February 50 for 50 Ride, Helen's Night, LG50 Kit on Zwift, LG Kit Donations, Race Reports, Haute Route Social, LA City Proclamation Day, Operation Firefly, LG50 Anniversary Items
Needless to say, February was a busy month for La Grange. Read all about what happened and what is happening below.
February 50 for 50 Ride
Marco Fantone led the February 50 for 50 ride to Griffith Park. The ride started at Peet's Coffee in Westwood Village. It proceed up Sepulveda to the Skirball Center to Mulholland Drive, down Barham and onto the Griffith Park Observatory with a well earned lunch at Tacos Por Favor in Santa Monica. Look for an announcement for the March 50 for 50 ride soon!
The annual Helen’s Night was extremely well attended. Did you know that Helen’s calls it La Grange Night? Food was served from Pitfire Pizza and, as usual, there wasn’t much food left over at the end of the night. Thank you to Jay Wolff and the entire Helen’s team for working late and making the night so special.
LG50 Kit on Zwift
If somehow you missed it, our 50th anniversary LG50 kit is now available to “wear” in-game on Zwift!
I’ve seen a lot of discussion regarding the virtues (or absence thereof) of virtual riding/training, and like all things in life, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and there is no accounting for taste and variety is the spice of life and etcetera, but I can tell you that in my own n=1 situation I have found two things:
· Pre-Zwift, I hated riding indoors. HATED it. I would literally stare at the workout timer and count down the seconds. Slowly. Excruciatingly… slow. With Zwift’s gamification of the indoor riding experience, I actually enjoy riding indoors. I don’t plan on giving up riding outdoors anytime soon, but I find Zwift a nice complement to the outdoor riding we all grew up with.
· Zwift, or any indoor riding for that matter, it ultra-efficient. No stopping and with today’s smart trainers, you can nail intervals with clinical efficiency.
· Dopamine. Yes, in the same way that smart phones, video games, and slot machines all seek to manipulate your brain chemistry to make you come back for more, the game aspect of Zwift may well cause you to ride “one more mile” or ride “just a little harder.”
If you are not on Zwift already, you can sign up and demo FREE (no credit card required) at zwift.com and if you need a smart trainer, head over to Helen’s Cycles. Their Santa Monica location even has two trainers set up with Zwift running at all times, so you can check it out for yourself!
If you are a current member in good standing and want access to the LG50 kit on Zwift, please email email@example.com and we’ll get you set up!
Thanks to Zwift and Rahsaan Bahati for bringing our 50th anniversary kit to the world of Zwift. See you on the (virtual) roads!
Robert Efthimos, LG Zwift Ambassador
LG Kit Donations Collected on Helen’s Night are Going to Armenia
Report by Michael Kludjian
Armenia is a former Soviet republic in the mountainous Caucasus region between Asia and Europe with around three million people. Coming out of the Soviet breakup, a devastating earthquake, and striving for democracy, money is extremely tight especially for recreational sports like cycling. The country is very mountainous, which makes it ideal for hiking and mountain biking. A few years back the Asana team was training in the mountains of Armenia near the Lake Sevan area.
I started biking there in 2012 with a charity organization called Bike for Hope. In 2013, we invited the local youth cycling club to join our annual charity tour (6 days) around the countryside. The youth cycling club kids range in age from 11 to 22 years old. There are two main cycling clubs in Armenia with about 70 members each and then various cyclists in the village towns around the country. There are also a few masters clubs plus a TriClub. They have very little money for sports so any donations are greatly appreciated – especially for the kids. Most are fairly poor and appreciative of whatever we can gather. One time one of the boys had a flat and I helped him fix his tire and was amazed when he pulled off his tube and it had over 12 patches on it! It is also quite common to see riders with duck tape holding up their helmets and shoes. A few of the boys from the youth team have made it all the way to some Italian pro minor teams. They also compete in the European, Russian, and Iranian cycling competitions. Below are some photos of the youth team.
Again, all clothing is greatly appreciated and will be distributed and used. Thank you to Jaycee Cary for coordinating these donations.
CBR Men’s 3/4
Report by Patrick Barrett
"Jeff it's me. It's Sunday the 24th. I'm in Carson. I have the song Mr. Blue Sky stuck in my head by..." Oh gosh I should say ELO but it's actually the new Weezer cover album I've been listening to on repeat. "...ELO." Phew. I'm a liar but at least the race director knows I'm coherent.
My assailant looks distraught, ashamed, and guilty, which is enough for me to wrap him up in a hug, letting him also know I'm OK. His SDBC kit ensures their director and my friend Wells Wang will be paying me a visit, which helps to level out the pain in my bloody hip, elbow, shoulder and maybe broken bike.
Record Scratch. Freeze Frame. You probably wondering how I ended up in this situation...back up 50 minutes.
"I can win today." - Charlie Herndon
"I can't. Only top ten. When it's time, I'll help you get you that win." - Me
"I LIKE BIKES!" - Steven Walter
Fast forward 32 minutes. Charlie and I are on the back of the Men's Open Cat 3/4 race of what started with 100 racers. No words exchanged, we just begin moving up.
Fast forward 13 minutes. One lap to go. Charlie's 6th wheel, I'm 9th. The contenders are all in the front. I go full suicide, UCLA BBQ fueled, speed demon lead out which has delivered Beards, Baby Faces, Sausages, Head Downs, ShoeBums, Gooches, Roaches, Duncans and Frankels to the podium many times over. Turn 1, Turn 2, Turn 3 and PAYLOAD DEPLOY! The grind of a hill with headwind will blow the top 4 racers out of contention leaving Charlie for his podium.
Where is Charlie? The pack is around the corner and Charlie is puttering up the hill, his chain with a bent link, struggling to keep his machine in the race let alone getting to the finish line. Poor guy. That's bike racing. No regrets as we did right.
I sit up on my saddle, bringing my hamster heart some relaxation. This is always a welcome calm period after the lead out. There's nothing to be gained by trying to hold on for 30th place, so just take it slow and cool off while looking at the crowd who still have expressions on their face spectating the end of a bike race! Smile about staying upright through a race that had too many, grateful you get to race again in a few hours.
The impact that hit me on the left hand side, of a racer who had his head down sprinting up the hill for 60th place, takes me off my bike then bouncing my hip on the asphalt. Instantaneously I'm bloody and bruised and flabbergasted that this happened. My heart rate is close to max, my adrenaline is high, and my verbal filter is off, shouting at the culprit that he is a less than decent individual. Then I collapse and rest for a few minutes while the moto-ref keeps me company waiting for Jeff to scrap me off of his racecourse. The racer turns his bike around, giving up his prized results-sheet line item, and stands by my side until I finally make it to my feet for his idiot-hug.
Ricky Bobby: If you ain't first, you're last.Jaycee Carey: You're racing for the top spots or DFL, everything else is reckless and not being a good teammate.Todd Schoenbaum: Podium or GTFO.
I'm fine. The San Remo is ~fine. The bike works great. I'll see y'all on the start line of Tour de Murrieta.
UCLA Road Race Photos
Haute Route Social with Special Guest Fränk Schleck
La Grange is proud to present a private evening with Haute Route with special guest Fränk Schleck at Stella Barra in Santa Monica on Thursday, March 14 from 6 pm to 8 pm. Please RSVP to Gail Thalmann at firstname.lastname@example.org
July 14 LA City Proclamation Day
Save the date! Sunday, July 14th, which is Bastille Day, the City of Los Angeles will present the club with a proclamation recognizing the club’s 50th anniversary at the start of the World Famous Nichols Ride. We expect a huge turnout for this so be sure to mark it on your calendar now.
Velo Club La Grange made a sizable donation to Operation Firefly through the Bliefer Fund, and VCLG members helped distribute the lights to those that needed them. Operation Firefly (Operacíon Luciérnaga) is an education and bike light distribution program of LACBC intended to make sure people riding bikes in LA County are riding safely at night. So far, we’ve equipped over 12,000 people across LA County with bike lights. Your can learn more about Operation Firefly by visiting https://la-bike.org/our-work/operation-firefly/
LG50 Anniversary Items
Orders for custom LG50 bottles are now open! Please click the link to place your order. https://www.lagrange.org/lg50-bottles
In the next few days you the LG50 socks will be available.