A good time to die! (in)

December 7, 2016 § 19 Comments

Because the Palos Verdes Estates City Council thinks that policing the Lunada Bay Boys on Mom’s Couch to the tune of $65,000 a year is more important than sticking up five lousy BMUFL signs, and because the Palos Verdes Estates City Council thinks that the best way to handle cycling deaths is to ignore them, there is going to be a special die-in on December 13 to ring in the holidays just the way that the council apparently wants: With lots of dead bodies.

Die-in location: Malaga Cove Plaza in Palos Verdes Estates, CA.
Die-in time: 4:00 PM to 4:45 PM.

Dead riders will show up with their bikes and create a “die-in” protest on the lawn in front of Malaga Cove from 4:00pm – 4:45 pm. Following this demonstration, corpses and protesters will meet inside Malaga Ranch Market  for dinner and to brief everyone on the city council agenda items. The city council meeting starts at 7:30 PM. At the council meeting attendees will submit speaker cards and discuss agenda items so that the city council can see that we’re vitally interested in the workings of city government. Since the council has adopted a policy of putting “open public comment” at the end of the meeting, in conclusion attendees will also submit speaker cards to talk about the importance of bike safety and the immediate installation of BMUFL signage. The goal is to make the city council as interested in cyclists’ desire to stay alive as cyclists are interested in the council’s discussions of tree trimming and PVE being contaminated with yucky Torrance dirt (true item of past council discussion).

Informational banners, signs and flyers instructing on the three deaths in PV, the effectiveness of BMUFL signage, the effects of Lunada Bay /PVE localism in politics, and locations where collisions have occurred will all be part of the protest, along with graphic visual demonstrations and reenactments of cyclist/car collisions using live volunteers.
Everyone who shows up will get extra bloody tee-shirts to die in.
The city council meeting begins at 7:30 PM and will run for as long as people show up to speak. Hopefully the city council will continue to see that their policy of outwaiting, outlasting, and outsitting cyclists isn’t going to work. Cyclists want those five BMUFL signs and want them now.

If you’re curious about die-ins and how they work, here are some links to die-ins used in other places to bring attention to the casual killing of people on bicycles.

1.https://www.theguardian.com/environment/bike-blog/2013/dec/01/stop-killing-cyclists-die-in-tfl-protest. This parallels similar barriers to action that have been experienced in Palos Verdes Estates.
2.http://stopkillingcyclists.org/. This  explains the  process behind cycling advocacy, and the measures needed to make tangible changes in traffic engineering. It includes links to many other sites, including one of their own called “stop the killing.”
There will be free pizza at the city council meeting, although the council has now kicked hungry cycliss out of the city offices and required them to eat outside. If you’ve been promising yourself that you will show up and get involved, this is a great time to do it. The more corpses, the better.

END

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Not just propping up the corpse!

December 6, 2016 § 15 Comments

Despite the departure of Vlees Huis and Boulevard Road Race from the SoCal racing calendar, the patient is not yet dead.

This weekend, on December 11, the final crit of the year will be held at the CBR course in Compton. Flyer here.

It’s an upgrade race, and as in the last two races, promoter Jeff Prinz is offering cash primes to Cat 4, Cat 3, Cat 2, and women racers. The total cash pot is $2,500.00, doled out in $50.00 primes. This makes $6,200.00 in cash for Jeff’s Oct/Nov/Dec upgrade races that my firm has shoved into the open palms of eager bike racers, and not just any bike racers, but the ones who are motivated to race, upgrade, and head into the New Year ready to tumble. Er, rumble.

Several people have asked me what the “plan” is.

Don’t they know I don’t have a plan?

My theory has long been that people don’t come to bike races due to a number of structural, generational, and technological problems, to wit:

  1. USAC is actively killing racing (structural)
  2. Kids don’t grow up riding bikes (generational)
  3. Strava (technological)

None of these problems is going to be fixed with a few thousand dollars in cash primes, at least not by me.

But there is another answer to the question “Why don’t people come to races?” and you can only get there by twisting the question like this: “How can you get people to come race?”

The simplest and most direct answer is money. If you give away money at bike races, sweaty, aggressive athletes will come to tear it out of your clenched fist. The only real issues are how much money you give away, and how you distribute it.

If the prizes only go to the best finishers, then it will simply reinforce the pattern that is already so deadening. The top ten are always the same people and everyone else is filler. If the prizes are too small, even if they’re  distributed so that a much larger percentage of the peloton goes home with money, it won’t be enough to encourage people to come back. “Honey, I won five bucks!” probably won’t do it. Except at my house.

Put another way, if every CBR crit had $20,000 in cash prizes, distributed broadly throughout the men’s and women’s categories, race fields would be full. Perhaps it wouldn’t happen overnight, but it would happen over the course of a season.

Full fields work their own kind of magic. They bring families and friends and the curious. The races are harder and therefore more exciting. There are more people paying attention to the results so the competition is harder and therefore more exciting. The fuller fields and greater attention bring more tents, more sponsors, and more advertisers. The more electric sidelines make the races harder and therefore more exciting.

Entry fees rise. Prize lists deepen. More people want to race. In the last three events, upgrade events held long after the “season” is over, turnout has been gangbusters, surpassing Prinz’s expectations by far.

There are lots of problems with the simplistic model of “give away money and people will take it.”

But for 2017, until someone comes up with a better plan, we’re going with it. See you on Sunday.

END

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Lunada Bay Boys on Mom’s Couch ponder new treehouse

December 4, 2016 § 7 Comments

The PVE City Council, backed into a corner by class action litigation and threats from the California Coastal Commission, which was none too pleased at the illegal barbecue and drug patio erected decades ago by the Lunada Bay Boys on Mom’s Couch in order to allegedly privatize public coastline, intimidate non-resident surfers, and help preserve the peace and tranquility of a snobby, mostly-white enclave, recently took jackhammers and bulldozers to the illegal “fort” and razed it to the ground.

The Boys on Mom’s Couch may have even mounted a late-night attack on the bulldozing equipment and did their best to destroy more private property by scratching up some of the equipment and vandalizing the ignitions, as if these were mere annoyances that could be frightened away with the same teen-age tactics they used to key the doors of visiting foreigners from Torrance.

While the city, led by fearless Mayor King, reluctantly agreed to tear down the illegal expropriation of public property, the city nonetheless held firm against the Coastal Commission’s demand that the Lunada Bay bluffs be made open and inviting to the public through construction of benches and viewing areas. According to angry city residents, such artificial, man-made blemishes would blight the pristine view of the coastline, unlike the ugly homes and the illegal fort that had blighted it for the last thirty years.

Cycling in the South Bay sat down with second generation Lunada Bay Boy on Grandma’s Couch Whitey Spanksalot to learn how the “boys,” none of whom is under fifty, intend to deal with this setback.

CitSB: Has the destruction of the fort put the Boys on the back foot?

Spanksalot: It’s a day that will live in infamy, sure.

CitSB: How will you recover?

Spanksalot: We’re planning a Lunada Bay Boys Treehouse. Already got the funding from Mr. Nalrak.

CitSB: Funding for what?

Spanksalot: The signage.

CitSB: What signage?

Spanksalot: Oh, you know, the usual stuff. “No gurlz aloud.” That kind of thing.

CitSB: Gotcha. And where is the treehouse going to be erected?

Spanksalot: We got our eye on a couple of local parks. We kind of like that one over by the little league field.

CitSB: More public property?

Spanksalot: Mr. Nalrak says that’s the best way to keep out the gangs that have been ruining PV for the last forty years.

CitSB: There’s a gang problem here in addition to you guys?

Spanksalot: Oh, sure. Them social biker gangs. They take over the roads, they were the ones who vandalized all the equipment. Keying up cars, throwing rocks at people in the water. We’re filing a class action lawsuit against them. Mr. Nalrak is gonna help us.

CitSB: Who’s this Nalrak fellow?

Spanksalot: Oh, he’s a big deal. Uses a bunch of different names. Lives by himself. No kids. No wife. No friends. Lonely old sagbottom dude. Super expert on sending emails and stuff using fake names. Even has one of those computer web site things.

CitSB: Wow. A web site?

Spanksalot: Oh, yeah. He’s top shelf. Doesn’t even sleep on his mom’s couch, has his own gas card. In his name.

CitSB: Sounds like a pretty successful fellow. Is he also a surfer?

Spanksalot: [Laughs.] Him? Naw! Little bald-headed dude couldn’t stand on a surfboard if you nailed him to the deck and the board to the floor. He’s kind of a joke but he has it in for the social biker gangs, and we like that.

CitSB: So, a treehouse and a “No gurlz” sign. Next steps?

Spanksalot: Oh, yeah. We’re going to take over the little league snack shack until we get the treehouse built. That way we can have sumpin’ to eat. Slugs McGinty will take care of them little brats if anyone raises a stink. Just like we took care of that dude from Muslania.

END

 

Good times

December 3, 2016 § 12 Comments

Don’t ever tell a man riding a bike in his underwear to grow up. It ain’t gonna happen.

After the world’s most important NPR breakaway and tactical team imaginary victory on Thursday, we returned to the Center of the Known Universe.

At CotKU everything appeared normal. Douggie had quit the NPR early and/or been dropped so that he could arrive at CotKU first and be the first one seated in the best place in the sun with the first cup of bad Sckubrats coffee.

Since it was 8:00 AM, the Manhattan Beach moms had begun to trickle in from school drop-off, trolling for bored yoga instructors. Several important business meetings were taking place where 50-something dudes in jeans excitedly negotiated billion dollar ideas that were “gonna be the next Facebook” and “already had Silicon Valley investors super interested” and etcetera.

The line was longer than usual, which means it was pretty long. I got my coffee and came out to the bricks. Major Bob was sitting there, characteristically, and still wearing his helmet, uncharacteristically.

“Well,” he drawled. “I might as well take my helmet off.” No one paid much attention until he did. After that, much attention was paid.

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Major Bob had decided, and we’re still not sure why, to give himself the feared “circle beard.” There are few things in life that are truly self-explanatory, but this is one of them. Aside from the gasps, howls of laughter, incredulity, and immediate whipping-out of our personal activity trackers to memorialize this historic event, several things became clear.

However, the clarity didn’t really appear until the photos went up on Facebag.

What became clear was that Major Bob’s circle beard was really a very clever Rohrschach test designed to evaluate how you deal with unexpected events, because nothing could have ever prepared anyone for something like this, coming as it did from a calm, even-keeled, retired military man.

Here were the reactions, and they were instructive because each comment showed not simply how they viewed the world, but how people really viewed themselves:

  1. You are awesome. It is so cool that you can do funny things and laugh along, even if it’s at yourself.
  2. This is terrible in every way.
  3. You deserve to be ridiculed.
  4. I envy the fact that you are so carefree.
  5. I envy the fact that you don’t have to go to work.
  6. “You made a bad decision!” followed by “Why am I reprimanding a grown man?”
  7. This has made you unattractive as a sexual partner.
  8. You have become famous.
  9. I love this.
  10. You are courageous.
  11. This is terrible but it is also great.
  12. “What have you done?” followed by, after seeing other posts, “This is great.”
  13. You must now shave your pubic region.
  14. Jesus would not be pleased.
  15. I am now fearful.
  16. This is lol.
  17. I love you.
  18. I was afraid to post this on my own Facebag page.
  19. Major will be angry at me for posting this on someone else’s Facebag page.
  20. What were you thinking?
  21. Wow.
  22. You look very happy.
  23. [Misogynistic epithet]
  24. I will not desert you no matter how bizarre you look.
  25. You resemble a literary figure.
  26. I do not understand your theme.
  27. This has made my stomach hurt from laughing so much.
  28. You are retired, obviously.

Interestingly, no one told him to grow up. At least all of the other children pedaling around in their underwear understood that.

END

The chase

December 2, 2016 § 12 Comments

I did the NPR yesterday and am prohibited from describing any aspect of it using words such as “suffering,” “hard,” “brutal,” or any other term that would qualify as “piffle.” So instead of focusing on how hard and brutal and punishing and pifflish it was, I will instead focus on some practical riding tips for all the dumb bastards out there.

You may be wondering why piffle should suddenly be banned from a blog that is essentially nothing but. One of my regular hecklers, Trolliam Stone, rightly recognizes that virtually all cycling-related race reports or recounts of sessions on the indoor trainer are nothing more than piffle casseroles and etcetera. He also coined the phrase “and etcetera.”

I have tried to point out that when you remove the piffle from a race or training report you are left with “I rode my bicycle that day,” which is hardly enough to justify a $2.99/month subscription, which price, by the way, Trolliam has never paid despite religiously reading this blog and abusing me for it and probably stealing from it in closed gay porn chat groups that I don’t belong to yet.

However, keep your enemies close, and your frenemies closer, and to his credit and etcetera, an occasional piffle-free set of paragraphs isn’t a terrible way to start the day.

So back to the NPR. I noticed a couple of things as four of us, then three of us, and finally one of us pedaled our bicycles ahead of the others in such a way as to keep them permanently behind us.

The first thing I noticed is that when you are in a small group of people, four in number, pedaling rather strenuously, you should point shit out. This is so that the people behind you don’t run over the thing you yourself have scrupulously avoided. It is like being sure the next person has toilet paper after you have dropped a few corn-studded bowl breakers down the pipes. It is common courtesy.

The second thing I noticed is that a lot of people wear earbuds when they are in a group. This is rude and stupid. If you can’t ride your bicycle without music you need to evaluate your brain. That is, why is your brain so idle and empty that it must continually be filled with the noise of other people? Why can you not pedal your bicycle and have thoughts of your own for an hour or two that are pleasing or interesting? Why must you drown out everything with your tunes?

Especially, why must you do it when the sound you drown out is crucial to staying alive or even winning? In our small group of people, whittled down to three, I tried to advise my teammate about an auspicious moment to pedal more vigorously, such that it would cause the other remaining member of our small group to be unable to pedal along with him and my teammate would pedal first across a generally known invisible finish line to accrue an imaginary victory.

Yet because he was wearing earbuds he could not hear me, and it would have defeated the stealth purpose by shouting. Fortunately, he pedaled more quickly eventually anyway.

So the point is to please remove your earphones. They are stupid and dangerous and make it impossible to hear the puking and panting of others as you pedal, not to mention admonitions such as “Rock!” “Hole!” “Crevasse!” “Coffee!” and etcetera.

The third thing I noticed is that, as we were ahead of the other people and doing laps around the Parkway, they were unable to organize a chase. Later reports confirmed that no chase was ever organized. Big Banana reported it this way: “It was like watching the Keystone Cops try to put out a fire. Grab the ladder instead of the hose. Put the fire truck in reverse and back through the wall of the burning building. Connect the hose to the gas line.”

Other reports from within the chase group were similarly desultory. “One dude instructed another dude to organize a chase. That dude then pointed to the break, which was minutes ahead and on the opposite side of the Parkway and said, ‘Chase them?'”

So it occurs to me that except for the well-known phenomenon of chasing down your teammates, which every Cat 5/4/3 rider instinctively knows how to do, I would give some suggestions about how to do it intentionally.

  1. When the breakaway leaves, do not sit up and grouchily yell, “Let ’em go!” as if you have been personally insulted and that this somehow ruins your training plan for 2017.
  2. Do not go flying off the front 10 mph faster than the group, explode after 100 yards, then slink to the back and stay there.
  3. Do not refuse to chase because you one time took that pull on OPR back in ’95.
  4. Do speak with five or six riders. Say this: “Let’s organize a chase and bring them back.” It needn’t be screamed. It shouldn’t be addressed to everyone. It shouldn’t be yelled from the back.
  5. Do get your four or five chase mates in a line.
  6. Do bring them gradually to the front. (Note: The “front” is that mythical place where you may have never personally been. It has wind and etcetera but the view is very nice there.)
  7. Do swing over quickly and allow your chase mate to pull through.
  8. After all five of you have taken a pull you will notice lots of clogstacles in 6th-50th position. They have no intention of pulling through or helping the chase. They are clogstacles and don’t even know why they are there.
  9. Do point to the wheel of your chase mate and tell the clogstacle clinging to it to let you in. If the clogstacle refuses, get on his wheel and when it’s his turn tell him to pull through. Expletives are usually required here.
  10. Do not accelerate to the front when it is your turn such that you open a 200-yard gap. This is called “surging” or “Head Down James.” It ruins the chase and ensures that your quarry will never be reeled in.
  11. Repeat this procedure until you catch your quarry.
  12. When you stop at stop lights or hit the turnaround, regroup and continue your efforts. Ignore the surgers.
  13. Eventually you will catch them and hopefully they will also be your teammates.

END

Well, well, well.

November 30, 2016 § 12 Comments

I’m not a giver, I’m a taker. Conniving, jealous, greedy, suspicious, malevolent, quick to seize any advantage no matter how small, a freeloader when I can be, the guy who gives the least when give he must, cunning, plotting, nefarious, in short, a racer of bicycles.

And part of being small minded and jealous means keeping careful track of my victories over the last several years, which is fairly easy because I can still count to two. And not simply keeping track of victories (did I mention two?), but also keeping track of fake victories, i.e. fake races like Telo (I can count to zero there), and especially fake non-races like NPR.

Over the years I have won the NPR group ride, yes, ponder that ridiculous statement for a while, a grand total of six times. And I’ve done the ride a bunch because it goes off every Tuesday and Thursday … and out of all that only six measly faux imaginary victories.

Of course there are many who have won NPR scads of times, but multi-repeat winners of the NPR are typically sprinters because it almost always ends in a bunch sprunt. There aren’t a lot of NPR champions who have won multiple times out of a break AND out of a bunch sprint. And with the exception of Alverson, no one has won over and over again solo.

That’s because winning out of a break is very difficult. The gaps are never big and a stop lights can easily derail the nicest gap. I’ve won the NPR out of a bunch sprunt, beating Cameron Khoury one time to his everlasting shame, I’ve won it solo twice, and four times out of a break.

It always takes a confluence of miracles for an NPR breakaway win to occur. Good riders have to stay home or have leg cancer or be prepping for a big race or you have to be on Daniel Holloway’s wheel the whole time and then he pulls off with 200 to go and lets you have it. All the lights have to be green or you have to run them. The chasers have to get stuck at all the lights. There can’t be a police escort. The wind has to be stiff so that the chasers get tired. Head Down James has to be in the chase so that there is constant surging and blowing and never an organized effort. You typically need to have eaten lasagna the night before, and it always helps to start your attack as early as possible, say, in the alley, or perhaps on Sunday.

Even with all this silliness, or because of it, NPR wins are treasured, hallowed things for most of the 200-some-odd semi-regular riders, something that most wankers will never achieve. If you don’t understand why a grown person would want to “win” an imaginary finish with an undefined finish line, risking life and limb in a crazy sprunt or suffering extraordinary misery in a prolonged breakaway, then you will never understand the ridiculousness of cycling, or, parenthetically, the incredible heights to which you can be taken by something as objectively meaningless as pedaling a bike.

But I digress.

This morning I sized up the group. There was much leftover Thanksgiving in evidence hanging off the midriffs of the attendees. Sallow faces were still in shock at having had the gluttonfest that began Thursday come to such a cruel end four days later. Tired faces from having ridden overmuch on the long weekend stared out from behind leaden eyes. Cold morning temperatures shriveled small parts. A brisk wind cut through everyone who wasn’t wearing Stage One cycling apparel. No enthusiasm abounded. Sullenness lay all around, as unappreciated as discarded gift wrapping on Christmas morning.

So as soon as we reached Mt. Chevron I did the early attack, the same thing I’d tried on Thursday and that had failed so miserably when Ramon and I drilled it along VdM only to be hauled back easily by the pre-Thanksgiving crowd. In a few seconds I was joined, then passed by Steve Kim.

Steve Kim.

Towards the end of last year he had shown up on a couple of Flog Rides and been sufficiently humbled that he never returned. We were Big O teammates but rode different categories, so although I saw him at a lot of races we never raced together much. He was quiet. Not so flamboyant on the bike. Kept to himself …

Steve Kim.

A week or so ago I saw him riding a new bike in a nondescript kit made by Eliel, the people who make the kits for Surf City. It was a Surf City team bike, and no orange to be seen on him anywhere. He was drilling it at the front of the NPR, a spot usually reserved for psychopaths. “Is that Steve?” I asked Charon.

“Yeah,” he said.

“He riding for Surf now?”

“Yeah.”

“Hmmm,” I thought. “What’s a wanker like that doing riding for Charon? Charon’s a pretty good judge of horseflesh, and except for Prez that team is a bunch of bona fide killers.” But I said nothing.

Nor did I say anything this morning, because I couldn’t. Steve was pulling into the headwind so hard that at times I was sprinting just to hold his wheel. He’d drag me along for a couple of minutes, swing over, slow down a lot, let me take a baby pull so he could catch his breath, and then come banging through again.

Before we hit Playa del Rey I looked back and the wankoton was nowhere to be seen. “This might be the day,” I thought.

Steve kept throttling it and me as we hit World Way Ramp. Each of my pulls got softer and his continued in a masterful kind of way: He’d come through slow enough for me to hop on, then ramp it up until I was simply pinned.

On Westchester Parkway a chase of five riders had started and the headwind had broken the wankoton into two big lumps. I could see Head Down James leading the charge, but it soon became clear that he had no intention of working with his chase mates and had chosen instead to surge them rather than get an even chase going. Mutiny and disarray in the chasers is a beautiful thing to behold when Steve is flogging you about the head and shoulders with unbridled fury.

By the end of Lap 2 Steve looked at me. “We might make this,” he said.

“Yes,” I agreed. “Thanks to you.” This had the desired effect of making him work even harder. Even though his efforts were huge and constant, the longer I dallied and soft-pedaled and weasled and sucked wheel the more my legs came around. In another half a lap I’d be getting back to fresh, the perfect point to sandbag a bit more and then attack the shit out of him at the end for the imaginary win. The best lesson to teach an improving bike rider is that everyone hates you.

Head Down James was making ground but not enough. The chase had given up. The wankoton was broken into two corn-studded lumps floating in the bowl.

As we went through the last orange-ish light I pulled up next to him. “You ever win the NPR?”

He looked at me. “No.”

And there you had it. Lame and imaginary and delusional and fake and not-pinned-on-a-number as it was, here you had yet another guy, a guy a lot better than I would ever be, who had never crossed the line first.

“Well, you’re gonna win it today.”

I hunched over and rolled it as hard as I could, almost breaking 15 mph with the tailwind and throwing down my full 135 watts. As we approached the imaginary finish line at the beginning curb edge of the third traffic island before the second to last light, Steve came flying by.

Then, as his wheel got in front of mine, he eased off and slid back, putting me forward for the win. I eased off even more and reversed it. He eased off even more-more and it was me again. I eased off even more-more-more, and he won the imaginary finish.

We both grinned and missed a fist bump, almost knocking out each other’s teeth.

“That was fucking hard,” I said.

“Yeah,” he said.

“Good job,” I said. “You fucking killed it.”

“You, too,” he said.

Coffee this morning at the Center of the Known Universe tasted particularly good.

END

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Great Cyber Monday cycling deals!

November 28, 2016 § 11 Comments

I have scoured the Trumpernet to find the best cycling deals on Cyber Monday so you don’t have to! Some of these are cycling specific, some are not, but all will greatly enhance your enjoyment of biking AND your performance on the bike without busting your PayPal account which, frankly, is already broken.

Spousal/Significant Other Sex Special. Cost: Free or dinner out or a lifetime of bondage. Go get yourself a big bucket of sex. Sloppy, trimmed or wild bush, after a hot bath or covered in slime from the last off-road mudfest with Manslaughter, some partner sack time is one of the few holiday gifts that you can give as well as get.

Suitcase of Courage. Cost: Varies. From the Luis Vuitton leather matching set to the Samsonite Monkey-Tough rubberized plastic hardshell, these items will get you out of bed and on the road to the not-so-nearby hilly road race you’ve been avoiding these past five years so you can go get your sorry baby seal ass clubbed to a fare-thee-well. Paul Sherwen autographed models add $1.88.

Old No. 72. Cost: $87.50. Made by Snap-On, this giant adjustable wrench can be used to break pretty much anything. Handle doubles as a lever for opening stuck suitcases of courage or for staving them the fuck in.

old_no_72

 

USAC Racing License. Cost: $70.00. RACING NOT REQUIRED. This little beauty allows you to show skeptics that you are a tough bike racer and allows you to answer questions about the Turdy France, tell people to “HTFU,” and explain what a “hardman” or “hardwoman” is. Pronunciation key included for “Paris-Roubaix,” “DeVlaeminck,” “Merckx,” and “Erythropoietin.”

Givenchy Eww of Toilet Perfume. Cost: $70.00. This Eww of Toilet perfume is made by luxury brand purveyor LVMH, owner of Dior, Givenchy, Luis Vuitton, Hennessy, and other brands, and soon to be owner of Rapha Cycling Apparel. Your favorite hardman/hardwoman will, along with his/her new USAC license, now be able to wear the finest luxury cycling outfits complemented with that “je ne sais quoi” French essence to daub over the mild sweat you’ve worked up at spin class.

Lifetime Flog Ride Membership. Cost: Free. This allows you to show up every Thursday at the Malaga Plaza fountain at 6:35 AM, pointy-sharp, to enjoy an hour of pleasant conversation and camaraderie as you pedal around the golf course at Palos Verdes Estates. Members receive six gigantic helpings of oxygen in 6-minute intervals. Begins in early December, runs through August. Typically requires you to bring a fully-loaded suitcase of courage.

Wanky Super Socks: Cost: $14.99. These awesome socks, made by Base Cartel, will make you faster on the bike and better in bed. Cozy, long-lasting, and sewn with the South Bay insignia, everyone will recognize that you are a Force of Nature the minute you show up with these bad boys. Or, they will simply ride away.

END

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