September 2, 2015 § 41 Comments
When my eldest son Hans went off to college a few years ago I wasn’t sad. I was happy. He was embarking on adulthood and you could tell from the way he dashed up the escalator at the airport to board the plane that he couldn’t get to college a minute too soon.
We didn’t go out there with him and move him in or check to make sure he knew how to do his laundry, eat his dinner, wipe his ass, or put on condoms. We just waved goodbye and watched him go. My wife was sad but I wasn’t. I knew what kind of great time he was going to have, and how much better, infinitely better, it was going to be than it would be staying.
And it was.
I visited him in Philly twice, once during his freshman year and again when he graduated. We weren’t exactly helicopter parents. More like deep space probes.
When he returned to California after three years with an infinitely valuable degree in philosophy, he moved back home, got a job tutoring high school kids, and began saving money to retire his share of the college debt. He worked eight hours a day, often six days a week. He paid $300 a month in rent and slept on the living room floor on an old futon.
He never complained, but he never waxed exactly eloquent about sleeping on the floor and having one corner of the couch as “his” hang out space. He commuted to work on his brother’s too-small bike and learned just how fucking deadly it is trying to “share the road” when the other sharers want you dead.
He got harassed by the PV cops for being a shade too tan and looking poor with an old backpack pedaling that too-small bike, he rode in the rain and he rode in the heat. Every month he got stronger going up Hawthorne, and many was the night he came home lathered in sweat but grinning.
All the while he was plotting his escape, of course, a teaching stint through the Fulbright Commission at a public high school in Austria. He got waitlisted for the program, causing me to wonder this: How can a kid named “Hans” with great grades from a great school who studied a semester in Berlin NOT get the first job on offer in a country where they speak German? Answer: That’s how the world is.
When the call came he was ready, but the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Postal Service were not. His paperwork only barely arriving in time thanks to the ineptitude of bureaucrats who truly, deeply, and profoundly do not care, he packed up his thing, singular, and I drove him to the airport.
In a year’s time we had talked, walked, laughed, listened, hugged, disagreed, drunk our morning coffee together, eaten home cooked meals of varying quality, hustled down to Baskin-Robbins for late night ice cream, and even had a couple of slugfests on the bike. I had so much I was going to tell him on the way to the airport, but suddenly we were there and it was all unsaid.
An angry limo driver crowded us as a scowling cop motioned him to get his bags and me to move the hell on. Hans reached over and gave me a hug. “Love you, Dad,” he said, and hustled away from the car, across the island, and towards the terminal’s doors.
The strapping, loping, graceful, beautiful man glanced back over his shoulder and smiled. I warmed from the inside out in a giant pulsating wave, then had to bite my lip hard to fight back the tears, which, like all good rivers, flowed anyway.
September 1, 2015 § 16 Comments
Although I generally despise the “off season” let me say that I’m really looking forward to tomorrow, which is the first day of September, which in turn marks the first day of my off season.
I need a break. For the first time in more than 30 years I didn’t flame out in early April, to which I can only credit having finally learned that you can’t keep training hard once race season starts, and to this little pearl of wisdom: The older you get, the less you recover.
It was an exciting year of racing even though I only fell off my bicycle once, at the BWR going around a turn with my head down into a cactus. A smattering of top-ten placings hint at even more mediocrity to come, which is encouraging. Best of all, I have no idea how many miles I rode this year, but it was at least 500, maybe even more.
In addition to the euphoria of not having to lace up my cycling jockstrap for a while, there was the sad news about my sobriety. “What sad news?” you ask. “The sobriety,” I answer. “That’s the sad news.”
But every sad occurrence is balanced by something not totally awful, and in this case for the first time in four years I won’t be entering September with the awful, heavy, painful dread of cyclocross hanging around my balls. I sold my ‘cross bike and won’t be buying it back. Thank you Major Bob for cutting the seat post so low that I couldn’t ride it even if I wanted to.
Will I miss not racing for a few months? Probably. What joy compares with having “Payday” Johnny Walsh, alleged teammate, chase me down in a breakaway with two laps to go so that he can score a $20 prime? Johnny, next time just come up to me after the race. I will give you the twenty dollars and a spare inner tube.
What thrill compares with bridging to the monsters of the crit peloton, Pat Bos, Derek Brauch, and Thurlow Rogers, with two laps to go in the 40+ race, only to get mown down and discarded by the hungry peloton and finishing so far back that they didn’t even put me on the results sheet?
What joy compares with getting dropped at Boulevard, dropped at Punchbowl, dropped at Lake Castaic, and dropped at Bakersfield? I know! It’s the joy of having my saddle fall off with one lap to go at the Poor College Kids RR and the super, super, super joy of having pro photographers like Danny Munson and Phil Beckman take exciting photos of me whizzing around a corner looking fast when actually I’m in 78th place with one lap to go.
And of course 2015 is ending with a sort of sputter, as all years in profamateur cycling end. The great SPY-Giant-RIDE p/b GQ6 team is merging with Monster Media to form … what? SPY Monster? Media SPY? Team Blurge? And then the best of all reasons to take a break in September is so that I can properly evaluate the high dollar offers pouring in from masters teams around the state who want my services. Perhaps I’ll hire an agent.
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August 17, 2015 § 16 Comments
I got this email over the weekend and it made me smile.
Good morning Master Sensei Seth-san!
I was out riding this morning and after being motivated by a lady that I briefly chatted with at the Hawthorne light, I hoped to connect at some point on your Sea Beans ride and actually buy you and the others a coffee. However, I got waylaid and detoured on my journey and never saw you.
More importantly than buying you a java, I wanted to thank you for the impact you have made to me personally and are making in the biking community, maybe even unbeknownst to you. Waiting for the light to change, a lady and her friends pulled up next to me, and after I said “Good morning!” she asked me in an almost reverent tone if I knew Seth Davidson. I said yes, and that I loved your writing, and she said she reads your blog every morning and worries about something happening to you if you don’t write! That’s quite an impact! She will never race but she was definitely feeling the stoke of being out there.
As I rode away lost in my own thoughts, and having a Lukas Nelson song “You Were Always On my Mind” rattling around, I started thinking how you are on my mind on many of my own rides, and how many people you touch and how positive your influence has been in the biking community. I know I will never half-wheel anyone ever again, and when someone does it to me, I immediately think of your Lesson One to me years ago…and try to even up and tell them about the concept!
Sorry for the long rambling email, but I wanted to thank you for being you! I hope to see you out on the road again soon, and buy you a cup or chat a bit, but know you are there riding with me many times when I don’t see you!
It’s true that we never know exactly who is watching, or reading, or listening, and kind emails like this remind me at least to keep the “fucks” to a minimum!
2015 South Bay Cycling Award Nominees Announced
“Everyone Wants a Wanky”
Nominees were announced on Facebag over the weekend, and the Internet, although not completely broken, was forced to limp along for a day or so. There was a fair amount of sore-assedness, but a much greater amount of enjoyment and hilarity and fun, which, as one writer noted, is the point of the whole thing. Those looking for a nomination process that is fair, balanced, apolitical, and legitimate should definitely look elsewhere. So, here they are:
Date: October 17, 2015
Location: New facilities of the Strand Brewing Co., 2201 Dominguez Street, Torrance, CA 90501
Guest of Honor: Steve Tilford (just annihilated the field at Leadville to win his division with a time that bested many of the top riders in all categories)
2015 South Bay Cycling Hall of Fame Inductees: To be announced
List of Nominees
- 2015 Greatest Advocate: Michael Norris, Jim Hannon, Eric Bruins, Daniel Holloway, Greg Seyranian, Phil Keoghan, Kevin Phillips, Rahsaan Bahati, Chris Lotts, Don Ward, Marilyn Sonye, Gary Cziko, Martin Howard
- 2015 Best Bike Shop: Safety Cycle, Helen’s, Ted’s Manhattan Beach Cycles, Peyton Cooke, Sprocket Cycles, Smith’s Cycle, Win’s Wheels, Bike Palace, Penuel Bicycles, Cynergy Cycles
- 2015 Best Young Rider: Diego Binatena, Jules Gilliam, Sam Warford, Summer Phillips, Makayla MacPherson, Ivy Koester, Wulfgang Lochmiller, Tyler Fradkin, Sean Burkitt, Noah Schlosser
- 2015 Best Old Rider: George Pommel, David Mack, Ron Malloy, William Buckley, Greg St. Johns, Tim Gillibrand, Jim Heise, Vicki Van Os Castaldi, Leo Longo, Michael Hines, Marc Spivey, Jim Bowles, Jeff Beeson, Gil Dodson, Jon Stark, Greg Leibert, John Walsh
- 2015 Most Improved: Dan Kroboth, Michelle Landes, Arik Kadosh, Keishawn Blackstone, Paul Foley, Hani Freudenberger, William Alique, Patrizia Richardson, James Cowan, Charity Chia, Langdon Taguiped, Tyler Fradkin, David Holland, Francis Hardiman
- 2015 Best Club: Big Orange, Velo Club La Grange, Beach Cities Cycling Club, Bahati Foundation, PV Bike Chicks, South Bay Wheelmen, SPY-Giant-RIDE, Long Beach Freddies, Ironfly
- 2015 Best Event: Belgian Waffle Ride, 805 Series, CBR Series, Brentwood Grand Prix, Manhattan Beach Grand Prix, South Bay Cycling Awards, Telo, Flog Ride, Dave Jaeger’s French Toast Ride
- 2015 Wanker of the Year: Brad House, Seth Davidson, James Cowan, Chris Tregillis, Stathis Sakellariadis, David Perez, Jon Budinoff, Patrick Brady, Marc Spivey, Shon Holderbaum
- 2015 Belgian Award: Phil Tinstman, Thurlow Rogers, James Cowan, Jon Davy, Michael Marckx, Michael Hines, Dave Jaeger, Stathis Sakellariadis, Gavin Hoover, Marcel Hoksbergen, Mark Neumann, Jonathan Paris
- 2015 Group Ride Champion: Stathis Sakellariadis, Aaron Wimberley, Diego Binatena, Cory Williams, Craig Leeuwenburgh, Michael Norris, Cameron Khoury, Joe Yule
- 2015 Best Sponsor: Strand Brewing Co., SPY Optic, Surf City Cyclery, Basso Bikes, Bahati Foundation, Hot Wheels, Bike Effect, Chevron, Samsung, StageOne, Reback McAndrews & Kjar, GQ6, RIDE Cyclery
- 2015 Best Male Racer: Phil Tinstman, Cory Williams, Greg Leibert, Charon Smith, Rudy Napolitano, David Miller, John Walsh, Derek Brauch, Pischon Jones, Sergio Hernandez, Kevin Phillips, Aaron Wimberley, Scott Crawford, Daniel Holloway, Rahsaan Bahati
- 2015 Best Female Racer: Suzanne Sonye, Emily Georgeson, Shelby Reynolds, Priscilla Savord, Kristabel Doebel-Hickock, Meagan Jones, Robin Kaminsky, Peta Takai, Marilyne Fichant, Tiffany Meyers
- 2015 GC Award: Daniel Holloway, Diego Binatena, Greg Leibert, Rudy Napolitano, Craig Leeuwenburgh, Justin Warfield, Aaron Wimberley, Rahsaan Bahati, Robert Efthimos, Phil Tinstman
- 2015 Crashtacular Fred:Jay LaPlante, Chris Gregory, Dan Kroboth, Emily Georgeson, Pischon Jones , Michael Marckx, Marc Spivey, Chris Tregillis, Jim Bowles, Keith the Cruiser Dude, Robert Efthimos, Doug Peterson
- 2015 Strava KOM: Stathis Sakellariadis, Chris Tregillis, Brian Perkins, Tony Manzella, Oron Kotlizky, Lane Reid, Craig Hummer, James Cowan
- 2015 Most Happy to Help Others:Gerald Iacono, Craig Leeuwenburgh, Bob Spalding, Michael Norris, Rahsaan Bahati, David Wehrly, Gus Bayle, Michael Marckx, Casey Maguire, Marshall Perkins, Marc Spivey, Joel Elliott, Robert Frank, Eric Rodas, William Alique, Greg Seyranian, Jim Hannon, Michael Barraclough, Pablo Maida, Greg Leibert
- 2015 Most Fun: Gus Bayle, Joe Yule, Dan Cobley, Jay LaPlante, Joel Elliott, Peta Takai, Marvin Campbell, Sochin Lee, Chris Gregory, Michael Barraclough, Jonathan Paris, David Miller, Suzanne Sonye, Denis Faye
- 2015 Best Spouse/SO:Jessica Sharratt, Laura Martin, Julie Lansing, Debbie Hoang Efthimos & her parents, Jami Brauch, Rob Unversagt, Dexter Freudenberger, Carey Downs, Hani Freudenberger, Eric Richardson, Patrizia Richardson, Lynn, Jim & Nancy Jaeger, Jeanette Seyranian
- 2015 Ian Davidson South Bay Rider of the Year:Tony Manzella, Carlos Ristorcelli, Michael Hines, James Cowan, Stathis Sakellariadis, Chris Lotts, Craig Leeuwenburgh, Suzanne Sonye, Rahsaan Bahati, Aaron Wimberley, Phil Tinstman
And then for historical purposes, below is the list of winners from 2013 and 2014:
2013 Comeback of the Year: Greg Leibert
2013 Club of the Year: Big Orange
2013 Sponsor of the Year: SPY Optic
2013 Champion of the NPR: Eric Anderson
2013 Telo Champion: Aaron Wimberley
2013 Wanker of the Year: Brad House
2013 South Bay Hardwoman: Suzanne Sonye
2013 QOM: Kristabel Doebel-Hickock
2013 Strava Champion: Lane Reid
2013 Crashtacular Fred: John Walsh
2013 Junior of the Year: Diego Binatena
2013 Ride Animator: Josh Alverson
2013 Spouse or S/O of the Year: Yasuko Davidson
2013 Good Samaritan: Michael Norris
2013 Best Advocate: Jim Hannon
2014 Best Advocate: Eric Bruins
2014 Best Bike Shop: Peyton Cooke
2014 Best Young Rider: Diego Binatena
2014 Person Most Transformed by Cycling: Jonathan Paris
2014 Most Improved: Peta Takai
2014 Best Cycling Club: Wonton Heavy Industries, LLC (Robert Efthimos)
2014 Best Rider in Multiple Disciplines: Marilyne Fichante
2014 Wanker of the Year: Stathis Sakellariadis
2014 Best Promoter: SPY Optic
2014 NPR Champ: Eric Anderson
2014 Donut Champ: Derek Brauch
2014 Best Male Racer: Charon Smith
2014 Best Female Racer: Suzanne Sonye
2014 Best All-Around Rider: Robert Efthimos
2014 Crashtacular Fred Award: Not awarded because some chick with a broken arm ran up and snatched it. “I’m the crastactular Fred!” she said, so we gave it to her.
2014 Most of Life Wasted on Strava: Lane Reid
2014 HTFU Award: Phil Tinstman
2014 Larger than Life Award: David Perez
2014 Best Spouse/SO: Sherri Foxworthy
2014 Ian Davidson South Bay Rider of the Year: Kevin Phillips
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August 16, 2015 § 12 Comments
Yesterday we rode, and Hans had big plans. Rather, he had one big plan: Beat down the old man. A scoring system was set up: ten climbs, one point per climb. Hans had a big dinner, went to bed early, and got up at six for our seven o’clock departure.
Hans never gets up at six.
“We’ll grab breakfast halfway through,” I said.
“It’s always hard to get re-started after a big midway meal, but it will be tasty and fun.”
“Okay!” he said again, with a funny grin.
We dropped down Silver Spur and headed to Malaga Cove for Climb #1, the PVDN-Flog Ride Climb. He hung back and wasn’t even trying. Weird, since the climbing contest had been his idea. Halfway up the climb I sat up. He came up to me, happy and chatty. “Okay,” I thought, “he’s changed his mind and it’s just going to be a cruise-along day.” I was kind of tired anyway.
Same thing for Climb # 2, the Cove Wall. En route to Climb #3, the Lunada Bay Alley, we got passed by a baby seal all kitted out. The baby seal got a good ways ahead. Something was grinding on Hans. “Hey, Dad,” he said.
“Can I go get that guy?”
“Sure!” I said.
He unleashed a 1,500-watt flat pedal pop and I barely got on. The baby seal was bludgeoned over the head, skinned, and tossed in the front yard of a $10-million mansion. “Okay,” I thought. “Game on.”
On Climb #3 he hardly even tried.
Climb #4, Millionaire’s Row, he soft pedaled.
On Climb #5, Via Zumaya, the only animation he showed was when we stopped to take off our shirts and were passed by a brace of seals. (Note to reader: riding a bike on a hot day without a shirt is the best.) We remounted, clubbed, and continued to the top.
The best part of the ride happened next, and it never happens on “serious” rides. We stopped at the cafe in Malaga Cove and each had a bacon-cheese-egg breakfast burrito.
Climb #6 was the Golf Course Climb. “Man, that was good,” I said. “But my legs feel like they’re filled with sand now.”
“Really?” he said.
“I can barely pedal,” I said at the bottom of the climb. I reached for my water bottle. As the nipple touched my lips I heard a sound and saw a blur. 1500 watts and he was gone.
“You fucker!” I cursed, jamming the bottle into the cage. I came around the hairpin and he was a tiny dot, but I could see him crouched over the bars, digging deeper than a bad cavity.
I gave it all I had, everything. He was starting to sway and had slowed noticeably. He looked back and saw me gaining. As we approached the summit he beat the pedals with his tennis shoes and gave it one last lunge, taking me by a wheel.
“That was the sneakiest, lowest, back-stabbingest bit of doucherie I’ve seen since the last time I raced Chris Hahn,” I said.
“Thanks!” he said, happy as could be. “I knew you’d like it.”
And I did.
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August 15, 2015 § 10 Comments
There are a handful of people who regularly shoot local bike races, consistently delivering off-the-hook imagery, for money.
We call them professionals.
Danny Munson, Brian Hodes, Kristy Morrow, Phil Beckman … it’s a small club. Yet the work of these photographers in an age when everyone can take a thousand snapshots with a smartphone, one of which will be worth keeping, stands out.
Phil is at almost every race, carrying 4,000 pounds of camera gear, consistently delivering the goods, and what’s more, he always has a word for me as I’m getting dropped, coming off the back, quitting, falling off my bicycle, or wiping away the tears. So I called him up on Monday after checking out his website, PBCreative.
CitSB: How long have you been a photographer?
Phil Beckman: I started dabbling with my Dad’s cameras in high school, and since I raced moto, I took cameras to races and shot occasionally between races. That was in the mid-70’s.
CitSB: Around the time they invented dirt?
CitSB: Then what?
PB: I graduated from high school and went into photographic technology in college, it was a major that prepared you for a darkroom career, and since the last place I wanted to spend my life was in a room, or in the dark, I moved to California in 1981 looking for light, wide open spaces, and for my dream job of being staff editor at a moto mag. I immediately found the position, it was amazingly lucky, and learned a lot about photography and writing. I was a photojournalist for ten years in the 80’s.
CitSB: Oh, so you’re one of those camera guys who, you know, actually had a job in the media and was trained as a journalist.
PB: I guess you could say that.
CitSB: Instead of just buying some shit on eBay and shooting your cousin’s wedding and boom, becoming a pro?
PB: There was no eBay then.
CitSB: Oh. Right. Then what?
PB: The magazine was focused on ATV’s, which weren’t my thing, I was a two-wheeler guy. The the 3-wheeler safety issues came to light and the direction of magazine couldn’t handle it, and it folded.
CitSB: Worst communist liberal plot ever.
PB: What’s that?
CitSB: Taking away the freedom of foreign and domestic corporations to manufacture, sell, and promote vehicles that killed or horribly maimed people. But The Donald’s gonna fix that, you’ll see.
PB: Um, okay.
CitSB: What happened next?
PB: The Mac appeared in 1987 and turned me around with the desktop publishing revolution, I lasted ten years on the forefront of that. I went out on my own in 1989 doing self-publishing, writing, and layout for clients from my moto days. I did dealer communication pieces for twenty years, how-to guides for Suzuki and other major corporate clients.
CitSB: I still want to hear about how you scooped up a bunch of shit on eBay, shot your cousin’s wedding and became a pro photographer. That’s how it’s done, right?
PB: Everything changed with the Great Recession in 2008. Power sports took a dive and Suzuki laid off half their office in Brea, senior management left without work after a whole career with the firm, it was ugly. But it pointed me back to photography. I couldn’t see anything else I wanted to do and my wife was so supportive—we celebrated our 30 year anniversary in October—and I decided to make photography in business.
CitSB: So you shot your own anniversary and turned pro?
PB: If you want to put that in, I can see you’re dying to say that, go ahead.
CitSB: Well if I say it then it’s me making shit up. You have to say it.
PB: (Sighs.) So I shot my own wedding anniversary and turned pro.
CitSB: After buying a bunch of gear on eBay.
PB: … after buying a bunch of gear on eBay.
CitSB: That is so awesome. Shows how anyone can be a pro photographer. My reader is going to love this. Then what?
PB: So much had changed in photography with the switch to digital. The principles are the same and techniques are the same,but it’s a whole different world on the equipment and processing side.
CitSB: I always wondered how you guys dipped these digital cameras in developing fluid without gumming up the works.
PB: Actually, we don’t use darkroom chemicals for digital cameras.
CitSB: Then what?
PB: I had picked up bicycling as training for moto because it was quick and easy training, and it was on two wheels. I got serious about cycling in the 90’s, getting burned out on racing moto. I first did MTB then road, and did a lot of crit racing and have the scars to prove it. I was a solid time trialist, but otherwise pack fodder 20 years.
CitSB: Oh, brother. Not another one of those “I used to race” wankers. Pin on a number, bro.
PB: Well, I got a nerve injury in a ‘cross race 2009 and haven’t been able to ride since then. I can’t sit on a bicycle anymore.
CitSB: Cry me a river. Race on a fuggin’ recumbent. That would be rad. Then what?
PB: I got my BFA at CSU Fullerton, with an emphasis on graphics. Now I primarily shoot bike races. I was doing some moto earlier but now it’s strictly bicycles. I personally love wildlife, nature, and macro photography.
CitSB: I hate to get personal, but how the fugg do you make money off cyclists? They are the cheapest, thievingest, most worthless bunch of deadbeats alive.
PB: That’s not the case with photos. My primary market is the riders at the races, and even though I’m getting more business to the brands selling photos of the heroes if I have the right image, 90% is from the riders, and I profoundly appreciate their support. Without them I’d be doing something else, and the “something else” would be grim. It’s the riders in SoCal that are letting me live my dream, and pay the bills while doing it.
CitSB: Hmmm. Most of the racers I know steal pictures like a klepto in a supermarket run by blind people.
PB: In one sense of course the business end is hard. The business and marketing end is way harder than the shooting. I try to market and earn new business and clients, but the shooting is the fun part. The weather can be a challenge, especially the heat. Still, I love being out in the middle of nowhere just hanging out waiting for riders.
CitSB: A few years ago every bike race had twelve people each with $50,000 in camera gear. Now it’s basically you, and occasionally Danny Munson. What’s up with that?
PB: Some of the bike photo boom was people like me getting laid off looking for something else to do. It seems like easy work. “I like to take pictures,” …
CitSB: “And I shot my cousin’s wedding … ”
PB: Right. So there was a lot of price undercutting for shoddy work taking away business from the veterans. It’s easy to buy a camera and hard to make money off of it. The competition is very difficult. The prevalence of smartphone photography has skyrocketed so now everyone’s a photographer. But ultimately if you’re looking for a really good picture that captures a certain thing at a certain time in a certain way, you’re going to need a professional with the right tools and the right skills to deliver it. There will always be a market for the best, it’s just a bit harder and perhaps more competitive.
CitSB: Anything else?
PB: There’s no way I could have even ventured out without my wife’s support. It’s been three years, and she’s as solidly behind me as she was from day one.
CitSB: Do you have any photos I can post on my blog for people to shamelessly steal?
PB: I’ll send you a few.
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August 14, 2015 § 9 Comments
The Flog Ride v. 2.2 was a huge improvement over the last 48 times. Rather than bombing the descent and crashing in the hairpin we pulled over and regrouped in the parking lot of the golf course, where Rico crashed into a curb at 5 mph. This proves an axiom: No matter how safe you make something, stupid can make it lethal. Fortunately Kirby was unhurt except for the vicious bruising and abrasions to his ego. It was also a reunion of sorts, with all three crashing victims in the entire history of the Flog Ride present along with the newest inductee.
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August 12, 2015 § 19 Comments
Lots going on in the South Bay this week, some good, some bad, some gay.
- There’s a Saturday beer pub crawl, meeting at 5 Guys Burgers on Lomita and Hawthorne for lunch, then cruising over to Strand Brewing Co. around one o’clock, and from there we’ll hit Monkish Brewing, Smog City, and Absolution. This is our Gay Day in LA Bike Ride, organized as an alternative to Brad House’s Mt. Baldy Time Trial. Brad is a huge supporter of the Confederate flag and a 2nd Amendment gun nut. He sneaked in a “sponsor” logo for Oath Keepers at his LA Circuit Race this past April while billing the race as a Bahati Foundation partner and “in memory of Jorge Alvarado.” He also solicited support from the extremely inclusive and progressive Velo Club LaGrange. I seriously doubt that these partners would have been so quick to lend House a hand if they had known who Oath Keepers is. You can support Brad’s race, homophobia, and racism, or you can have a fun time sampling the South Bay’s best. Craft water available for those of us who don’t drink.
- Winningest bike racer in SoCal returns to LA. Josh A., the only racer in Southern California who has won every race he’s entered in 2015, showed up on yesterday’s NPR. Following *someone’s* attack in the neutral zone, Josh kept the pace lively until someone spotted a beer can on the side of the road. *Someone* infuriated the peloton by attacking and following breakaway rules, i.e. don’t stop unless you’re killed or in the presence of law enforcement. The attack of *someone* came to a bad end when a cop showed up at the red light after the turnaround. On Lap 4 a glorious victory was taken by Cory W. as he and Wily scampered through an orange light to claim the spoils.
- Boozy’s return. Famed South Bay mechanic and hops expert Boozy P. reappeared at NPR and later that evening again at the TELO training crit for his semiannual bike ride, during which events he beat dozens of people who train 300 miles a week but apparently don’t drink enough beer.
- Cobley Corner claims another victim. The most dangerous turn on the bike path, Cobley Corner, claimed another victim last week when Tyler F. fell and suffered horrific, life-altering, catastrophic injuries. Graphic photos below, viewer discretion advised.
- South Bay Cycling Awards Sponsored by SPY Optic. The date is October 17, starting at 5:00 PM at the new Strand Brewing Co.’s massive facility. I tried to pimp it on Facegag, but they limited my spam to 450 “friends,” as if I had any. Mark your calendar. Twenty categories, guest speaker Steve Tilford being flown in (he’ll also join us for the morning Donut Ride), and I’ll get to show a crowd what I look like when I’m sober, and what a tux looks like with a SPY t-shirt.
- Local wanker gets fit just in time to quit riding. If you’ve been seeing Rico Borracho, the former Big O-turned-Hot Wheels Cat 3 sandbagger out on the roads, it’s been a welcome return. Rico had to leave his Cat 3 career to finish school and get a job a few years back, and he’s in between gigs, starting a new job designing satellites in two weeks. I’m sure none of our Garmins will now work. During the break he’s been killing it and getting super fast, laying down his trademark Rudy-Stathis swerve in order to get rid of wheelsuckers and old people. We’ll miss him when he goes off to the salt mines again.
- New nickname anointment. NJ Pedalbeater, the infamous character who rides 300 miles before lunch, wins the Cat 3 BWR division solo, and crushes everyone with his mad descending skills that keep him glued to the borderline between victory and catastrophic injury, was being talked about to someone who didn’t know who he was. “I don’t know that guy.” “EVERYONE knows him!” — More descriptions followed — “Ohhhhh! You mean Head Down James?” So, done. Thou art henceforth Head Down James.
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