Lifetime achievement and garage sale

June 21, 2018 § 24 Comments

Anyway, FOR SALE: Less than one year old Fuji SL1 frame with e-Tap and new FFWD F3 all carbon clinchers, mostly new Conti 25 mm front/rear with tubes, along with 12 size S jerseys, most of the jerseys are the last two years of Team Lizard Collectors, great condition, a couple of La Grange jerseys, 12 size M bibs (TLC/La Grange/plain black), 3 TLC skinsuits, 3 Wend Wax combo short/bib one-piece size M, 2 long-sleeve TLC jackets, 3 Pearl Izumi tights one of which is old and ratty, 1 pair Giro Empire road lace-ups (white), 1 pair Giro Empire (cross), 1 spare set of new Shimano cleats, 32 pairs of CitSB socks, 1 Giant TCX 2017 (size L) with FFWD disc wheels, SRAM Force,, 4 pairs long-fingered Giro gloves, assorted bike tools (lightly used, you can bet), assorted arm and leg warmers, 3 pairs of shoe covers, 2 rain jackets, one Stage 1 and one Specialized, two vests  (one Rapha, size S, one TLC size M), full light set including Diablo 1300-lumen headlights x 2, ApaceVision rear lights x 2, Cygolite 150 rear x 1, 2 wheel bags, 6 tubes, 6 tires (25 mm, Conti and Vredestein), 3 Wend Wax sets with wax and cleaner, Cask Proton helmet size M, G3 tripod bike stand, 1 gallon of Simple Green, 3 rolls of shop towels, 25 shop rags, 1 Lezyne steel floor pump, assorted water bottles, 5 CO2 cartridges.

Yours for one dollar.

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TLC strikes (itself) again!

May 23, 2018 § 7 Comments

Two weeks off. Fresh legs. Telo start. Small field, 20-ish. Hitters King Harold, Frexit, Brexit, EA Sports, Inc., Baby Seal, Heavy D., Medium Banana, Chase.

Heavy D. Lap 2 launch. 4 riders. Brought back. Stayed towards front. Pulled through. Ten minutes in field relaxed. Frexit chilling. Greensox and Heavy D. at the back. EA Sports, Inc. watching. Baby Seal flapping flippers.

Chad attacks. Followed. Took turns, him into the headwind, me on the tailwind. Good gap four laps. Felt the chase. Heard a noise while on the front. Never looked, just sprinted. Right reaction; Frexit. Barely grabbed on.

Full Frexit death mode. Hang on for dear life. See rear shadow. It’s Chase. Chad got him to within striking distance, Chase closed, Chad couldn’t get across. Another lap. Joined by EA Sports, Inc. Glad I’ve got teammate Chase with me.

Chase sandbags with baby pulls. Break established. Frexit and EA Sports, Inc. not pulling hard, thinking about the sprunt. I fear getting caught. Keep digging hard. Chase sandbags.

Five to go. King Harold, Baby Seal, Medium Banana six seconds back. EA Sports, Inc. senses the chase. Revs it up. Frexit throws down monster pulls. Can barely come through. Gap reopens. Chase loading more sandbags than a citizen volunteer crew before a hurricane.

One to go. Headwind section. EA Sports, Inc. and Frexit eyeing each other. Chase loading more sandbags for the sprunt.

Slowly roll away. Gap. Head down. Go almost all-in. Gap grows through chicane. Out of chicane, might stick this one.

Chase realizes teammate is up the road. EA Sports, Inc. and Frexit shrug. We ain’t chasing Wanky just so the other guy can outsprunt me. Chase sees teammates, does the arithmetic:

Do nothing = Teammate wins

Chase = Probably catch teammate, lose to EA Sports, Inc. and Frexit.

Therefore, third and fourth for TLC better than a win.

Chase chases.

EA Sports, Inc., Frexit laugh. Everyone knows they can count on Chase to chase.

Chase chases.

Chase catches at the last turn.

EA Sports, Inc. and Frexit leave Chase like overturned manure wagon in ditch. Chase beats Wanky for third. TLC strikes (itself) again!

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The changing complexion of a bad rash

April 25, 2018 Comments Off on The changing complexion of a bad rash

Another Telo went off last night. There is something weird in the air or maybe in our water bottles, because tonight’s Telo was the biggest I can remember in ten years. What a few years ago was tagged, put in the cooler, and later autopsied (the heart and lungs donated to those needing a transplant, the rest of the body donated to science, and the brain thrown away due to its small size and surfeit of abnormalities), has come back like one of the Undead.

Which proves:

  1. Racing ain’t dead.
  2. If you take pictures of it and post them on the Internet, they will come.

The last three weeks have seen successive growth in racer turnout. There were forty racers all in all, including at least four women. The big pack has transformed Telo from a training crit into a bike race. Unlike the typical Telo edition, where Evens Stievenart rides everyone off his wheel, or whittles down the field into a tiny break and crushes his breakmates in the sprunt, today and last week there was actual racing involved with lots of racing stragety.

Although the 39 members of Team Lizard Collectors were unable to deny victory to arch-rival Methods to Whining, TLC mounted a number of valiant efforts which, at one point, forced MTW ninja-of-the-peloton Destroyer to single-handedly pull back a lethal TLC combo of David Ellis, Greg Seyranian, and David Wells. TLC refused to chase its own teammates (whaaaaat???), and worker-bee Knuckles happily rode up to the front and blocked.

It was a beautiful thing to see a break with no MTW riders in it, and even more beautiful to see MTW chase hard, although in the end MTW rider Aaron Wimberly incinerated the field with a fierce sprint, finishing so far ahead it was like swatting a fly with a flamethrower.

One of the things contributing to the difficulty of Telo is the prevalence of Hop-in-Wankers, riders who get lapped, hop back into the peloton refreshed, and then lend a hand with occasional chases, not to mention acting as clogstacles on the last lap as they sprunt for 15th among the non-lapped riders. Some people don’t like the H.I.W.’s but I do: It’s a frigging training race and people get stronger when they get shredded, jump in, and then put down another series of hard efforts.

Avoiding clogstacles on the bell lap, and moving up through a field of gassed riders is also much easier than doing the real thing on race day, so it’s great practice.

Kudos to all who came out and raced, and kudos to Tom Duong and Yasuko Davidson, who spent the entire hour cataloging this nonsense. Most of all, kudos to Joe Yule, the guy who brought Telo back to life–all hail the mighty Junkyard!

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What’s all the fuss?

April 18, 2018 § 2 Comments

After having my timbers shivered on Sunday at the Belgian Waffle Ride, I decided to take the week off. More accurately, my legs decided for me.

It was angsty when 5:00 Tuesday rolled around. That’s when you pull on the clown suit and pedal down to Telo, where hell awaits. I got twitchy and it felt weird, compulsively feeling like I should be airing up tires or eating a handful of almonds.

Instead I went down to the race course, kind of like I do in the beer aisle now, wandering lustfully in front of the multi-colored cans and bottles that spell my doom. The race started and you know what? It looked so easy.

After a few laps people were obviously in trouble but it looked so easy. We stacked up in the corner to take photos with our phones and people buzzed through in full lean. But anyway, it looked so easy. You could feel the incredible howling headwind in the backstretch, but of course, it looked soooo easy.

Then we went over to the start/finish and the long tailwind section, where Evens Stievenart and Eric Anderson punished the peloton with a nasty two-man breakaway that stuck to the end. The field had a lot of horsepower but not enough to bring them back.

Why didn’t they JUST PEDAL HARDER? It looked so easy.

I got home and scrolled through the pictures taken by Yasuko. Then I zoomed up on the faces, mouths gaping like trophy bass. It didn’t look easy any more.

There’s a lesson here, about the difference between watching and doing.

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Clash of the moderately-sized titans

April 11, 2018 § 6 Comments

The history of Telo is a bit foggy, or rather windy. It has been going on for over thirty years. Fifteen years ago it sported huge turnouts of 50-60 racers every week, sometimes more. With the downward spiral of road racing, Telo completely died about four years ago, and so dead was it that I actually listed it as “R.I.P.” on my South Bay Rides page.

Then Grandpa Joe, Junkyard, the resident creative genius of the South Bay stepped in. With a little cajoling and a few exquisitely tailored, beautifully designed winner jerseys, he brought Telo back to life. There are few things as important to the development of grass roots racing as having a regular weekly training crit. Training crits give people a place to race during the week, give new riders a chance to learn under less pressurized circumstances, and impart a vibe of competition that is part of, not apart from, camaraderie on the bike.

This past week Grandpa Joe’s heart, after close to six decades of hard work, decided to take a few beats’ vacation, and next thing we all knew our spiritual leader was being whisked off to a hospital to have his ticker frozen, the jumper cables attached, and to hopefully have his battery restarted. Dire prognostications were made about the Man of Junk, the Big Banana, and we all began writing obituaries that began with “That tough bastard …” or “That sonofabitch …” or “Who’s gonna design my kits NOW?”

Fortunately, they got the right ends of the cables hooked up to the right battery terminals, and after scraping off a whole bunch of battery acid and a few false starts, Junkyard’s battery was completely recharged. There was concern about lasting damage to the fermented brain lodged in Junkyard’s sweat-lodge of a cranium, but his first words were “I’m selling all my bike shit and spending the rest of my life wandering through museums!”

Relief was all we could feel hearing these oft-repeated words, uttered every time he regained consciousness in a hospital, because it meant for sure that he was not more than a month out from doing NPR, and two, perhaps three from suiting up at Telo.

Last night we had a massive turnout in his honor. The field was littered with hitters, and it took about forty riders to keep Evens in check. At the end, Methods to Winning demonstrated a method to winning, i.e. start your leadout with Destroyer, then follow it with Hair, then with Youngdude, then Rahsaan, and then put E.A. Sports, Inc., in the closer slot. Of course, even though it wasn’t the third quarter, he closed. Or rather, slammed the fuggin’ door shut.

I staggered home to lick my wounds. Another windy beating. Another vicious mauling. Another day of infamy metamorphosed into an evening of despair.

Another Telo. Thanks, Junkyard.

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Telo fun and stragety

March 28, 2018 § 2 Comments

Great night of racing at the Telo training crit last night, filled with action and #faketactics. Smasher smashed away from the field about halfway through and was never caught despite the disorganized and haphazard efforts of the chasers, who included Heavy D., Tony Wang, Shiftless, Dr. Whaaaat?, Hair, and me.

Cameo appearances by Prez, Wily Greek, and Junkyard enhanced their own personal fun of getting kicked out the back and fighting the 20 mph headwind alone for an hour.

Team Lizard Collectors used its four riders in the chase to perfectly set up Hair, who rides for Methods to Winning, for the field sprunt, which he easily nailed as the Lizards shouted at each other, watched Heavy D. ride randomly, and vigorously chased down each other’s attacks.

It never occurred to the Lizards to take turns attacking Hair, who happily sat in while watching his chances go from one-in-six to 100%. Smasher was awarded a coveted loaf of bread for his efforts. Hair, who got second, got nothing, and I, who got third, got the best prize of all: A ride home.

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Davy sprunt good

February 1, 2018 § 3 Comments

Another Sunday Telo World Championships took place, and although I was unable to attend, CitSB’s trusty field reporter, Corporal Fox, took on the massive job of recording comprehensive race notes and, most importantly, stocking the tent with hot pizza and cold beer. Jason Morin of Shift Mobile manned the pits to help racers who needed a last-minute tune-up, derailleur adjustment, chain lube, or fresh leg shave up in that crease where you can’t get it yourself without turning half-backwards and usually slipping in the shower and slamming your head on the tile.

Here’s how it went down:

Lap 1: Neutral. There is nothing neutral in any bike race, ever. Significant preen attacks, flex jumps, and strut pacelines occur.

Lap 2: Ivan Fernandez attacks and is off the front by four seconds, following the maxim that if you are going to immolate yourself, start early and use a big torch. Kevin Nix and Lane Reid hammer to close the gap, nearly shelling Brent Davis, who, if he ignites and melts, will gap out the rest of the peloton. The fuse however sputters and Brent lives to get dropped another day. Lap. Jon Davy and Greg Leibert  swap recipes or phone numbers in the back. Stathis Sakellariadis and Abraham Mohammed are already spit out, enjoying the Telo delicacy of 58 finely seasoned minutes alone in an awful wind.

Lap 3: Junior rider Alex Mainvielle leads the group, flunking the first lesson of successful bike racing, which is “Cower & Hide,” but completely acing the Wanky Rule, the one and only Wanky Rule of “Go to the front!” Alex brings back Ivan, who still is dangling a few feet off the front. This lap appeared to be fast without the aid of a timer or an atomic clock because the group was strung out in a single line, with many people teetering, tottering, asking themselves weighty existentialist questions, and otherwise manufacturing superb reasons to gap themselves out. One Orange is dropped, after having been nicely peeled.

Lap 4: There is a major change-up as Geoff Loui smashes to the front, head down and in the drops, with Ivan right behind him. Jose is dropped like that guy in 2001 A Space Odyssey when he got kicked out of the airlock by Hal and spiraled off into space forever. 

Lap 6: As they come around the west corner, Jon Davy, who either attacked into the wind or who frightened everyone by flexing a bicep, is 10 seconds off the front, with Geoff Loui chasing hard behind. This move causes Greg Leibert to start moving up. Savvy cyclists know that when Greg a/k/a G$ begins to move up, it is a good time to stand down and submit your application to dentistry school. Danelle decides that it’s time to recalibrate, and she recalibrates off the back. 

Lap 7: Kevin Nix, Greg Leibert, and Ivan Fernandez catch Jon and establish a breakaway, opening a 6-second gap on the field. Brandon Sanchez leads the chase at a hammering pace that has the field wondering if there is a new solitaire app for their phone, the riders strung out and immobilized like dead coyote skins nailed to an outhouse door. At the back, Kevin Salk, Joey Cooney, and Nick Fruth observe a precarious gap begin to yawn and gape in front of them. Although some racing experts believe that races are won from behind, that falsism is not bearing itself out today. Reece Sylvester releases his grappling hooks and falls off the rampart onto the windy plain below, where he is trampled to death by sharks and giant squid and dragons.

Lap 8: Meanwhile, back at the raunch, or back at the back, or back at the waaaaay back, Stathis and Danelle join up for a steady TT around the course, each lap even less fun than the already miserable one before. 

Lap 9: This is prime lap number 1 and it is scooped up by Ivan Fernandez, with Greg Leibert right behind him. “Right behind” a prime winner = “You lost, dude.” Ivan’s attack for the water bottle, or rather the bottle of water (Hint! Water) leaves the group in whatever is rattier and more tore up than tatters. Some would call it a peloton but they would be lying. At this point it is just riders sharing the same road. However, this allows Kevin Salk and Nick Fruth to make up some ground and stay in a little longer before their untimely fate is also decided by the neutral laws of physics.

Lap 10: Something happens, perhaps.

Lap 11: Ivan regains his breath, and the 4-man breakaway regains its 8-second gap. Peyton Cooke, legendary legend who seems to last longer and longer each week as he beers his way back into fitness, decides to beer his way backwards and gets punched out the back like a fresh pop-tob tab flicked by a thirsty lumberjack.

Lap 12: This is prime lap number 2, and Ivan Fernandez wins with another monster sprint as Brandon Sanchez continues to batter away on the front, perhaps counting his matches but if so in dire need of remedial arithmetic. Kevin Salk and Nick Fruth decide that sometimes it’s better to put your head down, suck it up, and get ready for MONEY TIME, but not today which is IDGAF TIME. They are dropped. Meanwhile, in the first or second fragment, Joey Cooney joins the Stathis/Danelle duo, and Stathis finds his legs stapled to a tree, then drops Danelle and rides away with Joey. Any sign of Stathis gaining fitness depresses everyone for miles around. 

Lap 13: The efforts from the two prime laps prove too much for Ivan, who zips up his suitcase of courage and decides to check it and send it overland by camel, and he parachutes out of the breakaway and is now with the ragamuffin group. The breakaway has increased their lead to 15 seconds, and is doing a rotating pace line with no apparent attacks.

Lap 14: Someone does something, for sure. 

Lap 15: The dwindling group of fragmentarians loses two more, Nick Fruth and Geoff Loui, as each rider decides that the better part of wisdom is to never ever racing your fuggin’ bike again. Only 10 fragmentarians remain, in addition to the breakaway. 

Lap 16: This is prime lap number 3, and G$ wins it for the A group, devastating his breakmates with his tremendous power, but the prime doesn’t seem to be a priority for Nix or Davy, who are focused on achieving the incredible success and acclaim that will come from winning this most important race of their cumulative careers. Alex Mainvielle wins for the B group, with a huge gap between himself and the rider behind him, as the prime effort causes the group to accordion (out of tune and played by a drunken street vendor with a dead monkey on his shoulder) while riders sway and struggle to stay in like drunks tottering on a broken barstool placed in a minefield.

Lap 17: More very important things happen somewhere, but not here. 

Lap 18: The A group looks strong, still rotating steadily, replete with heroes whose names will ever bedeck the golden halls of time, giants among men whose exploits will earn them everlasting rest in the Elyisan Fields and if not that maybe another bottle of Hint Water. The last prime effort has taken the fragmentarians in the B group and turned them into molecularians as they are about to be lapped. Robert Cisneros takes the last thrust of the harpoon into his mighty side, rolls over in the water, shoots up a spout of gore, and, dropped, sinks beneath the waves, all the way down to the pizza and beer underneath the Telo tent, where he is covered with a hot layer of pizza cheese and cooled with bubbly beer. 

Bell Lap: At one lap to go, the break begins trying to figure out how to beat Davy. Nix hands G$ a set of brass knuckles and G$ shares a brace of pistols with Nix. Despite repeated blows to the spine and close-range gunshots to the head, Davy’s most important organs remain unscathed as, rounding the final corner, Nix discovers that the grenade he’s been chewing lost its pin and G$ discovers what the stars ordained many millennia ago: Davy Sprunt Good.

And of course Danelle for the women’s trophy!

Heroes who showed up and raced their fuggin’ bikes:

Andy Rodriguez, David Shaw, Connie Perez, Jose Godinez, Peyton Cooke, Stathis Sakellariadis, Carlos Ristorcelli, Brent Davis, Jason Mark, Gregory Cooke, Reese Sylvester, Courey Burkhardt, Steve Thorpe, Jon Davy, Ivan Fernandez, Brandon Sanchez, Danelle Doernbrack, Abraham Mohammed, Joey Cooney, Kevin Nix, Robert Cisneros, Greg Leibert, Jason Morin, Nick Fruth, Geoff Loui, Kevin Salk, Ken Vinson, Alex Mainvielle, Stacy Gremminger, Someone from Ironfly, Long haired guy in pictures, Eric Arentsen, Guy in tye dye kit, Lane Reid, David wells on his motorcycle who could have easily won but didn’t.

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About Cycling in the South Bay: This the all-things-cycling blog about cycling in the South Bay and cycling in Los Angeles, maintained and authored by me, Seth Davidson, Torrance-based bicycle lawyer, bike racer, and personal injury attorney.

 

 

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