2019 LG Cup Piuma Hill Climb
The 2019 LaGrange Cup Piuma Hill Climb was held on Saturday, September 14th. Naturally, since the gradient is not enough to cause pain, the weather spiked and the day was very hot, which increased the suffering. Jason Siegle won the men’s overall with a winning time of 34:52, and Tracy Paaso won the women’s overall. with a winning time of 45:17. Everyone who did the climb suffered. Everyone. But that’s way we do it.
2019 Annual Club Picnic
The annual club picnic was held on September 14th right after the Piuma Hill Climb. Catering was provided by Richard Friedman Catering. Many thanks to Jan Datomi who coordinated the event for the club.
Sept 50 for 50 Anniversary Ride
The September 50 for 50 ride route needed to be modified due to the weather. As I was picking up Peet’s Coffee to have at the start, it was raining, and the streets were very wet. It was so wet that if I had not been in charge of planning the route and getting the refreshments, I know I would not have ridden. I thought that maybe six diehards would show up and we would have a conversation about riding versus not riding. As I got to SVO at 7:20 am, some of the diehards were already there and more and more were starting to congregate. There was no discussion about not riding especially since the rain stopped. I announced a detour since Franklin Canyon was going to be too wet, and the planned route into the valley included about a half a mile on dirt. Instead, we would climb to Mulholland via Benedict Canyon and descend into the valley via Beverly Glen. The rest stop was at Encino Park with SAG provided by Tom Brynes. The valley was very dry. The 2nd stop was at Katie Rollins’ mom’s house, which was off Old Topanga Road. Fresh baked cookies, fruit, and coffee were served. Some stayed and the rest of us rolled home via Topanga Canyon, where we encountered wet roads again. It was “spitting from the sky” kind of rain. The bottom line is that the ride turned out to be an extreme joy. I’m not including any photos from the ride since the video created by Tina Grant, the current La Granger of the Year, sums up the ride perfectly so please watch and enjoy it.
The feedback we get from the 50 for 50 rides is that the members really enjoy them since it is a “bike ride.” It’s not a hammerfest. It’s not competitive. It’s a club ride and we stay together and regroup when needed. We have been asked if the rides will continue into 2020 and the answer is yes. Anyone can take the lead on planning a route and anyone can volunteer to provide SAG.
2020 Board of Directors Elections
This year, in accordance with the bylaws of VCLG, we will be holding elections for four (4) seats; each seat holds a two (2) year term on the Board of Directors. The four seats are currently held by:
Current seat holders may choose to run for re-election to the Board but any Club member in good standing may run for one of the open seats. If you are passionate about La Grange and would like to be involved in shaping the direction of the Club I strongly encourage you to run. You can “enter the race” simply by submitting a self-nomination statement – nothing fancy, just a few words about yourself and why you’d like to be on the Board. (Since this is a volunteer position you can’t nominate someone else.) Send your nomination statement along with a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday October 7th.
Annual Banquet is November 10th, 2019 at noon.
Save the date. The annual club banquet is Sunday November 10th, and will be at the same location as last year
HOTEL MdR ~ A DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
13480 Maxella Avenue
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
2020 Kit Design
The 2020 kit will again be designed by Jaycee Cary and Marco Fabrizio. The kit design will be announced in the next few days so stay tuned.
Race Report by Tom Hill, National Champion Gran Fondo Series
This past Saturday, September 28th, was the Jensie Gran Fondo in Half Moon Bay. It was also the last of ten races in the Gran Fondo National Series. The races are held across the country in many states. You can enter as many as you like, but you must enter at least three to qualify for the overall results. Your three best placings are used to calculate the overall winners. At the beginning of the year I set a goal to try and win the championship in my age division of 55 to 64 year olds. I targeted three events in the western states. Having finished 2nd in the Malibu Gran Fondo and 3rd in the Cache Gran Fondo in Logan, Utah my point total was at 5, with Jensie's Gran Fondo being my last race. The leader in my age division had entered 7 races and his best placings were a 1st, 2nd and 4th for a total of 7 points. I had to win the final event to take the National Champion title from a rider on the East Coast who figured he had probably won already. The scoring is based on 1 point for first, 2 for second, 3 for third etc. 12th place is twelve points. The lowest score wins.
At 7:45 a.m. 560 riders reluctantly lined up the for start of a full day of suffering. It was 52 degrees with hurricane ice cold winds of over 40 mph blowing off of the Pacific Ocean. Everyone was huddled behind cars and in tents with bone shivering chills before the start. I am not a cold weather person so this was a real challenge, not to mention my deep dish carbon wheels that threw me around like a rag doll all day long. The race was 83 miles with 8,500 feet of climbing making the course challenging. My one advantage was that I grew up near the area and regularly climbed up Tunitas Creek and Old La Honda Roads which were two of the climbs on the course.
The races consist of timed sections that include climbs, rollers, and sprint sections, which makes it more fair overall for all riders. This eliminates true climbers from winning or riders sitting in wheel sucking and sprinting at the end to win. With five timed sections it made for all out efforts which for me totaled just under two hours. All riders must complete the course and cross the finish line to have their times count. I felt strong and climbed well, I used other riders for assistance when I could draft and pace off of them on the climbs. The last timed section was into a very strong headwind and I was in a group of about 25 riders. It was hard to draft and sit in as the wind gusts swirled around us. There was a pack split and I was towards the back. Once I looked up it was too late. Ten riders had gotten ahead and we could not bring them back. I was worried how much time I would lose to the lead group and just hoped they were all younger riders and not in my age division.
While standing in the food line after the race, not knowing the results, a rider I rode with most of the day came up to me enthusiastically and told me I won my age division! I wasn't sure I could believe him until he pulled out his phone and showed me the results, which were live and updated after you crossed each timed section. Technology is very cool especially when you get to see things in real time. The wait was two hours in the cold wind for the awards ceremony, but it was well worth it. It was a great day, winning my age division in the Gran Fondo and earning the National Champion title for the Gran Fondo Series by just one point.