La Voix

February 50 for 50 Ride, Helen's Night, LG50 Kit on Zwift, LG Kit Donations, Race Reports, Haute Route Social, LA City Proclamation Day, Operation Firefly, LG50 Anniversary Items

Needless to say, February was a busy month for La Grange. Read all about what happened and what is happening below.

February 50 for 50 Ride

Marco Fantone led the February 50 for 50 ride to Griffith Park. The ride started at Peet's Coffee in Westwood Village. It proceed up Sepulveda to the Skirball Center to Mulholland Drive, down Barham and onto the Griffith Park Observatory with a well earned lunch at Tacos Por Favor in Santa Monica. Look for an announcement for the March 50 for 50 ride soon!

Thanks to Jan Datomi for providing much needed SAG.

Thanks to Jan Datomi for providing much needed SAG.


Helen's Night

The annual Helen’s Night was extremely well attended. Did you know that Helen’s calls it La Grange Night? Food was served from Pitfire Pizza and, as usual, there wasn’t much food left over at the end of the night. Thank you to Jay Wolff and the entire Helen’s team for working late and making the night so special.


LG50 Kit on Zwift

If somehow you missed it, our 50th anniversary LG50 kit is now available to “wear” in-game on Zwift!

Check out this amazing LG50 Zwift video on Vimeo!

I’ve seen a lot of discussion regarding the virtues (or absence thereof) of virtual riding/training, and like all things in life, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and there is no accounting for taste and variety is the spice of life and etcetera, but I can tell you that in my own n=1 situation I have found two things:

· Pre-Zwift, I hated riding indoors. HATED it. I would literally stare at the workout timer and count down the seconds. Slowly. Excruciatingly… slow. With Zwift’s gamification of the indoor riding experience, I actually enjoy riding indoors. I don’t plan on giving up riding outdoors anytime soon, but I find Zwift a nice complement to the outdoor riding we all grew up with.

· Zwift, or any indoor riding for that matter, it ultra-efficient. No stopping and with today’s smart trainers, you can nail intervals with clinical efficiency.

· Dopamine. Yes, in the same way that smart phones, video games, and slot machines all seek to manipulate your brain chemistry to make you come back for more, the game aspect of Zwift may well cause you to ride “one more mile” or ride “just a little harder.”

If you are not on Zwift already, you can sign up and demo FREE (no credit card required) at and if you need a smart trainer, head over to Helen’s Cycles. Their Santa Monica location even has two trainers set up with Zwift running at all times, so you can check it out for yourself!

If you are a current member in good standing and want access to the LG50 kit on Zwift, please email and we’ll get you set up!

Thanks to Zwift and Rahsaan Bahati for bringing our 50th anniversary kit to the world of Zwift. See you on the (virtual) roads!

Robert Efthimos, LG Zwift Ambassador

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LG Kit Donations Collected on Helen’s Night are Going to Armenia

Report by Michael Kludjian

Armenia is a former Soviet republic in the mountainous Caucasus region between Asia and Europe with around three million people. Coming out of the Soviet breakup, a devastating earthquake, and striving for democracy, money is extremely tight especially for recreational sports like cycling. The country is very mountainous, which makes it ideal for hiking and mountain biking. A few years back the Asana team was training in the mountains of Armenia near the Lake Sevan area.

I started biking there in 2012 with a charity organization called Bike for Hope. In 2013, we invited the local youth cycling club to join our annual charity tour (6 days) around the countryside. The youth cycling club kids range in age from 11 to 22 years old. There are two main cycling clubs in Armenia with about 70 members each and then various cyclists in the village towns around the country. There are also a few masters clubs plus a TriClub. They have very little money for sports so any donations are greatly appreciated – especially for the kids. Most are fairly poor and appreciative of whatever we can gather. One time one of the boys had a flat and I helped him fix his tire and was amazed when he pulled off his tube and it had over 12 patches on it! It is also quite common to see riders with duck tape holding up their helmets and shoes. A few of the boys from the youth team have made it all the way to some Italian pro minor teams. They also compete in the European, Russian, and Iranian cycling competitions. Below are some photos of the youth team.

Again, all clothing is greatly appreciated and will be distributed and used. Thank you to Jaycee Cary for coordinating these donations.


Race Reports

CBR Men’s 3/4

Report by Patrick Barrett

"Jeff it's me. It's Sunday the 24th. I'm in Carson. I have the song Mr. Blue Sky stuck in my head by..." Oh gosh I should say ELO but it's actually the new Weezer cover album I've been listening to on repeat. "...ELO." Phew. I'm a liar but at least the race director knows I'm coherent.

My assailant looks distraught, ashamed, and guilty, which is enough for me to wrap him up in a hug, letting him also know I'm OK. His SDBC kit ensures their director and my friend Wells Wang will be paying me a visit, which helps to level out the pain in my bloody hip, elbow, shoulder and maybe broken bike.
Record Scratch. Freeze Frame. You probably wondering how I ended up in this situation...back up 50 minutes.

"I can win today." - Charlie Herndon
"I can't. Only top ten. When it's time, I'll help you get you that win." - Me
"I LIKE BIKES!" - Steven Walter

Fast forward 32 minutes. Charlie and I are on the back of the Men's Open Cat 3/4 race of what started with 100 racers. No words exchanged, we just begin moving up.

Fast forward 13 minutes. One lap to go. Charlie's 6th wheel, I'm 9th. The contenders are all in the front. I go full suicide, UCLA BBQ fueled, speed demon lead out which has delivered Beards, Baby Faces, Sausages, Head Downs, ShoeBums, Gooches, Roaches, Duncans and Frankels to the podium many times over. Turn 1, Turn 2, Turn 3 and PAYLOAD DEPLOY! The grind of a hill with headwind will blow the top 4 racers out of contention leaving Charlie for his podium.

Where is Charlie? The pack is around the corner and Charlie is puttering up the hill, his chain with a bent link, struggling to keep his machine in the race let alone getting to the finish line. Poor guy. That's bike racing. No regrets as we did right.

I sit up on my saddle, bringing my hamster heart some relaxation. This is always a welcome calm period after the lead out. There's nothing to be gained by trying to hold on for 30th place, so just take it slow and cool off while looking at the crowd who still have expressions on their face spectating the end of a bike race! Smile about staying upright through a race that had too many, grateful you get to race again in a few hours.

The impact that hit me on the left hand side, of a racer who had his head down sprinting up the hill for 60th place, takes me off my bike then bouncing my hip on the asphalt. Instantaneously I'm bloody and bruised and flabbergasted that this happened. My heart rate is close to max, my adrenaline is high, and my verbal filter is off, shouting at the culprit that he is a less than decent individual. Then I collapse and rest for a few minutes while the moto-ref keeps me company waiting for Jeff to scrap me off of his racecourse. The racer turns his bike around, giving up his prized results-sheet line item, and stands by my side until I finally make it to my feet for his idiot-hug.

Ricky Bobby: If you ain't first, you're last.Jaycee Carey: You're racing for the top spots or DFL, everything else is reckless and not being a good teammate.Todd Schoenbaum: Podium or GTFO.
I'm fine. The San Remo is ~fine. The bike works great. I'll see y'all on the start line of Tour de Murrieta.


UCLA Road Race Photos


Haute Route Social with Special Guest Fränk Schleck

La Grange is proud to present a private evening with Haute Route with special guest Fränk Schleck at Stella Barra in Santa Monica on Thursday, March 14 from 6 pm to 8 pm. Please RSVP to Gail Thalmann at


July 14 LA City Proclamation Day

Save the date! Sunday, July 14th, which is Bastille Day, the City of Los Angeles will present the club with a proclamation recognizing the club’s 50th anniversary at the start of the World Famous Nichols Ride. We expect a huge turnout for this so be sure to mark it on your calendar now.


Operation Firefly

Velo Club La Grange made a sizable donation to Operation Firefly through the Bliefer Fund, and VCLG members helped distribute the lights to those that needed them. Operation Firefly (Operacíon Luciérnaga) is an education and bike light distribution program of LACBC intended to make sure people riding bikes in LA County are riding safely at night. So far, we’ve equipped over 12,000 people across LA County with bike lights. Your can learn more about Operation Firefly by visiting


LG50 Anniversary Items

Orders for custom LG50 bottles are now open! Please click the link to place your order.

In the next few days you the LG50 socks will be available.


La Voix

50 for 50 Rides, Helen's Night, 50th Kit Reorders, Race Camp, Race Reports, and Annual Club Photo

Dear La Grange members, we hope you enjoy this months La Voix.

50 for 50 Rides
All this year La Grange will be leading "50 for 50 Anniversary Rides." These are 50 "mileish" rides that will celebrate our clubs 50th anniversary, and they are meant to be social rides that crisscross the wonderful city that we live in. These rides occur on the last Saturday of each month throughout 2019.

The first ride was lead by Jaycee Cary, who conceived the rides. Here is a video from the ride along with some photos. 

The February ride will be held on Saturday, February 23rd. Ride details to be announced. 

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50th Anniversary Kit Store Reopens
The 50th Anniversary Kits are available....again until Sunday, February 10th at 11:59 pm. All members should have received the custom link to the Castelli store.

We did make one design update, which was to add the "circle 50" logo to the right glove and to move the logo off the left edge so that the full "circle 50" logo is visible, which you can see in the image below. The original design was intentional and some people liked it and some did not. We do listen to you so if you like the updated design, then order new gloves.


Helen's Night

Helen's Night is a special night that La Grange takes over Helen's Cycles. Pizza, pasta, salads, beer, beverages and all included but most importantly you get to see your cycling friends and get amazing deals on Cannondale, Giro, Continental, Cycliq, nutrition, and much much more. Please join us.

Date: Monday, February 11, 2019 at 7 – 9 PM
Location: Helen's Cycles 2501 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90404


Race Camp
Race Camp was...SMF (so much fun). It's amazing to experience how well so many people get along in one place when they have so much in common. It is also amazing to see how much food a group like that consumes. Friday was a ride up Gibraltar. Saturday was a drills for skills led by La Grange member Marc Thomas followed by a crit, which was followed by beers. Sunday was a group ride with some team racing on certain segments of the ride. 


Race Reports
January 27th Goleta CA  |  Carlos Soto Memorial Crit  |  Sam Selfridge Cat 3 |  

The Carlos Soto Memorial Crit - I used to live here and have ridden over 600 laps of this course during summer crit practice, I've never raced here.  The Santa Barbara County Road Race was the day before, and I'd ridden 30 miles total in the two weeks leading up to it so I'm still feeling the 60 road race from Saturday in my legs.    

My plan from the get-go was to throw out attacks consistently throughout the beginning of the race, get the leaders used to seeing me off the front and expecting they can catch me.  Looking at the field Serious Cycling and Fig Mtn both have 6+ riders in the pack.  I have one teammate who lives up north and I hadn't met until yesterday, Frank and a friendly agreement with Manuel Aguilar AKA BreakAwayManny.  It's going to be a tough race.

I told Manny before we got started, with 2 to go I'm going to be off.  Either off the front or off the back, but I'm going to try to break away, surprise surprise - BreakAwayManny was up for the plan.

Started off by taking a solo flyer right out of the gate and leading the first two laps about 50 yards off the pack.  Let my legs warm up, said hi to a few of my friends working the race and yelling "I'M WINNING THE RACE" to whoever would listen.  After that settled back into the pack.  The course is basically a capital D with only two corners.  The trick with these is to read the riders in front and control speed so you're not braking and then forced to sprint to stay in the draft.  Good to have that jump every now and then but doing it 40 times will get to you.  Serious to their credit had some good team tactics going on.  If a serious rider was up the road, another would sprint up to 2nd wheel of the chase group, then either gap that wheel or just not pull hard when that rider pulled off.  They never got a solid team breakaway going.   

I made moves off the front a couple times, one bigger one at lap 36 then settled in till lap 26 which came up faster than I realized, went out again and was caught.  When the lap cards said 18 I jumped off the front again, I think I was chasing down a rider up ahead I don't remember, but when I was about to let off and drift back the pack I hear "Sam lets go!" from behind me. It was Manny and he had friends.  No one had joined me in my other attacks, but now there were 4 of us, me, Manny, Travis from Hit Squad and Madison from Fig Mtn.  Finally, I had people to play with! We set up a rotating paceline, each of us taking about 1/4 of a lap then peeling off.  The laps that had gone by so quickly before seemed to drag on forever.  It wasn't until 10 to go that I felt we had a good chance of making this stick.

We had 2 things going for us.  
Everyone was all in.   While some took slightly longer pulls and some shorter we all put in our time at the front and kept the pace up - no one was skipping pulls or too gassed to help out.  

Madison's Fig Teammates behind us were making any organized chase difficult.  With 5 riders the Fig team was in a great position to interrupt any pack organization to chase us down.

The laps ticked by and we stayed away.  Derin Stockton was on the mic and when he announced we had a 12-second gap on the pack with 6 to go I knew we could make it.  To sure things up I announced that I didn't mind taking 4th.  I'd never been a part of a break like this before and didn't want it to fall apart until it had too.  With 2 to go we started to see the pack ahead of us - unless there was a strong breakaway chasing us we had this in the bag.  With 1/2 lap to go I made good on my promise and jumped to the front to take one last big pull through the corner then build up speed for the sprint.  It was 200m from corner to finish line and the other 3 guys all came around me before the end.  

Madison won, Travis 2nd and Manny got 3rd and I took 4th as planned.  Best breakaway I've been a part of and a great race.

Looking forward to coming back next year!
-Sam Selfridge

P123 Women's CBR

La Grange made a strong showing in the women's P123 race at the season's first CBR event, our backyard crit series in Dominguez Hills. Daniela Garcia finished fourth with support from teammates Catherine Guentert and Danie Monahan in a fast field of 18. After this race, the team talked about the importance of attacking right when it's hurting the worst - because everyone else will be hurting too! CBR1 was also an energizing debut for new-to-LG racers Kim Kopenhaver and Michael Barraclough. Welcome!


Annual Club Photo
The annual La Grange club photo will be held Saturday, February 16th at 7:30 am at San Vicente and Ocean Avenue. Members are encouraged to wear their 50th Anniversary Kits. If you have extras, please bring them to the shoot. If you don't have a 50th kit, we want you in the photo but members with the kit will be in the front. The photo is followed by an easy spin around the Marina. Peet's coffee will be served.


La Voix

Happy New Year and Happy 50th Anniversary to Velo Club La Grange!

The club was founded by Raymond Fouquet in 1969. Raymond was born December 26, 1920 in a small town that was a suburb of Paris, France. Growing up he loved sport, soccer was one of his favorites; he played in a soccer match on his wedding day. He also embraced bicycle racing and was a keen participant in local events.

During WWII, Raymond was pressed into forced labor and transported to Germany. Granted leave to visit his family, he never returned and ultimately joined the French Army. Following the war, Ray met the lovely Marie, the companion of his life, at a summer resort.

Raymond was trained to be a welder but that work was scarce so he became a waiter. Following other family members, Ray and Marie immigrated to America and settled in Chicago. In 1956, they moved their family, now including daughters Raphaele and Michele, to Los Angeles.

Raymond continued to pursue his career and worked in some of the area’s top restaurants including Chasen’s and Matteo’s. Raymond and Marie were part of the growing French community in Southern California. They watched as the interest in finer dining, beyond steak and potatoes, grew. In 1968, Ray took the plunge and opened the La Grange Restaurant on Westwood Boulevard.

Raymond had always retained his interest in cycling and his waiters would join him on rides. Some customers would join in from time to time as well and that was the genesis of the La Grange Club.

The intersection of Westwood Boulevard and La Grange Avenue, which is where the World Famous Nichols ride starts every Sunday, was officially dedicated as “Raymond Fouquet Square” on July 12, 2015. You can view the dedication at

Raymond Fouquet, on the far right, founded Velo Club La Grange in 1969. He opened La Grange Restaurant in 1968.

Raymond Fouquet, on the far right, founded Velo Club La Grange in 1969. He opened La Grange Restaurant in 1968.

50th Anniversary Club Kits

Most of you have received the UPS notification that the 50th Anniversary Kits are on their way to you and I'm as excited as you are to receive the kits, which were designed by club members and graphic designers extraordinaire Jaycee Cary and Marco Fabrizio.

The Giro Aether MIPS helmet comes in red with a gradient that nicely matches the 50th Anniversary Kit. These are available to club members at an incredible price. Please ask Adam at Helen’s Cycles to order one for you.

The Giro Aether MIPS helmet comes in red with a gradient that nicely matches the 50th Anniversary Kit. These are available to club members at an incredible price. Please ask Adam at Helen’s Cycles to order one for you.

Helen's Night 2019

Helen's Night will be Monday, February 11th at 7:30 p.m. so mark your calendar now. For those that don’t know, Helen’s Night is an annual La Grange event. They close their Santa Monica store and La Grange takes over for one night. Pizza, pasta, beverages of all types plus amazing deals from Cannondale, Giro, Cycliq, and many other vendors plus at least one surprise announcement. You’ve heard of Black Friday? This is Magical Monday!


La Grange Happy Hour at The Wilshire Restaurant

The December Happy Hour was very well attended and quite fun. Thanks to Tracy Paaso and Katie Rollins for their continued organization of these social events. We plan on having four social events during 2019 in addition to Helen's Night so come join your fellow members and try to guess who they are without a helmet. The Giro Aether MIPS helmet was on display, which is why a couple of members are shown modeling the helmet.

A fun time at the December Happy Hour was had by all.

A fun time at the December Happy Hour was had by all.

2019 La Grange Membership Cards

The brand new 2019 50th Anniversary collector’s edition of the La Grange Membership cards designed by Jaycee Cary are available for members at Helen's in Santa Monica. Ask Mike, Adam, or Sandy when you are at Helen's to give you one. Also, some the Board of Directors occasionally carry extras so please ask one of us if we have one for you.

2019 Membership Card designed by Jaycee Cary featuring the 50th anniversary logo.

2019 Membership Card designed by Jaycee Cary featuring the 50th anniversary logo.

La Grange Cyclocross Racing Report by Barb Blakley Millott

The La Grange cross team’s inaugural season was a pretty good success if I (one of the captains!) do say so myself. We had terrific participation in all our target races and found team members pinging each other to carpool and cheer each other on for non-target races as well!

A few highlights included:

  • Duncan Clarke won the men’s C race at Glendale turkey trot cross, arguably the most fun ( and most grassy) course of the year.

  • Cara McCauley Applegate crushed multiple weekends including a second place finish in the women’s masters field at Spooky Cross in Ventura.

  • Sam Selfridge finished the men’s B championship race at Sylmar in a strong 5th place.

  • Dan Funk was second in the men’s masters 55+ race at Sylmar.

  • Jason Kilmer had several strong results including a second place finish in Sylmar for the men’s 35+ C field.

  • Barb Blakley Millott, team co-captain, won 3 masters races and tailgunned in the women’s A field a few times as well.

  • Rod Millott, team co-captain, was a champion team manager, mechanic, and tent setter-upper and far outperformed his wife in captain duties. However, he also pulled down a 4th place finish in Ventura at Spooky Cross in the men’s 45+ B field.

    This is by no means an exhaustive list of podiums for the team, but the highlight was getting the team together every weekend for 5 weeks in a row, practicing our skills and our heckling, and enjoying the SoCal weather which is frankly a little too pleasant for cyclocross!

Sam Selfridge on the course. Be sure to take a close look at his bike…the front of the bike. Yup.

Sam Selfridge on the course. Be sure to take a close look at his bike…the front of the bike. Yup.

Dan Funk on the podium.

Dan Funk on the podium.

Cyclocross co-captain Barb Blakley Millott on the podium.

Cyclocross co-captain Barb Blakley Millott on the podium.

Cyclocross co-captain Rod Millott on the course.

Cyclocross co-captain Rod Millott on the course.

Jason Kilmer on the podium.

Jason Kilmer on the podium.

Sophie Millott, team doggie, in her team kit protecting the team tent.

Sophie Millott, team doggie, in her team kit protecting the team tent.

Interested in Racing for La Grange?!

Any member who wants to race for La Grange should reach out to Robert Efthimos, the Race Director for 2019. Email him at racedirector at for more information...but don't wait since racing starts soon!

On Behalf of the Board of Directors of VCLG

I want to wish everyone a happy new year and hope you and your family have a very healthy year. And remember, this is your club. We want to hear from you. Our next Board of Directors meeting is Wednesday, January 9th.

Rich Hirschinger
President Velo Club La Grange

Graphic created by Robert Franssen.

Graphic created by Robert Franssen.