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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBLO9KE7Jpo
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 lagrange.org 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.
President Velo Club La Grange