For what started rough thanks to the city’s attempt to shut down the Marathon Crash Race, 2014 turned out to be our most productive year yet.. Thanks to our producer Sara Bond, our productions grew tighter and we were ahead of schedule for the first time, ever. 1,988 men and women registered for 5 Wolfpack Hustle events that took place from from March until November. We added another city, beautiful Long Beach CA, to our schedule and we worked on pushing Los Angeles towards safer streets in a personal mission of bike advocacy in city government focusing this year on hit and runs and connecting buffered bike lanes to the LA river across the Hyperion bridge.
In addition to our series, we have a team. We sent Wolfpack Hustle Track Team A p/b Aventon Bikes to all 3 Red Hook Crit events capturing a win in New York for the first ever RHC Womens category and a 2nd place over all in the Womens RHC team championship. The team captured a second place win in the Unified Title Series as well as 4 first place wins in both crit events.
The following recaps thousands of hours of organizing, planning, process, meetings, more planning, negotiations, a ton of hard work and a bit of pure luck. We hope to see you all again in 2015. Plans are coming together. If you want to support, please contact us. Partnership opportunities are available. Also, be sure to join our mailing list for updates (top right on this page.)
In the mean time, have a little look back at 2014….
February 2014 The Unified Title Series 2014 Announced:
Wolfpack Hustle Track Team A p/b Aventon Bikes
We took the team farther than we’ve ever been. Outfitted with Castelli kits and Aventon Bikes we set out with the entire team of 8 to give the Brooklyn Red Hook Crit all we had. Eyes focused especially on the Womens championship after Jo scored a win in the first ever Red Hook Crit womens race. Under brutal, cold and rainy conditions Jo brought it home with a tight move into the final hairpin. Hopes for an individual championship were dashed during the summer after Jo got caught in a mens velodrome crash 2 weeks before BCN. We added Erin Gun and Beatriz Rodriguez for the Civic Center Crit for a podium sweep in the track category and a 2,3,5th in the road category with Erin and Bea taking 2nd and 3rd. Willo and Erin were to join Jo in BCN for almost certainly her second RHC podium. It wasnt meant to be though Erin and Willo held up fairly well each running solo against the rigorous Europeans, Willo with a respectable solo for 37th and Erin keeping the girls close for Milano. Brave and tenacious, Jo struggled to get back her fitness for Italy. It was a truly heroic effort but alas she was pulled on the 17th lap. I will sincerely relish in the team this year. Got a few things planned for next year. Lets see what happens.
Sadly, we bid fairwell to Jo as she moves into a bigger team situation. As with all athletes on our team, I will ALWAYS cheer for Jo and root for her to take it as far as she can. We were proud to have discovered her lurking in a wild pack of men blasting towards a chaotic Marathon Crash Race finish. 2015 is a bit of a mystery for Track Team A. Fabian has retired to school in Utah, and Willo is considering his options after a good season. This team has been going strong since 2007. I’m confident it will not only survive, it will kill again. Photos by AidsStiches, Too Tall Jahmal, and Hal Bergman
March 2014 The Marathon Crash
After humble beginnings as a “guerilla”-style ride on the L.A. Marathon course at 4am organized by Midnight Ridazz in 2009, to its peak as the largest unsanctioned bicycle race in the world (drawing 4000 competitors from all corners…), the Marathon Crash Race finally broke the system in 2014. The final week leading up to the race was a roller coaster of emotions for all involved. “Is it cancelled? Is it on? They can’t arrest us all!” After a meeting at the Mayor’s office with some of the highest officials in the city’s chain of command, the race was cancelled, but it was allowed to return as a celebratory ride. Thousands showed up and thousands rode their bikes and had FUN on the most famous streets in the world. It was all anyone ever wanted in the first place.
Amidst all of the chaos of canceling the world’s largest unsanctioned race, Michael O Johnson and Herbalife24 contacted us asking how they could help. By presenting this year’s athlete zone, they enabled us to add another race and complete the series. Without this crucial help, 2014 would have been over. Recap posted here.
photos by Rob Rovira
Most memorable moment: Asking the crowd of thousands, who had been in a car crash and more than half had raised their hands. Asking who had experienced a hit and run crime was nearly as heartbreaking with a sea of hands. We have a long way to go in LA…
Safest ride ever… Thanks to the volunteer efforts of the community, watching out for each other and riding defensively, and thanks especially to our certified EMT volunteer and LAFD firefighter, Greg Fuentes who’s son was riding in the mass. What a cool, and responsible father. Great work and thank you.
A big shout out to Nate Gale from Mayor Garcetti’s office who brokered the entire deal on the Mayor’s and city’s behalf. He even came out on the ride. I know Nat from Midnight Ridazz rides and especially the Bodacious Bike Babe crew. Shout shout.
May 2014 The Short Line Crit:
The Short Line Crit, named for its proximity to Shoreline Dr. in Long Beach and with a nod to the size of the course, was a furious 24 laps of pain for the athletes. There was no time to fall behind on this course as laps were barely 30 seconds and the risk of getting pulled was high. In the heart of the East Village Arts District, and with a beer garden & expo area, this race was particularly crowd friendly, but also very athlete friendly as there were at least two hotels on the blocks inside of the track. Marino, Chas and Erica took full advantage of the situation and hosted a hot tub / pool party after the race. Recap posted here.
More Short Line Crit photo sets:
Thank you to all the talented photographers and videographers who document our adventures.
Here are some favorites we will add more as they appear…
July 2014 The Civic Center Crit:
The Civic Center Crit was Wolfpack Hustle’s first truly international track bike crit race. Teams and athletes traveled from Italy, Switzerland, Canada, Mexico, the UK, Puerto Rico, Arizona, Colorado, New York and all over the West Coast to compete and take in the sights and sounds of Los Angeles. The course was technical, yet sweeping, with 2 hairpins, a “whip” into a wide straight away and an inclined finish. The dizzying number of $100 primes offered up by sponsors threatened to blow up the races but ultimately made them difficult to predict. Recap posted here.
September 2014 The HP Gran Prix
The HP Gran Prix was the finale race in the Unified Title Series taking place in the City of Huntington Park California – the greatest host city family we could ever wish for. This 1000 ft sprint race is special for a number of reasons. It is based on our original Midnight Drag Race, a format we first introduced in 2007 and it is the most difficult race to time and therefore very difficult to hire a timing company with the never say die attitude required of this. One Time Racing absolutely committed and delivered. Couldn’t be happier. The bracketed elimination tournament at first glance appears to be a simple test of an athlete’s speed, however, by the time the final race goes down, it becomes clear that the event is a test of endurance and tenacity. It is not uncommon to see an athlete vomiting after their final run. Recap posted here.
2014 Unified Title Series Championship:
Jo Celso 79pts – Womens individual series champion.
Lucas Binder 60pts – Mens individual series champion.
Team Leader Bikes 236pts – Series team champions (men and women combined.)
Complete scores posted here.
November 2014 The All Out War Format Invitational
When 2-time Olympian Adam Duvendeck invites you to host a race at North America’s only world-class indoor olympic velodrome, you oblige. Having never hosted a velodrome race, we were both intimidated and emboldened. We worked with race timing legend Fred Patton to create a first-of-its-kind race, dubbed The All Out War Format. One half Miss ‘n’ Out and one half points race, with a never before possible score keeping methodology. Every single lap: everyone who survived elimination scores points. This meant that sitting in the back was not an option. The strategy, put simply, be at the front as much as possible. Recap posted here.
Photos by Julio Bustamante
Thank you for your support:
Michael O Johnson
Cool Ass Mike
The Athletes – for pushing yourselves beyond limits and risking it all for the glory.
The Volunteers – for working harder than any other crew, anywhere in the bike world.
The Artists – for documenting and making these events shine bright for all to see.
The Audience – for keeping the spot clean, jumping in to help out when needed, and cheering like maniacs.