a larger group, with Satoru Rokuta and a Big O teammate towing the riders all the way up PVD East and Crest in pursuit of Group Stathis.

In Portuguese Bend, Bob punched it hard on the Hulk Smash downhill, trying to close the gap opened up by Jon Davy, who had teamed up with David Wells as they made a strong bid for glory at the Hawthorne sprint. Just before we rounded the turn at the Glass Church, Michael attacked and shed everyone but Ivan, me, and David. Jon and Wells were still pretty far ahead and looked likely to make the move stick.

David countered Michaels attack, and Ivan and I struggled to catch on. We got over the top and David was now in no-person’s-land. Ivan put in a big effort to close most of the gap, I sprinted up to David and then caught Wells and Davy just as the road tilted up for the finish.

Gassed from their long solo effort, neither Davy nor Wells sprinted, so I took the belated birthday gift and zoomed for the #fakewin. Kristie Fox was first among the tiny handful of chasers, and she collected trophies for her efforts, no mean feat on these much-ridden segments.

As in weeks past, instead of sitting up and turning the stretch to Via Zumaya into a preen, I hit out at the light along with Ivan, Wells, David, and Michael. Each rider took a crazy hard pull until we got to Zumaya; the group was in hottest of hot pursuits and we only had a hundred yards or so at the turn.

Ivan attacked hard at the bottom of the climb and dropped everyone but Stathis, David, and me, and kept it in the big ring all the way over the first wall. David then slammed it all the way to the second wall, at which point Stathis attacked and dropped Ivan/David. I followed, barely, and we all regrouped on Via Coronel. Stathis was licking his chops as we approached Via Fernandez, attacking and riding away from the three of us. I cracked first, then Ivan, then David, but with a bit of recovery I was able to catch and pass them both and almost get Stathis at the line.

Everyone else arrived as we did; broken.

Donut standings:

Stathis Sakellariadis    5
Seth Davidson 3
Leo Bugtai       2
Nigel DeSota   1
Jon Petrucci    1
Charon Smith  1
Kevin Phillips   1
Arturo Anaya 1

END

PS: Notes sent in later by Chris T. that I was too harried to incorporate:

FYI, in the group behind you on the second climb, Davy pulled up Colinita, with David, and then when it got pitchy at the end of Colinita I launched. David and Scott Fleming clawed back up to me. Stathis sat in the whole way, to the point that I didn’t know he was there. Scott was gassed when we got to Crest, so he sat up at the light, and I was explaining the route to David. He and I swapped pulls up to the flat spot and then when it kicked up again I told him there was just under three mins left in it and he stopped the hammer. Stathis held on to the top while I chilled the last 500 meters [Ed. note–he means “cracked.”] 

At that point I was tired so I rode down and ahead for the sprint and Zumaya, and I stopped to help a guy with a flat. As you know, you got to the top soon after I did, even with me departing early from the base of the Switchbacks. I haven’t been riding much so that was my first full Donut in a long time, and I felt it, to the point that I just needed to go steady to get to and up Zumaya.


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Donut report 1/18/20

January 20, 2020 § 1 Comment

Back by unpopular demand …

This Donut didn’t get decorated with the #fakefisticuffs and #shoutypantsing of last week, but it was plenty exciting for all that. The ride rolled out with 40+ cyclists.

The pace out of Malaga wasn’t torrid, thanks to the absence of Jon Petrucci and thanks to Rebekah Potter not drilling and grilling from the gun. Giovanni DiOrio hit it with three other riders and they opened up a gap that held until Lunada Bay. The pace was hard enough to drop several riders, and when Evens Stievenart hit the gas coming out of Lunada Bay it was every rider for herself. Trinkets got harvested, which tells you something, as this course has been ridden more than once or twice …

We rode single file until the light, which thankfully was red. Greg Seyranian took a long pull up Terranea, and I mostly huddled at the back, where the field was greatly reduced.

Coming into Portuguese Bend, Attila Fruttus and I bumped handlebars for no apparent reason; I apologized and all was good. Out of Portuguese Bend things started to get a little bunchy until Attila launched just before Trump. That’s when Jon Davy rolled to the front and set the watt meter at “HARD” and steadily reeled him back, just in time for the bottom of the Switchbacks.

I jumped and a lead group formed. Several flurries later I was alone with Matt Noble of Methods to Winning, the team’s lone mountain biker, and man, can that guy hammer. He pounded me off his wheel and I sat up, eventually getting swept up by the chase group that included Kevin Phillips, Stathis Sakellariadis, and Evens Stievenart.

There was more attacking on Crest and I made a bid after the flat spot but got handily caught past the final turn by Kevin and Matt, who sprinted each other for the $15 Hi-Fi Espresso gift card, with Kevin taking the point.

There was confusion on the regroup, as Stathis rolled away by himself, later followed by a smaller group of four or five riders, and then the main group much later. I sat on Evens’s wheel until Via Colinita and then rode the rest of the way to the Domes, but Stathis had been there for a long time. Seems like the fireworks should wait at least until the bottom of Western, and other riders have a chance to regroup … no point was awarded by the commissaires for Domes #2.

For the Glass Church-Hawthorne sprint, Charon Smith led out his teammate Arturo after Davy made a huge effort to get them to the line; Arturo got the point and the coffee card.

Even though I’d gone early and been caught, I jumped as soon as the light at Hawthorne turned green; Charon and I motored for a while, then at Zumaya, Stathis caught on. He sat, attacked on the second wall, then dropped me past Fernandez; everyone else trickled in, in ones and twos.

Donut standings:

Stathis Sakellariadis    3
Leo Bugtai       2
Nigel DeSota   1
Jon Petrucci    1
Seth Davidson 1
Charon Smith  1
Kevin Phillips   1
Arturo Anaya 1

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Donut report 1/4/20

January 4, 2020 § 3 Comments

First Donut of the year? Total fuggin’ beatdown. Huge group of fifty knuckleheads. The festivities started off at Hi-Fi Espresso in the Redondo Riviera, where we had some excellent coffee and pre-ride b.s. chatter. Hopefully this will become the new launching pad for the Donut Ride; it’s way better than the Sckubrats down the street.

Point leaders:

Wily Greek: 2 points, Domes #1 and Zumaya Crown

Leo Bugtai: 1 point, Domes #2

Nigel DeSota: 1 point, Hawthorne Sprunt

Many of the South Bay’s softest pillow babies have been catching up on their beauty sleep and staying safely tucked into their beds at o’dark-thirty, with the skies sprinkling cats and dogs at least three times in December and temperatures dipping into the high 40s: certified leg-warmer temperatures. But some hardpeople know that both of the Southern California road races are fast approaching—Santa Barbara on January 25 and UCLA on February 22.

So while some are trying to figure out how to get rid of their extra egg nog, others are sharpening their table saws for the scarce chance to race up a hill for more than one minute. In the South Bay that means January Donuts have a few extra SHUs on the Scoville scale of spiciness. Today was no exception.

The cannonade started right out of Malaga Cove, with Nigel DeSota, fresh off having signed his first pro contract with Team Novo Nordisk, and Wes Morgan pairing up to drill it at 500 watts of welcome. Gio and a handful of wishful thinkers held onto wheels, with Strava Junior slowly pulling the ebullient bastards back with a Zone 4.628 lactic acid party in tow. By the top, the picturesque PV Cove view was the last thing on anyone’s mind, with the group of fifty blown apart only seven minutes after rolling out from Riviera Village.

There was minimal regrouping as Jon “Six” Petrucci closed the gap, seeming to enjoy his shiny new fitness along with Leo Bugtai. Davy Dawg, Ivan the Terrible, and the EA Sports, Inc. latched on and pulled through to keep the pace hot down Paseo Del Mar and out of Lunada Bay. Strava Junior and Six pressed to get away up the Pacheco Bump and along the PV West rollers to Hawthorne, with Leo, Wes, and Nigel keeping the pace vicious.

A healthy red light at Hawthorne allowed the twenty-five survivors a regroup. Sure enough, once the light turned green, Fred “Seizure Suit” Mackey teamed up with Strava Junior to remind everyone what it means to be part of the Fight Club at the front, with Mackey driving the duo to put a healthy gap into the group around Point Vicente, towards Terranea. 

But Six hasn’t been training for nothing, and he flexed and showed what he’s built over the past year under the tutelage of the Wily Greek: explosive attacking power with the aerobic fitness to sustain it. He bridged with Ivan, Gio, and Pornstache glued to his wheel. But the dwindling group of chasers had no intention of allowing much leash. The run-up to the Switchbacks featured a huge effort by EA Sports, Inc., who splintered the field from Trump to the base of the climb. The elastic seemed to snap on the pre-climb rise at Trump, with Strava Junior spring-boarding Six and Pornstache, to a 16-second gap to start the climb.   

As the group turned left onto the Switchbacks, numerous parachutes were pulled and the group took a breather through Turn 1, with everyone licking wounds, while Six and Pornstache held their gap. Leo lit the dynamite up the Switchbacks through the first two turns.I was second wheel, bad-bad-bad, and drifted to the back of a group featuring the now-dwindled group of Ivan, Nigel, Leo, Wanky, Fukdude, Wily Greek, and Hector, and we brought it all back together at Turn 4. Six and Wily held a small gap as the leaders approached the college, making the turn onto Crest to start the final assault to the Domes.

On Crest things got ugly, with Wily bridging to and shedding Six as I hauled the tattered remnants up around the bend to the flat spot. Six caught his breath, countered, and bridged to Wily, leaving the rest of us #sadface. On the flat spot Leo dashed away with Fukdude as I became a smear in the road. Pornstache overhauled me before the final turn. There was someone else up ahead but I’ve forgotten who. Bottom line? Wily drew first flood in the Donut leg of the Unified Title 2020, riding away with a $15 coffee card from Hi-Fi Espresso.

In San Pedro what had started ugly got a lot uglier. Andy Angle, who had been victimized by his pillow and missed the start, joined the group. It’s always bad news when he shows up, and today was no exception.

We got to 9th Street and Davy Dawg twisted the pedals all the way to Via Colinita so hard that there were only a few shards of melted flesh and bone remaining when the road got steeper. There was a big rush and the survivors battled up Via Colinita with EA Sports, Inc. harpooning the wannabes on the first part of the climb before detonating. (Note to People Who Want to Get Fit by Fucking Off: EA Sports, Inc., did an hour of motor pacing yesterday.)

Leo, I, Andy, Guido, and Wily were all that remained back on PVDE. Andy shelled everyone on Crest easily, and Chef Gio, who had somehow wound up in front of us, provided a huge pull for much of the climb. At the end, Leo and Wily duked it out for the Hi-Fie coffee card, even though Andy outdistanced all. Andy suffered the ignominy of a PBD (pillow baby disqualification), as he’d missed the first climb and was therefore out of contention for the remaining points, thank dog.

The Hawthorne Sprunt was complicated by a bitter headwind that left a relatively large group to contest for the non-existent top step of the non-existent podium. I struck out early at the Glass Church but did nothing aside from drag a bunch of very fast people over the bump. Nigel DeSota left everyone in the shade to claim his coffee card, but not before a select group of dreamers including Dawg, EA Sports, Inc., Ivan, Guido, Anthony Freeman, Wes Morgan, and Pornstache ratcheted it up to light speed for the finish.

Rather than sit up and preen after Hawthorne, the gauntlet was again thrown down and the sprinters kept it full throttle all the way to Zumaya. Everyone who’d not been around to contest the sprunt was distanced and forced to chase hard, many to no avail. I was easily caught on Zumaya by Andy, then dropped by Wily, then dropped by the Hun, then dropped by Ivan, until I settled in with Casey at the Bat and Bearded Dude.

I tried to come by Casey but he wouldn’t have it and was content to set tempo, chasing Ivan to no avail, before riding me off his wheel. Andy claimed the win but again, PBD, and Wily claimed the Hi-Fi Espresso coffee card.

Crazy good riding by Turbo Tom Duong, who stayed with the front group on every key section of the ride. Fukker better not start beating me. Cameo appearance by Grams Tregillis, who hit out early on the Donut and didn’t get caught until Trump. When Chris is back on form, folks, look out. Also, Hun Watch 2020: Attila actually got faster as the ride progressed, which is a big bummer. One more Donut and he’ll be eating raw skulls. Ditto for Pornstache, who has gone on a sex diet in order to improve his riding. Seems to be working.

Denis “The Wanker” Faye closed a huge gap after Trump, bridging to EA Sports, Inc., and allowing a large portion of the group to reach the bottom of the climb together. Christian Quant showed up with a mega-beard; hopefully his legs will soon follow. Big thanks to Baby Seal, who in addition to turning in an impressive non-ride, did yeoman service delivering badly needed tubes and CO2 not.

Great news for people who want to fuck off, ride easy, pose, and post up on Facegag and the Gram–there are a lot of rides in the South Bay where you can do all that #fakery and more, but apparently in 2020 the Donut isn’t one of them.

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Young gun, old rusty knife.

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