The shortest month of the year saw a lot of action at La Grange. We endured one of the coldest months in recent memories, with sub-freezing morning rides up Mandeville Canyon while at the same time the North Pole saw above-freezing temperatures in the depths of winter and 24 hour darkness. Who would have thought the North Pole would be warmer than Los Angeles in February? Maybe we need to relocate next Wednesday's Mandeville Ride to the North Pole in order to warm things up!
We have some good news and bad news to share with you this month. Read on to learn more.
President, Velo Club La Grange
Helen’s Night Recap
Thank you to all of you who showed up Monday night for our annual Helen’s Night extravaganza, especially the staff at Helen’s who stayed well past normal closing hours to man the floor and registers. Also thank you to our sponsors – Cannondale, Castelli and Giro – who were also in attendance helping us through decisions on bikes, helmets, shoes, apparel and more.
We’ll provide an update as soon as we can re: ETA on pre-order items.
2018 La Grange Cup
Back to the topic of funky weather. The last couple years, we've been forced to reschedule the 500M velodrome leg of the La Grange Cup several times due to rain. This year, we decided to move the 500M back a little bit in an effort to avoid monsoon season. So here are your dates for the 2018 La Grange Cup:
June 16: Encino 500M
July 28: PCH Time Trial – Trancas to (Almost) The rock
September 15: Piuma Hill Climb
Each and every leg of the La Grange Cup is open to ALL current members and is 100% FREE and once again, all participants will receive free CUSTOM SOCKS thanks to sponsor Seth Davidson Bike Injury Lawyer. More details as we get closer to kickoff, but you have plenty of time to train, not train… just show up!
We have discount codes to some of the hardest rides/races around. Here you go!
Belgian Waffle Ride: Use code VeloLG40 for $40 off your entry fee.
Haute Route: You can apply your entry fee to the Malibu Gran Fondo against your Haute Route entry fee. Also, use code AMBGailT for 5% off your Haute Route entry fee.
RIP LG Van
As I said at the top, we have some sad news to share with you. The La Grange van recently had a significant electrical fire and suffered extensive damage. The important thing is, all La Grangers in the van got out safely thanks to cool heads reacting decisively in a dicey situation. But while the LGers made it out, the van did not, as our insurance adjuster deemed it a total loss.
Yes, we are covered by insurance. The board is evaluating alternatives but nothing is imminent and so we do not expect to have a van for the remainder of 2018 (and possibly beyond). While we are all terribly disappointed, La Grange managed to thrive for 47 years without a sprinter van and we will do just fine without one now. If we do have anything further to announce on this front, we will be sure to let you know.
Spring Kit Order
Back to happier topics. We will be soon be opening up our spring 2018 kit order window – we call it “spring” because delivery will be in May. Consistent with past spring orders, we will be offering a subset of the those items offered in the fall – “core” items like jerseys and bibs – in order to meet Castelli Minimum Order Quantities per item. We will also offer some new items suited for warmer weather, like the Castelli Climber's 2.0 Jersey. We’ll let you know as soon as the store is open.
If you missed the La Grange Race Team taking on Zwift at I. Martin, then check out these video recaps, including commentary by local racer and multiple National Champion Rahsaan Bahati:
Be on the lookout for more Zwift racing from the La Grange Race Team!
And if that’s not enough Zwift racing, check out Mike Davis from Helen’s Cycles as he competes in the CVR World Cup Finals March 24-25 at the StubHub Center velodrome right here in Carson! You can watch in person FREE by getting a ticket here or you can watch online. In case you don’t think Zwift racing can be serious business, Mike is among a handful of qualifiers from the CVR series leading up to the finals and the purse is guaranteed to be at least $106,000 (not a typo!) – so make sure to cheer Mike on!
[Non-Virtual] Race Reports
Pine Flat Road Race 45+ 4/5
by Mark Satkiewicz
This was my first time at this race and though I couldn’t get to VOS I still wanted to race and was excited to do a longer road race in California. Jaycee Cary was racing the 45+ 1-3 race at 8:35 and Nick Gillock was racing with me 5 min later.
Weather is good and we had a small field of 9 to race with. For those of you unfamiliar with the course, there is a rolling 10 mile out and back that then goes flat for 25 miles and then works back the final 20 miles with a significant 4 mile climb and 1 mile finishing climb. 4800 feet of climbing total.
We were off and 1 mile into it Nick crosses a cattle guard and his garmin falls off. Simultaneously a guy attacks the group which was interesting. The rest of us we’re getting spinning and Nick caught back on sans garmin a few minutes later. Just a couple miles more and we unfortunately saw Jaycee walking back to the start with a flat..... The first 20 miles of rollers were at a moderate pace with most riders doing short pulls with a few testing the field. The lead rider at the turnaround had about a minute on us and was not a concern.
Once we finished the out and back we descended for around 5 miles to a flat section and at mile 30 we caught the breakaway rider with some pretty hard rotation by all riders. The breakaway rider ended up having a mechanical and was not in contention for the day but still finished in his 53x11 over two climbs which was impressive.
Pretty heavy head wind hit us keeping the group in check and at mile 40, with a couple of efforts Nick and 2 other riders formed a break that had about 1 min on the group quickly. I had no intention of bringing the group back to Nick but wanted to bridge up at some point prior to the climb at mile 50. After about 5 min of watching my group do nothing to bridge I said so long to the group, put in a hard minute or two and was clear of them and soon after up with Nick and the two other riders. We rode tempo together to keep the other group behind up until we got to the base of the climb and then we started at it. Very quickly Nick and I put some time into the other riders and a few minutes later I put another bit of time on Nick and ended up crossing over the top of the climb with a nice gap. Summit to finish was 7 miles with a 5 mile descent. I worked hard to keep my gap and was able to go steady up the final mile climb for the win with Nick taking second a minute or two back. All in all great day for LaGrange and I would highly recommend this race if you want a challenge and something a bit longer than what we see down here in LA. And after the race we were able to find the Garmin!!
Valley of the Sun Stage Race
An incredibly fun weekend racing in Arizona with great performances by our six riders. If it was on again next weekend, we’d drive right back!
Martin Sanders finished 2nd overall in the men’s Cat 5 and earned himself a Toblerone from LG as the highest men’s GC ranking.
Rand Slow (Daili) finished 3rd overall in the women’s Cat 5 and also earned a delicious Toblerone.
Zach LaBry finished 3rd overall in the men’s Cat 3.
Matthieu Delcourt finished 4th overall in the men’s Cat 4, just outside of the license plate spots.
Irene van den Broek and Patrick Barrett competed in the pro women and men’s Cat 3 respectively, putting in inspiring efforts under the Arizona sky.
We’ll be back in 2019!
New Nichols, Same as the Old Nichols
The pavement between the two Coldwaters on the Nichols Ride has been newly repaved and we couldn’t be more thrilled. It’s now smooth and much safer than before. Unfortunately, “crash corner” remains, the always wet, probably algae-ridden, somewhat off-camber left-hander just before the final flat section before the Nichols Wall. Here is Rich Hirschinger’s video:
We’ve had a rider go down in that corner something like 8 out of the last 9 Nichols Rides.
PLEASE TAKE THIS CORNER EXTREMELY CAUTIOUSLY!
We’d like to start a steak of no crashes. With that, get out there on your bike and ride and abide!