City Grounds Re-Grand Opening (Long Beach, CA) » Come party with City Grounds to celebrate the expansion and re-opening of Long Beach’s premier fixed gear shop.
Get Ready For Summer #2 (Hellyer Park Velodrome) » Earn your Testarossa Velodrome Challenge qualification points here!
The Tournament (Amsterdam) » First in a series of alleycat races presented by The Faster Than You Crew.
Burrito Project 5th Birthday (Los Angeles, CA) » Five years ago a handful of good samaritans on bikes decided that hungry people need to eat too. Come celebrate one of the best rides in Los Angeles.
Go Fast Or Go Home (Dominguez Hills, CA) » The California Bicycle Racing criterium series continues!
Make Rent Cash Race (San Jose, CA) » Alleycat race for cold hard cash money — and Mardi Gras beads.
March Mashness (Indianapolis, IN) » Seven checkpoints over 31 miles. Don’t miss this alleycat.
Monster Track XII (New York City, NY) » Track bikes. City streets. Watch out no brakes! The baddest alleycat race of them all.
Tour De Murrieta (Murrieta, CA) » Perfect weather this weekend for a three-day stage race in Southern California.
The second LAVRA Cup race was last Saturday at Home Depot Center Velodrome. A great day of racing with all the homies on a BEAUTIFUL indoor wooden track. LAVRA seems to be taking their time posting up results for this series so this time it’s not so much a recap as it is just a bunch of shout outs…
Shout out to my new team mates, Tim and Aram for Predator Cycling. Yep, I joined a team. I didn’t just join any team. If you’ve been reading RTBL for a while, you should know that Predator is my favorite shop around — and I’m not just saying that cuz I’m on the team. More on that later.
Good to have the fixed freestyle rider Congo slaying it around the track. As John Prolly says, “If you can throw around a 25+ lb bike, you can rip a track apart!”
Meanwhie LA’s “alleycat king” Hernan Montenegro is back on track after a long winter full of cyclocross and he’s killing it.
What’s up to Ian and the guys from Adams Avenue who came up from San Diego. Ian chatted with me after the races about RTBL. Many thanks for the kind words. I’m really looking forward to racing at San Diego Velodrome again. Tuesday night racing starts up in April!
Thanks to Chriz G, Matt, Carlos and everyone else who came down to spectate and cheer the racers on. Good to see the stands filling up.
Chris Reed, sorry I bumped ya in the neutral lap before the Miss N Out. I shoulda called out that I was passing. Always learning! Ryan Barrett, good to have you back on the track. Hope you had fun in Vegas!
Justin Dillon went down in a three-man pile-up during the Points Race. Nothing broken except his rear disc wheel. Suuucks! But I’m glad you’re okay.
And finally there’s me… and it sure feels good to be back on the track! The doctor told me no heavy lifting for now (i.e. no sprinting) so I just sat in and tried to keep up in all the races. I entered in two different categories so I did a lot of racing but pretty much did terribly in all of them. Still felt good to get the blood flowing again and I can’t wait for the next LAVRA Cup on March 19th.
Big ups to the many more friends (and rivals) who were at the races that day. You know who you are.
All the fine photos were taken by Beaver Beavs — who was also being an awesome race mechanic.
Awang To Miss World Championships » Malaysia’s Pocket Rocket Man — now famous for catching a seven-inch piece of the Manchester Velodrome with his calf — confirms he is ducking out from the race for stripes.
Last Saturday afternoon was the 2nd annual East West Smashup presented by Beaver Beavs and Takeover LA. Thankfully there was no rain even though the wind was high and the temperature was low. Even though I hadn’t been on the bike in over a month, I definitely want to at least show up and show my loves for Sean and Beav!
Ten minutes before the start, Sean announced the one checkpoint: the boathouse at Echo Park Lake. All the racers had to do was ride to Echo Park Lake, snap a photo of the statue and return to the start. As soon as the checkpoint was announced, racers started plotting their routes and planning strategies.
I definitely didn’t much feel like racing. This was my first day on pedals since January 22nd and my legs literally felt gelatinous. On top of that, I had just gotten over a cold so I was in no condition to race. I told Beaver I was just going to chill and ride the course easy since it was my first time back on the bike and my collarbone isn’t even finished healing yet.
A Le Mans start and we’re off! Within a few blocks, most of the racers fanned out and split into separate mini groups, each with their own idea of the quickest way to get to Echo Park. I didn’t have much of a plan except to head East on Palms which would take me the first mile or two — beyond that I was just going to improvise.
I ended up with Riccardo and a few others who also rode down Palms. He’s a fast rider both in the street and on the track. I asked him what his route was and it sounded like a decent plan so we worked together. Well you don’t ride with Riccardo in a race unless you’re racing too so I guess that means I’m racing now.
I navigated the Westside and Riccardo showed the way through the Eastside. We made a lot of turns and took many sidestreets but when we made it to Echo Park Lake it seemed like we had done so in decent time.
[Proving that we did it. My checkpoint photo.]
Snapped our photos at the statue and headed back West. As we were leaving Echo Park, we saw some random riders rolling up which made me think that our time wasn’t that decent after all. Maybe we took too many turns?
Again, Riccardo navigated the way through the Eastside and I knew where to go in the Westside. Only this time there was an intense headwind the whole way back. Thinking that all the sidestreets and shortcuts were doing more harm than good, I wanted to get down to Venice Blvd for a straight shot back to the start. That’s where we REALLY felt the headwinds.
We both took turns drafting off each other down Venice but a few miles from the finish, I knew I was dying. Riccardo — being the awesome dude he is — asked me if we should finish together or sprint for the finish. We’re technically racing in different categories, him on his fixed gear track bike and me on my geared road bike. I told him I’m basically dead so if he wants to take off I won’t mind. I tell Riccardo the one last right turn to get to the start and then watch him slowly disappear as he rides off into the horizon.
[Me and Riccardo at the end of the race. Photo by Tim of Trafik.]
After Riccardo broke away, all the pressure was off. I’m definitely not trying to win I sat up and rode easy for the remaining miles back to the start. I was definitely confused when I rolled up to park where we had taken off from and didn’t see Riccardo or any of the other racers there. Sean and Beaver were there to greet me and tell me I came in first. Whaaat???
As I was showing Sean my checkpoint photo, Riccardo rolls up. Apparently he turned left when he shoulda turned right. Suucks! He still got first place fixed. Hernan came in third (second place fixed) a couple minutes later. Three track riders on the podium!
After the rest of the racers came in Sean distributed the prizes. A month off the bike, a cracked collarbone and the tail end of a cold earned me one of those coveted Chrome jerseys. Not sure how that happened. Probably a little bit of luck a lot of teamwork with my man Riccardo. Overall a great alleycat event and big thanks go out to Sean and Beaver for throwing it.