Coming Up This Week
This Wednesday, February 3rd, at 7pm our sponsor Helen's Cycles is hosting a presentation from Stages Cycling and former Olympic Coach Benjamin Sharp on training with power.
Click here for the Facebook event.
La Grange members who attend the presentation will be entitled to a special 25% off Pro Deal on Stages Cycling powermeters, so Helen's and Stages are making it worth your while!
We hope to see you there!
Save the Dates!
As always, we have a lot coming up for you over the upcoming year. We recently concluded our annual calendaring exercise and so please mark your calendars for the following key club events coming up in 2016:
Feb 8 - Supplemental kit order #1 opens (select items available)
Feb 17 - Supplemental kit order #1 closes
April 9 - La Grange Cup Stage #1: 500 Meter Sprint at Encino Velodrome
May 8 - Supplemental kit order #2 opens
May 7 - La Grange Century / Santa Barbara
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
Of course, we will have lots of other events, but we didn't want you to miss these or foolishly schedule a vacation at an inopportune time!
Upcoming in February
Feb 1: LAVRA Monday Night Sprints, VSC Carson
Feb 3: Stages Cycling Power Presentation with Benjamin Sharp, Helen’s / Santa Monica
Feb 6: Tuttle Creek Road Race, Lone Pine
Feb 6: Helen’s Cycles Monthly Group Ride, 7:45 am Helen’s / Santa Monica
Feb 7: CBR Dash for Cash Crit, Compton
Feb 7: SoCal Women’s Track Series 2016 Kickoff, San Diego
Feb 7: Helen’s Cycles / TriFit Beginner Ride, 7:45 am Helen’s / Santa Monica
Feb 7: The Rock Cobbler, Bakersfield
Feb 8: **LG supplemental clothing order opens (select items available)
Feb 10: Board of Directors Meeting – All members welcome. 7 pm Yahoo! Centeracross the street from Helen’s Cycles Santa Monica
Feb 12: LAVRA Friday Night Racing Series, VSC Carson
Feb 12-14: Valley of the Sun Stage Race, Phoenix, AZ
Feb 13: UCLA Road Race, Pearblossom
Feb 13: Helen’s MDR Monthly Group Ride, 7:45 Helen’s / Marina Del Rey
Feb 13: Helen’s Cycles Ladies’ Monthly Mtn Bike Ride, 7:45 am Helen’s / Santa Monica
Feb 14: Roger Millikan Memorial Criterium, Brea
Feb 17: **LG supplemental clothing order closes
Feb 19: LAVRA Friday Night Racing Series, VSC Carson
Feb 20: Rosena Ranch, San Bernardino
Feb 20: Helen’s Cycles Women Only Group Ride, 7:45 am Helen’s Santa Monica
Feb 21: CBR #2, Carson
Feb 21: Junior Group Ride, 7:45 am Helen’s / Santa Monica
Feb 21: Helen’s Cycles / TriFit Beginner Ride, 7:45 am Helen’s / Santa Monica
Feb 27: Boulevard Road Race, Campo
Feb 26: LAVRA Friday Night Racing Series, VSC Carson
Feb 27: LAVRA Juniors & Masters Omnium, VSC Carson
Feb 28: Dare to Race Grand Prix, Jurupa Valley
Feb 28: LAVRA TT Series, VSC Carson
Feb 27: Helen’s Cycles Co-Ed Mountain Bike Ride, 7:45 am Helen’s / Santa Monica
Feb 28: Foothill Classic XC MTB Race, Bakersfield
Special thanks to Joey Santa Cruz for putting this list together
Cycling on the Internet
with Matthieu Delcourt
This month, you are treated with great inspirational videos from The Col Collective, another Youtube channel that offers amazing footages and information on many famous climbs. Season 2 is starting and will visit the US and Europe. You’ll be able to plan out your next trip to the Rockies, France or Italy and have a better idea of what you should expect.
Now get on your bike and go train on Piuma, Fernwood or Latigo that are just as hard and as beautiful!
Team Camp Report
Women's Cat 3/4 Team Camp
The women's Cat 3/4 team recently concluded their team camp and shortly thereafter began compiling a report. When it quickly became apparent that the report was beginning to rival George R. R. Martin's The Winds of Winter (both in duration and publication delays), the ladies decided instead to present this Top 10 List. Find one of them out on the road and grab a coffee to get the full story!
Parking Lot Squares. That thing that Marc Thomas makes you do to help bike handling skills that is akin to spinning in circles until you fall over. It is also useful in telling who is hungover and who is not.
Speed limit sprints. See the sign, sprint to the line! Hey, that rhymes and it was unintentional. This is the part where the little bit of testosterone we had flared up like a big, angry, saddle sore.
Macgyver. The necessary teammate that will fix your seat by making bike parts out of thin air and giving you the power to ride 20 more miles.
Felony. Apparently stealing fruit from a private property tree is considered a felony even if it’s hanging over the other side of the property line.
Red Wine. Never enough. We are not sure how we ran out.
Teenagers on skateboards. These types of people know how to operate cell phones well enough to take group photos. They are also cocky enough to challenge the LG Women’s team to a race but also chicken enough to try and back out. They also can’t win on skateboards.
Eggs and potatoes. Inspirational food. Did you know you can cook an egg in so many ways? So, so, so, many that fantasizing can go on long enough that you find yourself at home and have a blacked out hole in your memory about the last three miles. “I just want yoke on my face”.
Prescription quesadilla. Literally the only thing that will cure hanger, cramping, and dehydration. F*ck water. Give us the beer and avocados as sides. Goodbye five pound bag of cheese.
Two Hot Tubs. One is properly secluded, but not fully functioning with a pool next to it for ice baths. The other comes complete with a creepy guy behind the bushes. Both make for relaxed muscles after a long ride.
Late Night Shenanigans. This part is too long to explain. Let's say it involves a clam, a bread knife, pepper-spray, and a dubious arcade machine. Seriously, this was like an 'I Love Lucy' episode.
Majestic Cycling Criterium
January 17 - San Bernedino
Cat 4/5 15-18
by Ari Elkins and Esdras Roldan
The race was held at San Bernardino Airport at 7:35 am. The course was a difficult six corner crit with two of the turns being u turns. Unlike some of the Cat 5 La Grange racers (Jip) who barely arrived with enough time the whole team arrived with an hour to spare.
We quickly got registered and headed over to the parking lot for a warm-up. We were very lucky to have two of La Grange's finest to help pin on our numbers (Drew Kogon and Sean Burkitt). Racing today from our team was Julian, Rafael, Ellis, Esdras and Ari.
We approached the line and were joined by a group of around 15 riders which is okay for a junior race. From the start of the whistle there was clear organization by the BMW Major Motion riders but all their attacks were quickly shot down. For the majority of the race Rafael and Ari were in the front either pulling or closing down gaps, while Julian, Ellis and Esdras were sitting in trying to cover from the wind.
Ari went on a short break with one other rider but quickly got caught. As we got to the last lap Esdras our sprinter moved up into position (4th wheel). Ari and Rafael were also close to the front.
As the final turn approached their was a quick attack by a BMW team rider which caused everyone to start their sprint early. Esdras was blocked in by some other riders which caused him to have to sprint in the gutter but through his hard work and determination he took the win. Ari finished 5th with a bike throw. Rafael sat up because he was too tired from closing many gaps. Julian finished mid pack. Ellis finished second to last but never got dropped which was fantastic considering it was his first race.
Santa Barbara County Road Race
January 30 - Sisquoc, California
by Patrick Barrett
The maiden voyage of the LG van was loaded with all the LG tents, gear and the bikes of Patrick, Esdras, and Jonathan Lopez on a voyage north on Friday night. En route, the van learned of an imminent departure of Jip and Monty from Santa Monica, and in a coordinated effort, their vehicle was ditched in favor of jumping aboard the LG sprinter. Van power peer pressured Jonathan to do not only the Cat 4 race but also the 35+ 4/5 race but was unable to peer pressure Esdras into the Cat 5a race. Race tactics and strategies were discussed but also some fantastic sing-a-longs took hold. Eventually we arrived in Santa Maria and used Jedi mindtricks and girl scout cookie bribes to lock in a super cheap hotel room with lots of beds and continental breakfast…win.
The race: a 14.25 mile loop on country roads with one significant 4 minute “kicker” of a hill a few miles from the finish with a flowing downhill/rollers to a quick uphill finish. The hill and subsequent mile is notorious for dropping riders off the back.
First race was at 8:00am and we got there at 7am to setup camp while getting the boys ready. So of course Monty wakes up everybody at 5:11am and is promptly shown the boot as we sleep another hour+. But I digress… We set up Fort La Grange, which sheltered our warriors from what was a rainy race day. Clothing choices and tire pressures were the main panic items but Sean Burkitt and Patrick were slinging help left and right and got the men and women pinned up and hustled off to the start line for the 35+ 4/5, Cat 5A, and Women’s Cat 4 races.
Upon return, our warriors were covered in mud and the LG kit had taken on a much darker shade of blue. Drool dripped and faces showed battle scars from drafting rooster tails. It was Belgium in California. Race season is here! Jonathan was well positioned in the 35+ race but got boxed in in the final stretch. Racers included Stephen Kennelly, Nigel Stewart, Monty Zuniga, Jason Buchanan, Alex DeRoche, Charles Herndon, Jip Jeong, Tracy Paaso, Trish Bakst, and Dan Beam. Rumor has it Nigel found the race one of the most enjoyable bike experiences of his life!
The next wave of racers were the Cat 3s and 45+. Lined up were James Chao, Jaycee Cary, Patrick Barrett, The Jameses (Cowan and Brill), Surfer Dan, Jonathan Paris, Thomas Rennier, Eric Bryan and Christian Quant. Cat 3 was uneventful the first lap until Team Lux attacked the hill and the race “started” while a single rider put a minute thirty on the field. Lap two had Dan in a break while more attacks came into the hill. Start of lap 3 saw Patrick attack the field with a Ride Biker Alliance rider for a 2 man break that caught the race leader and grew to 5 riders going into the hill with a 1:10 gap on the field. Lap 4 brought Patrick back with 2 riders from that break staying clear of the field with a Swami rider in the break. Swami had a great team showing shutting down any attempts by the field to bring back their rider. JP, Dan, and Patrick worked the front to give Thomas and Brill the best possible chance at a result by bringing back the break and positioning them for the start of the hill. The break was caught midway up the hill and Thomas and Brill got over the climb and attacked the lead in to the sprint with Thomas getting caught 100m from the finish and Brill showing true gusto crushing himself to be in the mix with the front runners after that hill! Flats took out James Chao, Eric Bryan, and Christian.
The Cat 5B, Cat 4, and P12 racers lined up and took the new afternoon sunshine as a breath of fresh air given the morning conditions. Included were Jasper Arasteh, Dan Beam, Jip Jeong, Jason Buchanan, Alex De Roche, Ari Elkins, Charles Herndon, Esdras Roldan, Julian Rosenbloom and Jonathan Lopez. Dan Beam and Jip worked together in the 5s with some breakaways giving Dan a 4th place finish while the Cat 4s saw Jonathan get crashed out on the hill (but he, the bike, and the kit are A-OK!). Thankfully we had peer pressured him into the morning race thanks to the magic of the van drive up so not all was lost. Unfortunately a center-line rule violation kept Esdras from a solid result, but a learning experience for the young rider.
Happy and hungry, the van was reloaded with riders and mud and pointed towards Firestone Walker Brewery in Buellton. Food and beers enjoyed for celebrating the race and team. The long trek home was shortened by the comfort of the smooth as silk LG van and more race recollections.
Vive La Grange. It’s race season!
The Rennier Report
[Ed: Cat 3 racer Thomas Rennier also provided the following short recap of the Cat 3 race at the Santa Barbara County Road Race]
It was a dark, misty drive to Santa Maria. We arrived to find an enormous, beautiful La Grange van looking pro next to our official tents. The road was soaked and it was chilly, but we drove over 2 hours and we weren't turning around now!
James Chao and Eric Bryan both flatted out, leaving our Cat 3 team with only 6 guys. Baby Seal did a lot of work on the front keeping things in check for the team - he's my unsung hero for the day. Patrick Barrett got himself in a break during lap 3 and stood a chance with a large gap - at one point while he was gone we were going about 18 mph on the back stretch, but unfortunately the hill came and everybody started drilling it again. Surfer Dan also had some time up the road, but was ultimately brought back.
On the last lap, James "Babyface" Brill made the selection of 20 riders, along with Surfer Dan and me, over the last climb before the slog through the rollers to the finish line. The pace took a lull after we got a gap on the rest of the field, so I took a shot on the rollers and created a solid gap. But the 19 guys chasing rolled past me on the final, uphill finish about 100 yards from the line.
Not great results, but we had a good mix of guys there at the end with shots to win from my solo flyer or the sprint. The results will come.
The Life of Brian
[Ed: Brian Arfmann raced the P12 race and provided this report]
With much anticipation, Saturday, January 30th of the new year of 2016 was first of many. This date marked my first race in Southern California, racing with La Grange, and with a new Cannondale. I was motivated to start the season off on the right foot and test my fitness at this point from the previous months of “off-season” training. This race was important in a variety of ways. Not only was it the inaugural race of the 2016 season, however it was going to shape my expectations and landscape of the racing scene that the SCNCA offers. My goals for the race were to finish in the top third, race smart, and never give up. I wasn’t expecting any crashes since this was a non-technical circuit-like road race. My game plan was to stay in the top third of the pack and race alongside Rod Goicolea, who epically represented LaGrange with the pink skinsuit. Unfortunately, Sean Burkitt’s bike cracked before the race. As for me, I was just getting used to th handling eand capturing the potential of the Supersix (that reminds me, I need a name for my bike).
Right out of the starting gate, it felt like 80+ guys were jockeying for position like race horses. With 84 miles, I thought positioning was the last of my worries, especially in a road race. After a few miles into the race there seemed to be a touch of wheels and a small group of guys carelessly went down for no good reason. This crash happened right in front of me and I was lucky to swerve off the road to the right to avoid falling. Unfortunately, someone from behind clipped my shoe and popped the buckle off of my right shoe. This caused my foot slip in and out of my shoe on every pedal stroke after this incident which put me at a small disadvantage. This also caused me to compensate by pedaling unevenly with my left leg more than my right. Nonetheless, I had to quickly forget and block this out of my mind if I was going to finish this race. After this flat and straight stretch, we made a right hand turn into a crosswind that had everyone strong out on every lap. It was very important to sprint out of this turn and grab a good wheel so you wouldn’t get blown away and waste too much energy. The next right turn was the hardest part of the race from my perspective because we had a stronger cross/head wind. I spent the majority of my energy on this section to stay in line pushing balls out. The last section of this course and about 3 miles from the finish was the so-called “climb.” This was more of a rolling hill at around a 5% gradient that lasted about 2 minutes before it leveled off. Then there would be 2-3 rolling, but short up and downs about 1-2 miles from the finish. I knew it would be critical to be with the front group at the top of the hill and over the rollers so I would be in good positions sprinting downhill to the finish.
I was planning on feeding on lap 4; however I missed Esdras in the feed zone. For future reference, it is very important for your safety to ride in the front at the feed zone and stay away from all of the confusion, exploding bottles, and chaos. A few miles after the feed zone, which at this point about half of the guys who started the race either went down or dropped out; the next crash happened at cruising pace. I wasn’t so crafty at avoiding this accident. As guys were going down around me, I thought I might have been clear, however as soon as I looked straight ahead another rider was right in my path so I did the only thing logical- tuck and role (I later thought that I would have had a better chance hopping over this guy). I immediately popped up, untangled my bike from the guy I just ran over, and jumped on in attempt to chase down the field who had established a 1-2 minute gap. I time-trialed the last lap injured, battered, and with shooting pain in my back, headache, road rash, and my shoe in worse shape since the first crash. With much disappointment I cut my losses and pulled out after speaking to the chief official completing 5 out of the 6 laps.
I’ve never crashed in a road race and didn’t expect or even remotely see the reason behind both crashes; especially since both of them happened on the straightest and flattest part of the course. Moral of the story seems to be that you need to put yourself in the best position and control what is in your own power-positioning. The rest of the boys had my back after hearing about the crash and checked in how I was doing which I very much appreciated. My gear and body seems to be in-tact. All in all a new pair of shoes are in order and I now have a slated view of how SoCal riders handle their bikes…God help me in a crit.
Seth Davidson Law
Call the Cops!
By Seth Davidson
(424) 241-8118, 24/7
Bike Injury Lawyer and 2016 Velo Club La Grange Sponsor
The first question I ask cyclists who’ve been hit by a car is this: “Did the cops come?”
The difference between “Yes” and “No” can be huge when it comes to assigning liability for the collision. Often, riders get picked off on the way to work, or at some other inconvenient time, and they can’t be bothered to wait for the police, especially when the wait in LA can be substantial.
So the rider and the driver exchange information, the driver apologizes and says he’ll make things right, and the rider straggles home. Of course the next day the driver has hit the refresh button and somehow concocted a completely different view of events.
The most common view is this: “I’ll say anything in order to deny liability and keep my rates from going up.”
Good luck combating this new story. The driver’s insurance company denies the claim outright or only accepts 20% liability even though their insured was 100% at fault.
The police have wide discretion whether or not they come to a collision site, investigate the scene, and make a traffic collision report. Of course when they hear it’s a bicycle collision and that no one is hurt, they will often refuse to come.
What’s a fellow or fellowette to do? Answer: Make it clear when you call 911 that you are injured and need a cop to come investigate the collision, or that you are unsure whether you’re injured and need a cop to come investigate the collision. It’s important that you give as much detail as you can, because if the police don’t come and the driver later disputes liability, your lawyer can get a copy of the 911 call which will help your case.
Even without a cop on the scene, there’s a lot you can do to protect your rights. First, get the name of the driver and his insurance information. He’s required to exchange this info with you by law. Use your phone to photograph everything because—Surprise!—people sometimes lie. Photograph:
- The driver.
- His driver license.
- His car.
- His license plate.
- All damage, scratches, or contact marks.
- His insurance card.
- His registration card.
- The scene from multiple views, including skid marks.
- Injuries, torn clothing, wounds, broken bike frames, and parts.
- Surrounding buildings, businesses, signs, or people.
It’s also critical to get information from witnesses. Other than a police report, witnesses can offer the most credible evidence when it comes to proving the driver’s liability. Look for anybody who may have witnessed the accident, politely ask for their information, and whether they would be willing to provide a statement about what they saw. Photograph them and get their contact information.
Best of all, get a statement from the driver. Ask the driver to make a statement and record it on your phone. People are much likelier to tell the truth immediately after the collision than they are after they’ve left the bloodied and broken biker and witnesses who can contradict them.
Finally, after collecting all the evidence, and after you’ve sought treatment, head to the police station nearest the collision site and make your own traffic collision report. The police will take it, and although it’s weaker than having the officer on the scene, it’s much better than nothing especially when supported by your photos and other documentation.
[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.]