La Voix - July 2016

Raymond Fouquet Memorial Nichols Ride

Please join us for a special edition of the Nichols Ride on Sunday, July 10. This will mark the one-year anniversary of the dedication of Raymond Fouquet Square at the intersection of La Grange and Westwood, the traditional starting point of the Nichols Ride. Please spread the word and let's make this a fun, fast and safe Nichols Ride in honor of our club's founder.

Brentwood Grand Prix

Dear members,

It is with considerable sadness that I must announce that we will not be holding the Brentwood Grand Prix this year. The race was first held in 2008, and resulted from the blood, sweat and tears of a veritable army of La Grange leaders and volunteers, in particular Jay Slater, Tom Fitzgibbon, Brian Pera and Marco Fantone.

The decision to discontinue BGP was one that was made after exhaustive and careful deliberation by the La Grange board of directors. It was not a decision that was made lightly. I would like to share with you our reasons for discontinuing BGP.

First, the race was logistically VERY challenging to put on. The preparation for each edition of BGP was many months in the making and occupied an outsized share of the bandwidth of our La Grange leadership. We successfully navigated multiple hurdles to keep the race alive, but there were significant doubts that we would be able to continue to do so. As just one example, we lost the use of the VA parking lot last year due to the impact of certain litigation involving the VA with respect to the permitted use of VA property. That meant that last year, all of our racers, volunteers and other supporters with cars had to find parking on the streets of Brentwood. We had concerns that this would be untenable going forward.

Second and even more importantly, the race represented a significant cost to the club. There are a number of factors at play here - the difficulty in securing race sponsorship dollars, the high cost of putting on a first-class race event in downtown Brentwood and the general decline in race entries in SoCal over the past several years - that all contributed to the club subsidizing the race to the tune of over $10,000 in some years.

I recently saw a post from another cycling club promoting their race, where they noted that the race was their single largest fundraising event of the year. FundRAISING. This is in marked contrast to what BGP became to La Grange - one of our single largest expenses each year.

I want you to know that I and the rest of the La Grange board take our commitment to annually sponsor a race very seriously. To that end, La Grange continued our third year in a row sponsoring a multi-event Friday Night Racing Racing series at Velo Sports Carson. We fully intend to continue that sponsorship and continue our support of local track racing.

We are also in the process of identifying a new venue for a circuit race or criterium. This is an active process that has been going on for some time and is a priority for the board. We are investigating a number of alternatives and are cautiously optimistic that we can create a new La Grange race tradition - one that offers great racing, a fun experience for our spectators and volunteers, while minimizing or eliminating some of the civic, retail and parking challenges that we face in Brentwood, all at a cost that is more manageable to the club.

One of my most bitter yet ultimately very sweet racing memories happened at BGP, which you can see in the video clip below. I, like you, will miss BGP dearly. But I am confident that we can put in place a race that will create amazing moments and memories for the club, racers and community going forward.

Robert Efthimos
President, Velo Club La Grange

My most bitter-to-sweet moment as a racer. I'm winding up for the sprint, ready to win a Bear Jersey, when the racer in front of me pulls out of his pedal, which causes me to take my foot off the gas, slow down and lose the gear. Would I have won? We'll never know. But bitter turns to sweet when Marco Fabrizio takes the win for the team. A great race at BGP.

2016 La Grange Cup Results

The PCH time trial - Trancas to (Almost) The Rock was a great event and saw some great times and efforts from all of the La Grange members who came out to ride really, really hard for 20K. And this year is was really 20K, no short course this time!

Also special thanks to Michael Johnson, CEO of our longtime sponsor Herbalife, for coming out and competing with us. We had tubs of Herbalife Prolong and Recovery mix available for our TTers to take home with them, and while we offered to load up Michael with some product, he politely declined and told us to save it for the members (I may or may not have made up that last part).

2016 La Grange Cup Director Sportif Marco Fantone managed the day's event and wanted to thank and recognize a number of volunteers who helped to make the event such a great success:

  • Robert and Patrick for bringing the van
  • Scott Lipe for getting riders on course
  • Jan Datomi for making sure everyone had their numbers and attached them correctly!
  • Colin and Jerry for providing the muscle to hold each rider at the start line
  • Louis for corralling the riders into the start area
  • Gary for logging the finishing times at (Almost) Big Rock
  • Frank for manning the stopwatch
  • Edgar and Dan for calling out rider numbers as they approached the finish

With that, here are the results of the TT, grouped by age category as well as overall:

And here are your category and overall GC standings:

Note: In the overall category and GC standings, racers are awarded points only if they compete in 2 out of the 3 legs of the La Grange Cup. That means that as of now, you have only been awarded points in the category and GC standings if you competed in both the 500M and 20K time trials. But do not despair! If you competed in one of those events and show up for Piuma, you will be scored with points in both of the events in which you competed.

The final leg of the 2016 LA Grange Cup is the Piuma Hill Climb, the one that started it all and perenially the best-attended event of the series. Details to come, but mark your calendars for September 17 and cut back on the triple bacon cheeseburgers while you're at it (everyone knows climbers stick to just a double bacon cheeseburger).

Stay tuned for Piuma registration information - we'll announce as we get a little closer to September 17.

Upcoming Events July 2016

July 2: Helen’s Monthly Group Ride, 7:45 am Helen’s / Santa Monica
July 3: Arco Grand Prix of Long Beach, Long Beach
July 3: Helen’s Cycles / TriFit Beginner Ride, 7:45 am Helen’s / Santa Monica
July 3: Bikes and Brunch w.Phil Gaimon, 8:00 am Pedaler’s Fork Calabasas
July 4: Holiday Ride / Mandeville PRs, 8:00 am Manhattan Beach
July 4: Annual Independence Day Sale and BBQ at Helen’s / Santa Monica
July 5: El Dorado Park Crit, Long Beach
July 6: Ride the Black Line Summer Series, Encino Velodrome
July 8-10: Elite / Junior Track State Championship, VSC Carson
July 8-10: Crafts and Cranks / MTB State Championship, Big Bear Lake
July 9: Helen’s MDR Group Ride, 7:45 Helen’s / Marina Del Rey
July 10: Raymond Fouquet Memorial Nichols Ride, 8:00 Westwood Blvd. & La Grange Ave
July 9: Helen’s Monthly MTB ride, 7:45 am Helen’s SM
July 10: Sunday Sundae – Junior Omnium Stage Race, Redlands
July 10: Cyclo-Vet Classic Criterium, San Diego
July 10: Beginner Racer Program, Redlands
July 11: Ride & Race Skills Clinic, Redlands
July 12: El Dorado Park Crit, Long Beach
July 13: Board of Directors Meeting – All members welcome. 7 pm Yahoo! Centeracross the street from Helen’s Cycles Santa Monica
July 16: Adrenaline Twilight Grand Prix, Chula Vista
July 16: Tehachapi MTB BrewFondo, Tehachapi
July 16: Helen’s Cycles Women Only Group Ride, 7:45 am Helen’s Santa Monica
July 17: Carlsbad Grand Prix, Carlsbad
July 17: Helen’s Cycles / TriFit Beginner Ride, 7:45 am Helen’s / Santa Monica
July 17: Beginner Racer Program, Redlands
July 18: Ride & Race Skills Clinic, Redlands
July 19: El Dorado Park Crit, Long Beach
July 20: Ride the Black Line Summer Series, Encino Velodrome
July 23: Sherman Pass Road Race, Ridgecrest
July 23-24: SCNCA Masters Track State Championship, VSC Carson
July 24: Jurupa Valley Grand Prix #6, Jurupa Valley
July 26: El Dorado Park Crit, Long Beach
July 25: Ride & Race Skills Clinic, Redlands
July 31: Beginner Racer Program, Redlands

Special thanks to Joey Santa Cruz for putting this list together

Save the Dates!

We've had a busy year - here are some key dates beyond July as we look to close out 2016:

Sept 17: La Grange Cup Stage #3: Piuma Hill Climb

Nov 13: Club Photo / President's Ride / Awards Banquet

Nov 24: La Grange Thanksgiving Holiday Ride Benefiting Meals on Wheels

From the Desk of Seth Davidson Law

The Law's Limits

By Seth Davidson
(424) 241-8118, 24/7
Bike Injury Lawyer and 2016 Velo Club La Grange Sponsor
The best thing you can do with regard to getting hit by a car while biking is to not get hit at all. Seems like common sense, right?

For most people, defensive cycling lasts as long as they’re on their bikes. As soon as the bike is safely tucked in bed with you, concerns about safety on the streets evaporates until the next ride.

The corollary to this is that bicycle people only think about law and lawyers after they’ve been hit. Who’s at fault? How do I prove it? What’s my injury worth? And most intensely, no matter how terrible the collision, WHEN AM I GETTING MY BIKE BACK?

Defensive bicycling and aggressive lawyering, however, shouldn’t be limited to these occasions. We should, and can, be effective, defensive cyclists without ever throwing a leg over the top tube or setting foot in court. How? By advocating for bicycle people at your city council’s transportation committee monthly meeting. By showing up at city council meetings and advocating for bike-friendly streets. And of course by reporting crimes when they’re committed against you. Just like “buzzed driving” is cutesy for DUI, “getting buzzed” means “felony assault with a deadly weapon.”

Police and local legislators act only when pushed, pushed repeatedly, and pushed by lots of voters. Democracy really is run by those who show up. In blunter terms, would you rather have a nice settlement check, or be able to walk?

I hate to say you’ll feel empowered by being part of the process, but watching local officials act in our interest and stand on our side is one of the most gratifying feelings there is. And however miserable it sometimes feel sitting through meetings, it beats the hell out of sitting in the waiting room at the ER.

[About Seth: Seth has been cycling since 1982 and road racing since 1984. More than 90% of his practice consists of representing injured cyclists in the South Bay and West L.A.]

Sponsor Spotlight

While many of you are familiar with many of our sponsors, in particular our large, long-time sponsors, we have some new sponsors for 2016 that we'd like to introduce to you. Our goal is to eventually introduce you to all of our sponsors - for this month's edition of La Voix, I would like to introduce you to two of our new sponsors for 2016: Lee Ziff and Rich Hirschinger.

Many of you know Lee, as he has been a La Grange member since 1975. He is also an accomplished real estate agent and in addition to a generous donation to support the club's activities in 2016, Lee has agreed to donate a portion of his commission from any La Grange members that he helps buy or sell a home. So if you are in the market, we encourage you to give Lee a call!

Lee has has a stellar reputation in the brokerage community, with 20 years experience representing real estate buyers and sellers in about 500 successful transactions. Lee is consistently Top 1% in sales in the nation and works with a huge range of properties from 1 bedroom condos to huge celebrity estates.

Lee is based in Beverly Hills with Keller Williams but handle transactions in almost every neighborhood in Los Angeles. He has a reputation for handing high end properties but loves to work with first time buyers and has handled many transactions for La Grange members.

Joe Camacho, La Grange board member and treasurer:

Lee Ziff sold my house!

Sounds so cliche, but our newest sponsor and fellow rider, racer and general bike addict is a great realtor. 

If any of you have ridden with Lee you know his passion, tenacity and drive. He applies the same to selling real estate. He had great advice and told me to put some “work" into the house. He meant personal effort and commitment to making the house ready to show. It paid off in a major way. The selling price was phenomenal. I can’t take all the credit, Lee’s team  was outstanding, from helping cat sit, to pulling out full page add in MLS, my house looked incredible.,-90034_rb/

The guidance and help form Lee and his team is unparalleled. If you are looking to sell or buy a house I highly recommend Lee and his team.


Yet Another Club Sponsor: Rich Hirschinger, DDS, MBA

My name is Rich Hirschinger, and I am a Board certified orofacial pain and dental sleep medicine specialist. I earned my dental degree from USC , and subsequently did a two-year full time residency at UCLA in orofacial pain and dental sleep medicine, where I am now a clinic director on Wednesday's. I have been a member of La Grange since the late 1980's, and I recently became a club sponsor, which is great news for you. I treat people with snoring and/or sleep apnea who cannot tolerate a CPAP machine, which is a mask that is worn during sleep. I treat patients using a dental appliance that pulls the jaw forward to open the airway. Compliance is much better with an oral appliance compared to a CPAP machine since there is no noise, nothing to fit over your face, and it is very easy to travel with compared to a CPAP machine. I also treat facial pain including any type of primary headache, which includes migraines, cluster, and tension-type headaches, as well as TMJ, and head and neck muscle and nerve pain.

As a member of La Grange, I'm happy to extend a 15% courtesy off all the services I provide. The courtesy is for La Grange members and heir immediate family members. I do accept insurance for sleep apnea patients. For all other services, I provide patients with a Superbill, which can submitted to your medical insurance for reimbursement.

I'm happy to answer any questions you have during rides, or at Peet's, about the services I provide so please feel free to ask me. The advice is free!

Cycling on the Internet

Cycling on the Internet
with Matthieu Delcourt

Strava Sauce

Here is another chrome add-on that you Stravaddicts will like: “Strava Sauce!"

Simply add this extension to your Chrome browser and Strava will finally display on the left of the screen the Critical Power numbers that you were looking for (5min, 10min, 15min, 20min, 30min and 60min). This, even if you don’t own a powermeter! It’s simple and automatic. The great feature of “Strava Sauce” is that you can click on that power value and it tells you where on the road your best power was and what racing category it is worth. You also get your normalized power estimate for each ride, which is a lot more accurate than the average power that Strava gives you because it represents a more realistic estimation of the physiological demand (you’ll need your heart rate monitor for this).

Enjoy the Strava Sauce!

USA Cycling Talent ID Camp

USA Cycling Talent ID Camp
June 19-24 - Davis, CA
by Ari Elkins

Julian, Ivy and I traveled to Davis, California by way of Brian's mini van for the USA Cycling Talent ID Camp. For those of you that don't know, the Talent ID Camp takes a selected group of juniors and U23 riders and prepares them for racing in Europe and expands their skills on the bike all together.

The first day we did a 20min power test up one of the few hills in Davis. This hurt so much because it averaged 10% and it was over 100 degrees outside. The next day we did a lighter yet still painful 5min power test.

These tests were later put into the computer by the camp director for USAC to see how we stand in order to get selected for their national teams. The rest of the week included many drills such as rotating pacelines, echelons, team time trials, and bumping.

My tests results came back pretty well and I ranked 4th out of all the campers on the 5minute test in watts/kilo. I cant wait to continue to grow as a rider and return next year to see how my power has improved.

Race Reports

Lake Elizabeth Road Race (Cat 5)
June 11 - Lancaster
by Johnny Munoz

Just joined the LG family in March of this year and started racing immediately after in April. I've been having an amazing time learning from personal mistakes and also being able to gain insight from my fellow LG racers, in person and also through the hilarious/educational threads of our Racing Lounge. Can't thank you all enough for the countless hours of training I've been able to be apart of, whether on the LG rides or grabbing pulls from LG racers out on the courses. Wearing the Fleur-de-lis has never felt so good (only because Patrick Barrett was kind enough to loan me an older designed kit until my most recent order comes in)!

Now for the race....
All I can say is, ironically the same phrase that sublimated my mind and memories for the following few days, which is... "That was NOT a Crit!" 

Being that a couple Circuit Races and a slew of Crits have been the extent of my current and extremely brief career of bike racing, I finally was able to jump in to the type of race that I have been watching the Pros do on for the few past years. The Cat 5 race was a sheepish 2 laps of the 14 mile | 1,000ft course out in sunny Lancaster. Needless to say, the course starting on an incline turned out to be the least of my worries at the end of the day. The course started with a 2.5 mile climb that included a mild and gradual ascent into the hills of the desert before rolling along another 1.5 miles to the next pitch before the "glorious" 4 mile descent. The route concluded on a 5 mile flat through the heat waves of the solar farm we were lost in before the long stretch to the finish line.

Along with my epiphany of a Road Race not being a crit, I also came across 2 very important and long-lasting mistakes that I will always remember. 

The race starts and Steve Meister, Francisco Munoz and I, all stay towards the middle/back of the group and make sure we spin our legs knowing that we'll have to do this twice today. The 3 accelerations on the climb were all matched except for the last, where...(Mistake #1)...I took my learnings from the CRIT world, and tried to apply the "I'll catch them on the next lap" mentality and ended up brutally realizing that there was a different style of approach that was needed for this one (especially once I saw that the lead group finished a couple minutes ahead of the group I was chasing) 

At this point I realized that the descent was conveniently situated to not only deceive the exhausted riders (ME) into recovering while the leaders pushed onward at speeds of 45+mph but to also allow me to try out my Sagan inspired "Super-Tuck" in order to try and salvage the loss time I had mustered up by not closing the gap on the final surge up the climb. Once I crossed the line for the first time of the required two, I found myself in a tiny 3-man group as we approached the climb. Still bothered at my lack of decisiveness on the first go around, I chose to NOT recover behind a wheel but instead lead us all up the climb and practically go into the red at the crest of it. I definitely blame it on my wanting to bridge to the lead group, as the reason of my pulling the group I was with...which (MISTAKE #2) I then forced myself to recover on the rollers and eventually separate from the group I pulled up and never being able to quite catch them either!

All-in-All, a very good lesson learned coupled with a rather lousy placing.

Lake Elizabeth Road Race (Cat 4)
June 11 - Lancaster
by Stephen Kennelly

Can my heart rate still be that high, will I get the feeling in my left leg back, I didn't realize you could cramp in your groin, why do they call them false flats as opposed to lying hills? These were all questions going through my mind for the final 5km of the Cat 4 Lake Elizabeth Road Road. 

I believe it was the first running of this race in Lancaster and some post on Facebook fooled me into think it was a relatively flat course. So I got my hall pass from my 6 month old with the proviso to be back by 1pm for walkies & sing time! 

The race was 3 laps, 66km with approx 300mts (3,000 of your Brexit loving imperial feet), the majority of the climbing at the start of each lap. Being Irish has many positives, people buy you drinks, they believe they can relate to you because their 4th cousin once removed visited Ireland in search of heritage and looked a pint of Guinness once. However when it comes to road racing in So Cal being the whitest race on the planet with beer bellys attached can be a bummer. 

After applying my Zinc block 273 SPF I lined up and attacked the first lap. I hung with the main skinny boys group for the first climb just losing touch on the 2nd hill. While disappointing there was enough stragglers and crit boys who forgot CBR was the following day to race with. 

This was my 4th road race after starting last year. By far the hardest but also most enjoyable. I've genuinely never felt such pain on a bike before, cramping, seizing and exhaustion. But the descent was awesome (and where the beer belly came in handy). Imagine Mandy butt longer and no fear of cars. My placing was unspectacular but I was happy with my personal effort and know I left nothing out there. 

But Back to the real question, "I wonder what my strava suffer score is going be". It s was as extreme as the race.

The Month in Pictures

Through  Kit Up Africa , La Grange kit finds its way all the way to Botswana on David Lebalelo of the Team Jonmol Cycling Club!

Through Kit Up Africa, La Grange kit finds its way all the way to Botswana on David Lebalelo of the Team Jonmol Cycling Club!

Lizbeth Armas and Daniela Garcia on the podium at CBR!

Lizbeth Armas and Daniela Garcia on the podium at CBR!

New pavement on Mulholland just in time for the Raymond Fouquet Memorial Nichols Ride on July 10!

New pavement on Mulholland just in time for the Raymond Fouquet Memorial Nichols Ride on July 10!

First mountain bike race results in a podium for Austin Venhuizen.

First mountain bike race results in a podium for Austin Venhuizen.

Ari Elkins at the La Grange Cup 500M at Encino Velodrome.

Ari Elkins at the La Grange Cup 500M at Encino Velodrome.

Louis Bianco and the La Grange van providing feed zone support for the Helen's Cycles monthly group ride, this time nonstop to The Rock from Santa Monica!

Louis Bianco and the La Grange van providing feed zone support for the Helen's Cycles monthly group ride, this time nonstop to The Rock from Santa Monica!

The La Grange Cup 500M podium.

The La Grange Cup 500M podium.

The La Grange mountain bike team takes on the Kenda Cup at Big Bear.

The La Grange mountain bike team takes on the Kenda Cup at Big Bear.

Dan and Edgar helping to keep the results straight at the La Grange Cup PCH Time Trial.

Dan and Edgar helping to keep the results straight at the La Grange Cup PCH Time Trial.

The Loco Express proves you really can run just about any kind of bike at the La Grange Cup 500M.

The Loco Express proves you really can run just about any kind of bike at the La Grange Cup 500M.

Austin Venhuizen makes the podium at his first ever Telo World Championships!

Austin Venhuizen makes the podium at his first ever Telo World Championships!

Joe Duerr on his 500M run in between assisting as a holder for other racers at the starting blocks.

Joe Duerr on his 500M run in between assisting as a holder for other racers at the starting blocks.

The finish line at the La Grange Cup PCH Time Trial. It was at the right spot this time!

The finish line at the La Grange Cup PCH Time Trial. It was at the right spot this time!

Big Orange racer / La Grange sponsor Seth Davidson looking good in his La Grange kit.

Big Orange racer / La Grange sponsor Seth Davidson looking good in his La Grange kit.

Dave Returns to Canadia

Farewell David Miller. We saw you grow (literally) from a La Grange Cat 4 noob to a Cat 1 freak beast. The local roads (and The Shack) won't be the same without you. Come back and visit soon!