The first event of the 2016 La Grange Cup is almost upon us! I hope you have your calendar cleared for Saturday, April 9th, from 12pm-3pm. Each and every one of you is invited to participate. So please sign up and join us!
The annual La Grange Cup is a three event "intramural" race series designed for ALL La Grange members. It's free to participate. Whether you come out to vie for the overall title and bragging rights among the club or come out for fun and to set a new personal best, the La Grange Cup has you covered. Here are the three events in the series - you can pick and choose which to do, but I highly encourage you to do all three:
- #1: 500 meter sprint on the Encino velodrome. C'mon, everyone can ride 500M.
- #2: 20K time trial on PCH from Trancas to (Almost) The Rock. Yes, this one is measured using the metric system, but don't let that stop you.
- #3: Piuma Hill Climb. You're all a bunch of sickos, because while this is clearly the most difficult event in the series, it consistently attracts the largest number of participants.
It's totally FREE, there are prizes, including custom jerseys for the winners of each age category, and no license or prior experience is required.
The first leg of the 2016 La Grange Cup, the 500M time trial on the outdoor velodrome in Encino, will be held on April 9th from noon-3pm. Here is a video of last year's event:
And as if there were not enough, we are very happy to report that our valued sponsor Gerry Agnew aka CalBikeLaw.com will be providing a Taco Guy on the velodrome's infield! So come ride your bike for 500 meters, burn approximately 80 calories and then replenish your energy stores with 800 calories of tacos! Everyone is a winner when tacos are involved! Thank you CalBikeLaw!
President, Velo Club La Grange
La Grange Santa Barbara Century Coming Up!
Come join your fellow La Grangers on a group century ride. We will meet at the Van Nuys Amtrak Station at 7:30 am and ride through Chatsworth, Simi Valley, Moorpark, Santa Paula, Ojai, Carpenteria, Montecito, and then into Santa Barbara.
We are planning on having the La Grange Sprinter van provide SAG support, and, depending upon the number of riders, we might also have the Helen’s van provide support as well. You can view the route here:
We are planning on having lunch in Santa Barbara fairly close to the train station, and plan on taking the 4:40pm train back to the Van Nuys station, which arrives at 6:45pm. There are a lot of logistics involved in coordinating everything so we kindly ask that you RSVP to the event we're created on the La Grange Facebook page so that we know how many riders to expect.
We hope you can join, whether this is your first century or your 100th! It will be fun, and memorable!
- Rich Hirschinger, Ride Czar
Upcoming in April
Apr 1-3: San Dimas Stage Race, San Dimas
Apr 2: LAVRA Cat 5 Upgrade Omnium, VSC Carson
Apr 2: Helen’s Group Ride + Fueling Seminar, Helen’s SM
Apr 2: Bear Claw Classic, Simi Valley
Apr 2-3: US Cup / Fontana XC, Fontana
Apr 3: Helen’s Cycles / TriFit Beginner Ride, 7:45 am Helen’s / Santa Monica
Apr 4: LAVRA Monday Night Sprints, VSC Carson
Apr 5: El Dorado Park, Long Beach
Apr 6-10: Redlands Bicycle Classic, Redlands
Apr 9: 2016 La Grange Cup #1: 500 M Sprint, Encino Velodrome
Apr 9: Rosena Ranch Circuit Race, San Bernardino
Apr 9: Helen’s MDR Group Ride, Helen’s Marina Del Rey
Apr 9: Helen’s Cycles Monthly MTB Group Ride, 7:45 am Helen’s / Santa Monica
Apr 9-10: US Cup / Bonelli Park XC #2, San Dimas
Apr 12: El Dorado Park, Long Beach
Apr 13: Board of Directors Meeting – All members welcome. 7 pm Yahoo! Centeracross the street from Helen’s Cycles Santa Monica
Apr 15: LAVRA Friday Night Racing Series 2, VSC Carson
Apr 16: San Luis Rey Road Race, Bonsall
Apr 16: Helen’s Cycles Women Only Group Ride, 7:45 am Helen’s Santa Monica
Apr 17: LA Circuit Race, LAX
Apr 17: Helen’s Cycles / TriFit Beginner Ride, 7:45 am Helen’s / Santa Monica
Apr 19: El Dorado Park, Long Beach
Apr 22: LAVRA Friday Night Racing Series 2, VSC Carson
Apr 23: Old Town Temecula Grand Prix, Temecula
Apr 23: Sisquoc Loop De Shoop, Sisquoc
Apr 23: LAVRA Junior & Masters Omnium, VSC Carson
Apr 24: Belgian Waffle Ride, San Marcos
Apr 24: CBR 4 of 6, Carson
Apr 24: LAVRA TT Series, VSC Carson
Apr 24: L’Etape California, Thousand Oaks
Apr 24: Island View Classic, Goleta
Apr 26: El Dorado Park, Long Beach
Apr 30-May 1: Dana Point Grand Prix, Dana Point
Apr 30: LAVRA Saturday Night Racing Series 2, VSC Carson
Apr 30: La Grange Santa Barbara Century, Van Nuys to Santa Barbara
Special thanks to Joey Santa Cruz for putting this list together
Save the Dates!
Here are key dates beyond this month and through the end of the year:
May 8: Supplemental kit order #2 opens
May 17: Supplemental kit order #2 closes
May 30: La Grange Memorial Day Holiday Ride
June 25: La Grange Cup Stage #2: 20km Time Trial from Trancas to (almost) The Rock
July 10: Raymond Fouquet Memorial Nichols Ride
Sept 10: 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
Racer of the Month Award Winners p/b
Thanks again to La Grange sponsor Seth Davidson Law for providing the generous sponsorship commitment that allows us to reward our racers who best epitomize the La Grange spirit!
Cycling on the Internet
with Matthieu Delcourt
With the increasing number of powermeters in our peloton, here is a tool that will complement Strava for anything that relates to your power profiles: http://wattsboard.com
Wattsboard synchronizes all Strava data (provided that you own a powermeter) and shows you how your power profile changes over the season. This includes your max power for different times (from 1s up to 60min) and for different date ranges. You can also see the time spent in each of your power zones as defined by the famous Dr. Andrew Coggan as well as workout intensities. Most of these graphs are not included in Strava premium and can help decipher the complexity of power data. Enjoy!
PS: you may have to let the synchronisation run overnight.
Chuck Pontius Omnium (Road Race & Criterium)
March 19-20 - Castaic, CA and Santa Clarita, CA
by Trish Bakst ft. Kate Wymbs
So you all know our amazing, winning girl, Kate Wymbs swept the Chuck Pontius Omnium this weekend, winning the 3/4 RR yesterday and the 3/4 Crit today. Amazing. Awesome. #badasschix. But I have a few details to add to the story about our amazing teammate.
I raced (not well) in the Chuck Pontius RR as a Masters 55. Its an out and back race, with a long grinding uphill on the outbound and a 3 mile nasty hill on the return, finishing with a steep (albeit short) hill.
The Masters 55s and 45s started at 7:36am. The 3/4s started 5 minutes later at 7:39. That 5 minutes is important to this story. So, as usual, I got dropped on the first big hill, and enjoyed watched Tracy Paaso casually pull away with the entire 45/55 group in tow. Midway on the outbound, I hear someone yelling behind me and then suddenly Kate appears, with the entire 3/4 group behind her. What was she yelling, you ask? She was yelling to (not at) me - encouraging me to keep on it, pick a target, ride from target to target, don't give up, keep going. As she pulled up alongside me, she SLOWED down, probably much to the relief of the pack that was huffing and puffing behind her, long enough encourage me, and then she picked up the pace and took off. Although I tried to stay with her, I could only hold it for 5-10 minutes, and then fell off again.
But the story does not end.
As I neared the turnaround, maybe a half mile to go, I see the pack coming back. I can see them coming fast. I hear shouting. As they come into focus, I see Kate attacking - she's already in front of the entire 45/55, 3/4 group. Tracy is yelling at her to go go go. And what does Kate do? In the middle of the attack? She calls across the road to me! She tells me the turnaround is close, i'm almost there, keep going! You can do it, she says. She's attacking and encouraging me at the same time. Honestly, it makes me teary to think of it. What a teammate! What an athlete! What an amazing sportsman. Kate Wymbs is my hero.
The story ends like this: Kate's attack was successful. She dropped all of the 3/4s, 45s and 55s. (Remember, the 45s and 55s had a 5 minute headstart.) One cat 3 stayed with her on the breakaway until eventually Kate dropped her too. Kate didn't just win. She killed it. She knocked it out of the ball park.
PS - I went home to sleep. Kate went to the Carson track to watch the Worlds, got there in time for 1:30pm race and stayed there through the evening. And then she killed it again today. How do we bottle and sell that kind of energy?
Castaic Lake Road Race Masters State Championships
March 19 - Castaic, CA
by Rich Mull
Yesterday at Castaic Lake, I scored another one of those fancy state champion bear outfits. For years, I have had to battle the 60+ sprinter/power climber types at the State race in Bakersfield. Last year was my first year to prevail over them by breaking early on one of the climbs to win my first bear kit. This year, they moved the race to Castaic Lake, which has almost 6000 feet of climbing in 55 miles. Longest climb was only about 1.3 miles but a lot of shorter climbs.
They combined 55+ with 60+ and 65+, which turned out to be a blessing. Seriously good 55+ guys. You know you have your hands full when the 55+ group includes a guy whose nickname is the Vampire - Chris Walker who was on the Colorado Cyclist pro team with Leipheimer and Vaughters in the late 90s and was second in the 50-54 Nats last year. There was another guy who is a two time national champ and a guy who was the state champ from last year and won San Dimas.
Lots of intense surges starting with the first half mile climb 10 minutes into the race, but I was able to hang with the top 55s. With about 10 miles to go, Walker took off on a flatish section. I made a move to follow but no one else seemed particularly interested. After I found out who he was, I figured out why. He won 55+ easily.
There was one guy in my age group who hung in there towards the back of the 55 pack I was in until the last 1.3 mile climb 6 miles from the finish. Myself and 4 55+ guys turned on the gas on that climb and I led the group over the top. I looked back at the top and saw no one in sight other than those 4 55+ guys. We powered up one last roller and still no sign of anyone else. The race finished up a steepish quarter mile climb. I finished in first in my 60+age group just behind the 4 55+ guys who gunned it in the last 200 yards. I owed those guys big time so I had no interest in trying to finish in front of them even if I could have.
The guy in second in my group was maybe 3-4 minutes behind. The sprinter/power climbers who made it tough for me in past state races stayed home given the course (weenies). And here I was hoping they would stop by to take some pulls on the climbs.
Next race for me is the 3 day San Dimas stage race in two weeks [Ed: SDSR begins today - you can follow the results here]. Not likely to be many guys in my 60+ age group there because highest age group is only 55+ and we race together with 45+, but it is a great race.
Copperopolis Road Race
March 26 - Milton, CA
by David Holland
[Ed: David races for Big Orange but is also a good friend of the club and a card-carrying La Grange member. This is his guest report on an iconic NorCal road race.]
Surfer Dan Cobley and I road tripped it up to Copperopolis for one of the crown jewels of the Norcal road race scene. We were both on good days, but - unfortunately - we were both foiled by broken wheels.
Dan raced in Cat 3 which was a massive 4 loops of the 22 mile loop. Finishing loop 3, he noticed his front wheel was knocked out of true by the bumps of the unmaintained road. Instead of doing the prudent thing (stopping), Dan opened the brake calipers and kept rolling. The field attrited down to about 10. Dan took 7th without getting too crazy on the final downhill run-in to the sprint finish. Amazing it have finished so well on a extremely wobbly front wheel.
I raced in the 45+. I was doing a solid ride, surviving the climbs (which I did not do last year) and getting excited to be in the mix. 3 were up the road in a break, 14 were in the main field (including me) and about 15 more were in shattered fragments left behind. But going into the third and final lap, my valve stem extender actually came unscrewed and popped off. Yes. It was a bumpy road!
Overall - great trip on an epic course. It is a hard man's course for sure (James Cowan!!!). It requires some climbing competency, but there are long grinding stretches of rolling terrain on ROUGH roads that require constant attention and force on the pedals. So different from any Socal race - for sure.
We will probably be going next year to take care of unfinished business. Join us!
The Month in Pictures
Seth Davidson Law
By Seth Davidson
(424) 241-8118, 24/7
Bike Injury Lawyer and 2016 Velo Club La Grange Sponsor
South Bay cyclist Jonathan Tansavartdi was killed in a collision with a truck going down Hawthorne Boulevard on March 8. He’s one of a number of cyclists killed this year, and these deaths really need to focus attention on what we can do to reduce the carnage.
It’s my belief that the overwhelming majority of collisions are unintentional. Cars don't intentionally target cyclists and try to hit them, even though we all experience road range, buzzing, harassment, and razor-close calls with terrifying regularity.
Cars tend to hit bikes because they don’t see them. Typically the driver is paying enough attention to avoid hitting large objects like other cars, but not enough attention to avoid hitting smaller vehicles that are usually on the edge of the road.
It’s my belief that the single most important thing you can do to avoid a collision is to be seen. Bike handling skills are great, knowledge of the traffic laws is great (following them even better), and covering your tender noggin with a helmet is a very smart move most of the time.
But if you want to not get hit, here are five things that you can do, starting tomorrow, that will greatly reduce your chance of getting whacked.
- Run a super bright headline on strobe during every daytime ride. 1500 lumens isn’t too many. The blinking front light stops people who are getting ready to pull out in front of you from a driveway. If it’s bright enough it also hits their side and rearview mirrors, reducing the chance that you get right-hooked or that you get doored. I cannot count the number of times that my headlight has caused drivers to pause and yield when exiting a parking lot or driveway, or the number of times that right-turning drivers ahead of me have spotted me in their rearview and let me pass before turning. Brilliant blinking daytime lights work.
- Run a super bright tail light on strobe all the time. 100-150 lumens of brilliant red light cause drivers to see you and instinctively give you a wider berth when they pass. I won’t say “never,” but in the last four years or so that I’ve ridden with a daytime bright tail light, I’ve been buzzed a tiny handful of times. Before that it was a regular feature of cycling.
- Wear hi-visibility clothing. A lot of people don’t want to wear high-viz orange and yellow because it’s ugly and because it wrecks their style points on the bike. I get that. But for everyone who’d rather be alive and garish than pretty and dead, get yourself some electric Kool-Aid colors.
- Ride with a group. This isn’t always an option, and riding with others has its own set of dangers, but riding with others makes you more visible and controls more of the lane, forcing drivers to see you and adjust.
- Take a bonehead cycling class. Just because you race and are a two-wheeled wizard doesn’t mean you know the traffic laws or the principles of lane control. Even if you do, a basic cycling class will refresh basic points you’ve forgotten and, most importantly, will allow you to teach those basic points to others. Because you’re cool like that.
You needn’t do all of these things, of course. Any of them can help you be seen and reduce the chance that you get hit. But if you’re unwilling to do basic things like get expensive front and tail lights, do a cost-benefit analysis. Compare the cost of a $500 front-and-rear light setup to the cost of breaking your bike in a single collision, or the cost of a nice wheelset, or the cost of a ride to the ER in an ambulance. It’s so, as they say, worth it.
See you on the road.
[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.]
Thank you to our 2016 sponsors:
Michelob Ultra: michelobultra.com
Helen's Cycles: helenscycles.com
Rudy Project: rudyprojectusa.com
Peet's Coffee: peets.com
Lee Ziff: Lee Ziff
Pfeiffer FitzGibbon & Ziontz LLP: pfzlaw.com
Seth Davidson Law: Seth Davidson Law
Lane Ochi DDS