Cyclists you don’t so secretly hate

November 5, 2019 § 6 Comments

A friend sent me this link to a New Yorker cartoon about annoying runners. It was pretty funny. Then he said, “Man, you could do this for cycling pretty easily.”

To which I responded, “Why don’t you do it for me?”

So he did. Then I reached out to another friend and got more free work. It’s only taken about nine years and a couple million words, but it’s dawning on me that having other people do all your work means that I do less.

  1. Freddie Freeloader. On every ride, never contributes, but is always there for the sprunt. He crosses the double yellow line for the #fakefinish, doesn’t look when he kangaroos out to the left, and terrifies everyone in his perpetual efforts to avoid the front. If he miraculously makes it to second wheel, will do everything he can to stay there, leaving the wanker on the front stuck taking an endless pull. Freddy Freeloader’s signature training crit move? Get dropped immediately, and then jump with three to go and … sprunt. Having a hard time placing Freddie? He’s the wanker who shows up to every party without a bottle, drinks everyone else’s, scuffs up the floor of the host’s house, and leaves behind a steaming, corn-studded dump in the guest bathroom as his thank-you note/calling card.
  2. Roadie. Also called “Richard,” which is long for “Dick.” Has all the Rapha, perpetually draped on the coffee shop, smug as a louse in a dirty pair of underwear, always with that wincey face on and a cycling cap with the brim up. His training ride, or rather training plop, consists of sitting around complaining about others or pondering the ride he is never going to do. Always serious and never any fun. Never seen on the front of any hard ride, but is always on the front of his teeny group “training sesh” controlling the 13 mph pace with that “roadie” posture on the bike, arms straight and hands on the tops. Snob of snobs. Runs stop signs when convenient but unleashes Facebag flames on people blow the very same one.
  3. Weight Weenie. A composite of Tek Geek and the Condescending Tek Geek. He notices things about your bike that you don’t even know are there. Has the best and lightest bike, always spit-polishing the chain and defying physics by adding new gadgets that actually make it lighter. WW is also the fair weather rider who buffs up his museum piece before realizing that the roads might be wet as it rained last Monday, and shoot, he can’t risk getting the bike dirty or having some of the unobtanium break when it gets hit with those hard water molecules.
  4. Fashion Victim. Wanker who can’t seem to ever get it right. From his dirty white socks with his orange-and-blue shoes, to his moldy green vest over his purple and blue jersey to the bar tape that matches every bike but his. Each visual touchpoint is a place for FV to create eyesores. Fashion Victim’s a consequence of congenital cheapness, unwilling to buy the new team kit because there are still twelve threads holding together the back of the bibs from three seasons ago. Who cares if the team’s colors and designs and sponsors have changed or if everyone is aghast at the see-through train wreck of his butthole? Many of his accoutrements were purchased at the annual Performance Bankruptcy Sale, so the only thing that matches is nothing.
  5. Coach’s Orders. Objects to any physical discomfort with “My coach told me to ride tempo today,” not realizing that anyone with a coach is a problem to begin with.
  6. Segment Hunter-Gatherer. Relentlessly pursues electronic achievements in place of real time competition. Every Stravver post MUST INCLUDE AT LEAST ONE TROPHY. Every ride is meticulously constructed of segments and only segments, always including one “sure thing,” an obscure path ridden once by an older fellow on a trike, and one that the hunter knows for certain, if all other segments fail that day, she can for sure get on the leaderboard in this one location, therefore allowing herself to publish the ride. Segment Hunter is awash with trinkets, but generally absent from rides with actual people. 
  7. Rest Day Warrior. Invisible on weekends “resting” from all the hard riding he supposedly did M-F. Upon interrogation, RD Warrior is invariably a 9-to-5-er who doesn’t have time to ride much during the week. Will self-identify, usually on a climb, as follows: He blazes up from behind as you are soft pedaling, halfway up. Fartishly emits choking, snorting and gasping noises from the exertion of catching and passing you. Always sweating profusely and inefficiently swaying back and forth in the hope that this side-to-side swaying like a drunk will gainsay physics and result in more forward motion. Unable to keep pace, which was obvious to everyone but himself, RD Warrior slows, and just as you pass, mutters that he “had a hard ride yesterday” and he is just out “spinning the legs.” May also mention words like “coach,” “interval,” “repeats,” “gym,” or “tempo.”
  8. Climb Expert. Most easily be found on local centuries or grand fondues, especially the ones considered to be extra difficult. Climb Expert is a veteran of the event, but never a veteran of placing in the top 500. And “veteran” means “done once” and therefore assumes it’s your first time, if not the first time you’ve ever seen a bicycle and a hill at the same time. Expert imparts unwanted expertise to all. If you pass expert on a climb you have ridden countless times, he will explain to you exactly where you are (¼ of the way, ⅔ of the way, 15/16 of the way), that you are currently on the easy part, and that it’s going to get much harder at the top. Graphically details what will happen after you summit: how tired you will be, make sure you get water and gels at the rest stop, know what you are in for on this ride, and then give you a turn by turn of what will happen before getting to “the descent.” Reminds you that there are more climbs to come because clearly you didn’t check that when you registered, so you should save your legs because it’s going to be a really hard, long day on the bike, with other climbs you’ve never done like Mullholland and Latigo. Explains how the event was for him “last year” when he “finished” this epic ride of unparalleled difficulty.
  9. Pro Cat 4. Upgraded through participations last year and spent the entire season warming a director’s chair at the local crit, imparting disdainful wisdom and analysis to the Cat 5’s while licking the chamois of the Cat 3’s and 2’s. When it’s his turn to race he “forgot his shoes” or is still nursing his hip replacement from 2007.
  10. The Uncoach. Doesn’t believe in coaching and believes everyone should find her own path … as long as it’s his. Posts details, pedalstroke-by-pedalstroke ride plans on the club page (euphemistically called the “team” page), wattage targets, and overarching explanations of how training in October is crucial for that one race next May you’re going to all peak at. When May rolls around the race is either cancelled (June = Off Season) or he gets a hangnail and throws in the towel for another year.
  11. “You Go Girl” girl. Loves equality, believes in women having the same opportunities as men, digs being the chick in the mostly male group ride, but mercilessly harasses other women trying to break in. Expects to be pushed when dropped, opens gaps and expects the “guys” to close them, screams when bumped, and always demands to be treated like one of the guys as long they never forget “ladies first.”
  12. Mr. Misogynist. Comes in two flavors: #fakefeminist who can’t keep his hands off the female riders, or #gloweringhater who will throw a kidney stone to keep a beginning woman in tennis shoes from beating him on a climb. #fakefeminist shouts “Good job!” when being beaten like a drum by a clearly superior woman, but can’t help letting slip phrases like “the boys” and “the guys” when referring to the riders in the club. #gloweringhater is Hyde to #fakefeminist’s Jekyll, never deigning to admit the existence of a woman cyclist, even that one with those medals in her trophy case that say “Olympiad.”
  13. Ex-Pro. Rode that one time for that Continental Level 6 team in Belgium that one week back in the 90’s and did that kermesse that Vandenbroucke was at. Knows all about the pig manure on the cobbles, super expert with the Euro shoulder shrug, only drinks single shots of espresso (“Americans can’t make espresso for shit”) and is only showing up on your lowly ride because it’s his off-year. Which are all he’s ever had.


Read this far? Go ahead and hit this “subscribe” link. Thank you!

A sincere plea to all my dear friends

September 6, 2018 § 12 Comments

Dear Your Name Here:

As you know, cancer leukemia diabetes ingrown toenails is a horrible disease, a silent killer that kills silently, with hardly any noise, okay, maybe a gurgle or two but mostly silently.

What you probably do not know is that in America more than 2% 55,000 a billion 102.5% of all children suffer from this genetic acquired contagious infectious picked up on dirty toilet seats affliction.

In the past you have known me as a father son grandfather niece employer cross-dresser debt collector unemployed dirtbag, and it is through cycling that we have become lifelong friends acquaintances lovers stalkers #socmed mavens people who barely know each other but both wear Rapha.

Today I’m writing you not only as a cyclist but also as a philanthropist do-gooder beggar spammer haranguing sonofabitch in order to ask you to help me conquer this scourge. Even as I write spam my whole email list post on Facegag blog Instagram, more than 300 3,000 300,000 3,000,000 a gazillion children have contracted this life-altering illness blight disease ding on their SAT scores.

Here’s how you can help me help the children:

Next Halloween Friday the 13th All Saints’ Day Druid Crucifixion Ceremony Day of the Dead Sacrificial Goat Month, I will be riding my bike from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge to Los Angeles San Diego Tijuana Guadalajara Lima Easter Island the Moon in order to raise money for research that will cure this disease buy me a new carbon seatpost get me a first class upgrade give me an excuse to go fuck off for a week with my bros under the pretense of doing something noble.

The ride itself will be difficult challenging epic undogly more amazing than Admiral Perry’s conquest of the Incas, and will require a degree of tenacity ferocity cupidity fecundity that is every bit as intense impressive amazing thesaurus-exhausting as those little children who struggle every day with their illness unwashed ears hair that won’t part down the middle.

With your financial support dedication allegiance fealty mindless devotion knowledge of those dick pics I have saved on my iPhone, I hope to raise enough money to eradicate cancer Alzheimer’s obesity acne badly spelled emails. Although to the untutored eye it merely looks like I am enjoying a week on the bike enjoying a beer bacchanalia enjoying every lap dance between here and San Francisco, in truth it has been a huge sacrifice commitment self-flagellation #socmed orgasm for me to pedal in a fully supported sag procession for over five days 500 miles ten billion light years eternity while I grittily pedal for the cure hangover medicine chamois cream Medal of Honor.

I know that due to our friendship mutual contempt wife swapping you will want to support this worthy cause scam fraud banned activity across state lines. Please take a moment hour lifetime of clicking on broken links to donate whatever you can at least $500 enough to make me not share those dick pics.

Your friend pal buddy best man parole officer,

Joe Bill Sam Bob Fred Arnold Daniel Jason



With all the time people have been taking off to ride their bikes and cure cancer, isn’t it cured by now? Please consider subscribing … Click here and select the “subscribe” link in the upper right-hand corner. Thank you!

Wanker of the Year

October 18, 2017 § 13 Comments

The best moment of the 2017 South Bay Cycling Awards never happened. Greg Seyranian, winner(?) of the un-coveted Wanker of the Year award, prepared a lengthy acceptance speech prior to the ceremony in the event he won.

This alone qualified him for the honor.

But the speech was never given. He emailed me a copy and so I give it to you now. I hope he’s not too pissed.



Per your request. Speech A. I was prepared to deliver it, but when I got to the Wankys I realized the audience only had a 10-15 second attention span, so I decided to go with an impromptu short and spicy version.



So when I was nominated for this award I went to Seth and I said, “Wow, I’m so honored to be nominated for this! King of Wankers! I’m not sure I’m worthy of the title.”

And Seth looked at me sideways and he said, “No, dude, this is supposed to be an insult more or less. Probably more.”

And I said, “Well how could that be? Aren’t we are all wankers?”

And he said, “Yes, but look around you. Some people out there still don’t think they’re wankers.”

“Come on!” I said. “Really? How could that be? Who out there prancing around in their clown suit underpants thinks they’re not a wanker?”

“Well, take a look at most of those Cat 3s and Cat 4s and masters profamateurs, not to mention the guys and gals who drink more coffee than race their bikes.”

“Well shit, shouldn’t we tell them?” I asked.

“No, no, most of them have pretty fragile egos that would crumble like a house of cards, it’d just be cruel. Let them have this award instead. Dog knows they’ll never win anything else.”

And I saw the wisdom and the humanity of this, so I agreed. But I was left to ponder what then did the award really mean? And I wondered whether or not I should be insulted.

I had a pretty good guess, since Seth was involved. It must mean that, as Wanker of the Year, you’re not as cool as the rest of us, which was a relief, because I already knew that. Because I’m a super dork. If there’s one thing I’m not, it’s cool. I mean, you can’t get a Ph.D. in the sciences without drinking heavily from the fountain of nerd. So it made sense, me being nominated for Wanker of Year, because I’m a nerd surrounded by a bunch of jocks. I must stick out like a sore thumb!

But then I thought, “Wait a minute, I was introduced to cycling by my fellow grad school nerds. And aren’t half the South Bay cyclists socially-challenged engineers and scientists employed by the AeroSpace Corporation or the DoD? These guys are ALL a bunch of nerds playing jock! So what’s up with a bunch of fellow nerds calling out another nerd?”

So I thought back to the previous winners: Brad House. Denis Faye. Seth Davidson.

And it dawned on me. All these guys are *loud mouthed* nerds! Aha! You see, being a loudmouthed nerd is a major violation of the agreement nerds strike when they participate in sport: thou shalt not call attention to thine nerdom, and therein lies the wankdom, because there’s nothing a nerd hates more than experiencing a modicum of coolness only have some idiot ruin it and drag them by the hair, kicking and screaming, back to nerd-town.

What’s more, all those guys I just mentioned aren’t simply loud, they are men of action. They are nerds who place themselves front and center. They are guys who stick their necks out to get things done. Guys who walk the walk when it comes to helping keep the sport of cycling alive, not through glorious podium shots sprinkled throughout Facebook and Instagram, but by risking shame and scrutiny in the menial task of promoting and supporting and fighting for cycling.

Look at Brad House. Twenty-five years of service to cyclists in the South Bay, host of dozens and dozens of racing events, and rabid advocate of cyclists’ rights, especially when you don’t want him to be. A guy who, despite his frayed shorts, open nut-sack air braking technique, and 2nd Amendment fanaticism, nevertheless races his bike week after week. And he’s a member of Big Orange.

Or Denis Faye, another Big Orange member. The man who launched the heart-wrenching, sentimental, and simultaneously idiotic Burrito Challenge to honor the memory of a dear, departed friend. The man who secured Big O’s largest cash sponsor. The man who formed the Big Orange Dirt Squad, which has brought nothing but fame, glory, and honor to Big Orange. Denis is the first guy to get in your face when he senses injustice, who won’t leave it alone until the wrong is righted. And he’s a guy who races his bike all year long, on the road, in the dirt, and through the beer-goggled haze of the cross course. He will probably be shouting and jumping onto the stage uninvited during this ceremony to make some sort of point or other.

Finally, there’s Seth Davidson, the Mack Daddy of Wankers and perhaps the loudest mouth concerning all things cycling in the South Bay. The guy who refuses to kowtow to the status quo. The guy least afraid to speak his mind, especially in the service of justice and safety for his fellow cyclists. And Seth is the first guy to put his money where his mouth is in the service of this great sport. Yet he is the guy who has literally defined cycling wankerdom by being a giant, in your face, loud-mouthed nerd who constantly kills the cool buzz. But he is nevertheless the champion of all things cycling and racing, and he goes out and races his bike week after week, despite breaking his nutsack every off-season and diametrically reconfiguring his training and racing philosophy every other year. Finally, like Brad and Denis, he’s a proud member of Big Orange Cycling and was one of its founding members back in 2009.

So the question is: am I a loudmouthed, nerdy, man of action, still willing to race his bike, who supports the sport of cycling and is a member of Big Orange? You’re damned right I am!

So I’m honored to receive this award on behalf of all my fellow friends who wanted this award secretly but didn’t get it, on behalf of Big Orange Cycling, clearly the king when it comes to wankers, and on behalf of all you poor souls out there who still don’t understand that you too are nothing but wankers. One day you shall know the truth and it shall set you free, but not today. Thank you!



For $2.99 per month you can subscribe to this blogcast, or podblog, and get none of the news that’s fit to print but all the news that’s fun to read. Click here and select the “subscribe” link in the upper right-hand corner. Thank you!


Option C

October 4, 2017 § 30 Comments

I have been doing this a long time, and I can predict that every October there will be a new kit kerfuffle. The NKK has to do with the design of your outlandish bicycling underwear, and the opinions and debate it engenders are always amazing.

This year, Team Lizard Collectors is doing what clubs around the world are doing, tossing out design options for their members to vote on and trying to get everyone to agree on the the least horrible pattern that clubmates will be prancing around in for the next twelve months or so. In our case there is Option A, which I’ll call “Striped Lizardskin w/Highlights,” and Option B, which I’ll call “Lizardskin Barcode Black.”

Club members are already voting, but before it’s all done, I’d like to propose Option C, and frankly, your club should avail itself of Option C, too. And Option C is: Ride yer fuggin’ bike.

You see, it doesn’t matter what you wear because you will always look stupid in a bicycle suit. A bicycle suit, if you are a man, is designed to bring your junk outline into painful visibility for all and sundry. Trust me, this will not be flattering unless you are Mr. R. Dollar, whose outline can reliably be viewed via Google Earth.

For everyone else, the prettiest and fanciest color design from Milan itself won’t make up for the twig-n-baby-bagels you are showcasing in your Xtra Pro-Lux SupaComfee Chamois.

However, even if you do have something more impressive than the average cyclist’s embarrassingly average toolkit, you still look like a fool. Why? Because you are an adult riding a bicycle in your underwear. What is it about this sentence that is so hard to understand? Would you wrap yourself in purple cellophane and go to a nightclub? Would you walk around in public in a latex outfit unless it were Halloween? And if you did, would you be surprised when people told you that you looked foolish? Heck no, you wouldn’t.

Yet every year, thousands of baby seals angst about whether the stripes should be horizontal, whether the mauve should be more saturated, or whether the logo for team sponsor Sam’s Speedy Venereal Treatments should be above the butt or above the pelvis. Stop angsting. To the broader public, you look silly and, um, underpowered.

To the cycling public, though, there are admittedly fashion and appearance issues that might cause concern for a particularly hideous color combo/design. Here too, however, you can rest easy.

The way to look good to other cyclists is to ride away from them. That’s all they care about. Take G$, for example. It doesn’t matter what he wears. When he stomps on the pedals and glides away, it is beautiful.

You, on the other hand, who like me are most excellent as a cyclist when typing or cruising Facebag, do not look beautiful because you are the person being ridden away from. Dropper = pretty. Droppee = lame. And it’s not because the stripe on your bicycle suit is horizontal.

Now’s the time to make your voice heard. Let the powers that be know that while others are fulminating about fashion, you’ll be exercising Option C: Riding yer fuggin’ bike.



For $2.99 per month you can subscribe to this blogcast, or podblog, and get none of the news that’s fit to print but all the news that’s fun to read. Click here and select the “subscribe” link in the upper right-hand corner. Thank you!

PS: Don’t forget the Wanky’s. As if you could. And I may have forgotten to mention that there is free food and beer for the first 300 guests, so get there early.


2017 South Bay Cycling Award finalists

August 24, 2017 § 6 Comments

Our four-person steering committee, shattered rudder and all, sat down with the cat yesterday to make the agonizing decisions about who would be a finalist for the galactically renowned 2017 South Bay Cycling Awards.

Some choices were simple. How could we not pick Kayle LeoDoyle for Wanker of the Year finalist? How could Debbie Hoang Efthimos not be in the mix for best spouse? My dog, what she has endured!

Other choices were fiendishly complex and resulted in yelling, shouting, cursing, insinuations about one’s parentage, and repeated trips into Hoofixr Man’s garage for two of the committee members to work out their differences over giant glasses of home-brewed beer. When we were unable to agree, which was pretty much all the time, we left it up to the cat, Anaximander.

Since cats don’t talk much, and certainly don’t do so on command, Anaximander would break the tie by purring. Long purr meant yes, short purr meant no. And so it went.

Here are the finalists, culled from a garbage heap of worthy nominees, names legendary in the niche within an invisible crevice inside the  microscopic crack of the non-sport of profamateur bicycle pretend racing. The criteria were of course rigorous. Unlike past years, not a single name was selected simply because all the other names sucked so badly. Okay, maybe one or two.

Each nominee was evaluated as follows:

  1. Suzy-Johnny come lately, or person who’s been around the block a few times?
  2. Past recipient of the same award? If so, your chance of getting it again is basically zero. Ish.
  3. Desperation. Was the nominee dying to get the award? Had the nominee politicked? Was the nominee the beneficiary of a 10-page, detailed nominee list submitted by a “friend” to “guide” the selection process?
  4. IDGAF factor. Does the nominee GAF? No award for you if you don’t show up, even though last year Elijah left early (no, we haven’t forgotten), and Joe Yule did too, with no excuse other than he “had somewhere else to go,” i.e. bed.
  5. Distance. Is the nominee coming into town from far away?
  6. Laughability. Will there be a good story to tell about the nominee? Or is the nominee a quiet, hard worker who blends into the background, never to be seen walking down the streets of Manhattan Beach late at night with a giant inflatable sex organ?
  7. Bro-ishness. Is the nominee part of the “in” crowd? Or does the nominee shun public association with such an obvious bunch of losers?
  8. Dues paying. Has the nominee slogged in the trenches for years, never to be recognized for her/his contributions, or is the nominee a glad-handing, publicity seeking wanker who has been twisting arms, bribing committee members, and hustling like a cheap whore on Christmas Eve?
  9. Disappointment factor. Would the nominee be emotionally crushed by being omitted? Or would the nominee be more crushed by being a finalist and not winning? No award ceremony is a success unless a majority of nominees feel like the whole thing was a cheap ripoff of a badly-done sham.
  10. Were we tired of arguing and ready to chuck the whole thing so we could go home and have dinner?

As you can see from the above, none of the above criteria was favorable or unfavorable. You could be a trench-laborer and ignored, or a trench-laborer and a finalist. You could be a contemptible showboater and not selected, or a contemptible showboater and a shoo-in. Although the criteria were very rigorous, they were randomly applied, especially as Hoofixr Man’s rye brew began to affect half of the committee and especially after Anaximander stopped purring and shifted into cat-flatulence mode.

Anyway, here’s the list. If you are on it, go ahead and celebrate or despair, as appropriate. If despite your legendary contributions you were mercilessly snubbed, remember that the race goes not to the swift or the wise, but to she who perseveres. Or as Charlie Brown would say, “Just wait ’til next year!”

2017 South Bay Cycling Award Finalists

Greatest Advocate: David Pulliam, Lynn Ingram, Peter Flax
Best Bike Shop: ShiftMobile, Bike Palace, Raleigh SaMo
Best Young Rider: Makayla MacPherson, Megan Jastrab, Bader Aqil
Best Old Rider: Jan Palchikoff, Michael Hines, Keith Ketterer
Most Improved: David Ellis, Thomas David Rennier, Elijah Shabazz
Best Club: Velo Club LaGrange, Big Orange Cycling, Bahati Foundation Cycling Club
Best Event: Belgian Waffle Ride, Telo, CBR Series
Wanker of the Year: Kayle LeoGrande, James Doyle, Greg Seyranian
Belgian Award: Evens Stievenart, James Cowan, Dan Cobley
Group Ride Champion: Josh Alverson, Eric Anderson, Jack Daugherty
Best Sponsor: RAAM/Joseph Duerr, BonkBreaker, Helen’s Cycles
Best Male Racer: Justin Williams, David Holland, Matt Wikstrom
Best Female Racer: Makayla MacPherson, Megan Jastrab, Coryn Rivera
GC Award: Dan Cobley, Greg Leibert, Rahsaan Bahati
Greatest Recovery: Debra Banks, John Walsh, John Abate
Strava KOM: Phil Gaimon, Fred Mackey, Meagan Jones
Most Happy to Help Others: Joann Zwagerman, Pablo Maida, Patrick Barrett
Most Fun: Michelle Landes, David Wells, Raja Black
Best Spouse/SO: Debbie Hoang Efthimos, Julie Black, Sarah Butler
Steve Tilford South Bay Rider of the Year: James Cowan, Charon Smith, Greg Leibert




For $2.99 per month you can subscribe to this blog and get none of the news that’s fit to print but all the news that’s fun to read. Click here and select the “subscribe” link in the upper right-hand corner. Thank you!

Racers, start your calendars!

August 4, 2017 § 10 Comments

A bad idea born of febrile minds, the annual South Bay Cycling Awards, a/k/a The Wankies, staggers along towards a milestone few thought possible and even fewer wanted: The Fifth Showing Up of the Emaciated, an award ceremony so fraught with ridiculousness, bad taste, and beer that it was refused a venue by 37 different proprietors.

Whether it was half-naked crossfit dancers, a terrible comedian, or simply too many people crammed into a stuffy bar next to a wharf, the Wankies set a mark every year for lowness and embarrassment. Who can ever forget the revelers who stumbled through the streets of Manhattan Beach in 2014 with an inflated six-foot penis?

In any event, the event is here again, and through bribery, cajoling, lies, and promises to help teach Joel how to change a flat, the South Bay Cycling Awards again holds its awesome ceremony at Strand Brewing in Torrance, thanks to the patience, forbearance, kindness, understanding, and slightly addled judgment of Rich Marcello and Joel Elliott.

This year the event is dedicated to Steve Tilford, who will also be posthumously inducted into the South Bay Cycling Hall of Fame. Food and drink will be served free of charge as long as supplies last. There’s no fee for admission, but when the venue fills up people will be turned away. Arrive past 5:00 PM at your peril. You can expect another amazing crop of jealous cyclists all vying for awards in the following useless and misbegotten categories:

Greatest Advocate
Best Bike Shop
Best Young Rider
Best Old Rider
Most Improved
Best Club
Best Event
Wanker of the Year
Belgian Award
Group Ride Champion
Best Sponsor
Best Male Racer
Best Female Racer
GC Award
Greatest Recovery
Strava KOM
Most Happy to Help others
Most Fun
Best Spouse/SO
Ian Davidson South Bay Rider of the Year

Unlike past years, when victims were forced to listen to me prattle non-stop for hours on end, this year I’ll be sharing announcing duties with Rahsaan Bahati, who promises to bring a (small) measure of class, professionalism, humor, and good taste to this otherwise profane event.

As in past years, sponsors will be given direct access to a market containing dozens of people who on a per capita basis spend up to $75 a year on bicycling related equipment, less when you include the haggling. Sponsors for 2017 include:

Velo Club LaGrange: Purveyors of fine bicycling.
South Bay Wheelmen: Purveyors of fine Manhattan Beach Grand Prixs
Meta Design Works: Purveyors of fine graphics
Performance Bicycle: Purveyors of fine parts.
JoJe Bars: Purveyors of fine bike food.
Echelon ColorEchelon Color: Making colors from light.
Wend Wax: Makes your nasty chain sparkly clean, butter smooth.
BonkBreaker: Purveyors of fine bike food who compete with other purveyors of fine bike food.
Base Cartel: Purveyors of socks and bike attire. Not tires.
BeachBody: Purveyors of amazing supplement stuff.
MTW: Purveyors of fitness, training, and Charon’s legs.
Little Giant: Purveyors of socks and bike attire who will make you look bikish.
FFWD: Purveyors of fine carbon wheels that are 100% carbon.
BWR: Purveyors of fine pain, aged in oaken barrels.

Here, then, are the details:




For $2.99 per month you can subscribe to this blog and get none of the news that’s fit to print but all the news that’s fun to read. Click here and select the “subscribe” link in the upper right-hand corner. Thank you!

Pass me another serving of grenades, please

July 5, 2015 § 13 Comments

We overtook the Team Helen’s/Santa Monica BMW guys on Ocean and I noticed that in the midst of their stylish blue-white-red kits there was an orange helmet. The rider was rail thin and wearing an Optum kit. I checked his top tube and it said “Phil Gaimon.”

So I knew that the 2015 July 4th Holiday Ride was going to be hard.

Me about to show this wanker how to ride a bike.

Me about to show this wanker how to ride a bike. Photo courtesy of South Bay Baby Seal.

It turns out that Gaimon, who’s one of the nicest people around, showed up to help the Helen’s guys retake their Mandeville KOM, formerly owned by local legend Tony Manzella and recently usurped by Nick Brandt-Sorenson, the infamous masters racer who received a two-year suspension after testing positive for naughty substances at masters nationals in Bend, Oregon in 2011, where he won both road and the crit titles and then de-won them after the pee-pee test.

To my way of thinking, Strava KOM’s are the one place that doping and dopers should be encouraged, since the whole compete-on-Strava thing is a totally bogus shit show to begin with, but whatever … my immediate problem was figuring out how a 51-year-old freddie would stay in the same county as the top pro road racer in the country.

The short answer, of course, is “ain’t gonna happen,” and it didn’t. But when we turned onto Mandeville Canyon Road for the 6-mile, 16-minute climb, it sure seemed like it might. Then Phil went to the front and five seconds later the dream died stillborn.

I was behind Frenchy the Younger, seven bikes back. In the rear I could hear the pounding and mashing of the massive fredoton which included well over 200 idiots like me who thought that we were really going to get a chance to ride against Phil Gaimon.

The Mandeville Canyon climb is very gradual, and never starts to hurt until the halfway point. We hadn’t finished the first quarter mile and over a hundred riders had evaporated into a mist of seized muscles and irreparably ruined (until tomorrow) egos. My legs hurt in that first quarter mile the way they usually hurt in the last.

After the white picket fence that marks the halfway point, U23 Hagens-Berman pro and Eagle Scout Diego Binatena leaped away from what was now a group of less than ten people.  Phil took a breath, never bothering to get off the hoods, and gradually increased his effort by ten watts every thirty seconds. Diego returned to the fold and a couple of other riders popped like the gas-inflated stomach of a decomposing corpse that’s stuck with a shovel.

Now Phil had Diego, Matt Cuttler, me, Matt Wikstrom, Tony Manzella, and Stathis Sakellariadis on his wheel. All but Tony and Matt were young enough to be my kids, and all, including Tony, were just getting warmed up. The massive noise and carnage earlier in the ride had been replaced by the eerily quiet sound of spinning chains and labored breathing, which turned out to be mine.

With about half a mile to go Matt started to come off Diego’s wheel. “I’m done,” he muttered.

“Close the fucking gap!” I croaked, and miraculously, he lunged and did.

Shortly thereafter we both cracked. Tony, Matt, and Stathis came streaking past to close the yawning gap I generously handed them. Matt and I pedaled together briefly until I had to leave him in order to get caught up on some important reading material. When I hit the final wall, Phil had sat and was lazily pedaling. He had towed the group, I later learned, for the entire fifteen minutes at something around 430 watts.

Of course I sprunted by him and shouted, “Quitter!” as I beat the remnants of the softly charging fredoton, led by Derek B. and G$. Diego, Stathis, Matt, and Tony were finishing the business section of the Times when I arrived.

“Beat” of course is meaningless when all you do is finish ahead of someone, because the true tale of the tape is on the KOM leaderboard, where the computer gets to decide who’s the fastest of them all. Poor Phil Gaimon never had a chance against ol’ Strava.



For $2.99 per month you can subscribe to this blog, which devoted subscribers have recently characterized as “redundant” and “useless.” Click here and select the “subscribe” link in the upper right-hand corner. Thank you!

PS: Don’t forget to take the 2015 Bike Racing Survey here.

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the Wankers category at Cycling in the South Bay.