July 14, 2014 in News
Well, race day has come and gone. Where to even begin…
The day started with a killer breakfast, followed by a surprise appearance by the Big Wolf himself, Micah Goulet, founder of the STL Wolfpack Hustle and the whole reason Courtney, George, and I can ride like we do. In typical fashion, Micah was on his work bike, lookin all grungy after driving overnight from SF after a full shift with the rad dudes of TCB. And in even more typical Micah fashion, he had a broken spoke (he’s like 9 feet tall, served a few tours of duty in the Middle East, and could probably beat up Sasquatch if he wasn’t so nice, so it was amazing there was only one broken spoke).
A quick ride to DTLA solved the spoke problem, and we rolled up to City Hall and settled into the pre-race ritual. Courtney had a solid qualifying run, seeding herself into 8th place. George and I went out with group 11, and slotted ourselves in at 46th and 28th respectively. Micah also got himself in at 68th, riding on his work bike.
The women’s race was full of fireworks. Jo rode outstandingly for the team nearly lapping the whole field, while Bea and Erin held it down in the main field. However, I think the real big winner had to be Courtney Cushard, who finished top 10 in the field sprint. Did I mention this was her first time ever racing a fixed crit? Oh yea, this was her first fixed crit, and she spent the whole time driving the pace, and following attacks. I damn near lost my voice cheering her on. I don’t care what anyone says, women’s crit races are the most exciting races, with so much strategy.
The Men’s Track final rolled around and a the big guns were out to slay. I had an alright start, and settled into the groove. But lap 10 came around and the leaders detonated the field with attacks for prime laps. George and I unfortunately wound up on the wrong end of the separation, but we put our heads down and jumped into no mans land like our lives depended on it. We each were jumping from dropped group to dropped group up Until just the last few laps of the race. Unfortunately, the pace bike called is off with just a handful of laps to go.
We woke up Sunday feeling totally cooked, but George and I decided to finish off whatever muscle fibers remained in our legs. We got the call from Deg, who told us about a Kushtown ride with some of the racers from Texas heading up into Griffith Park. We met up with the group and went out to slay some climbs and descents. The ride was simply amazing, with great riding, great riders, and amazing views. Honestly, I am hard pressed to think of anything as simultaneously fun and terrifying as ripping a mountain descent at 35 mph on a brakeless track bike.
After 2 hours in Griffith, everyone’s legs were annihilated. George and I made our way to city hall, met up with Courtney and Micah, and rolled out with Roadblock to the beach. It was a nice chill ride culminating is good bear and good company at the beach. A fitting end for a fantastic weekend.
I just want to thank everyone who helped to make this weekend possible. Roadblock for doing so much for this scene and dreaming up these amazing races, Castelli for making me look fast in some amazing gear, JW and Aventon Bikes for building a lethal crit weapon and doing it for less money than anyone else, Micah Goulet for dragging me out of the velodrome and into the streets, my Penrose Velodrome family for always pushing George, Courtney, and I to be the fastest we can be, and most importantly, all the riders who showed up to watch and race. This is a grassroots sport, and it’s all done by and for the riders. Thank you all for showing up and showing us a good time. If you raced, congratulations for getting out there and giving it your all. If you just came to hang out, thank you for showing up and supporting the most real, gritty, no hold barred racing in the world, and get training because I expect to see y’all in qualifying next year.
It’s been real LA, and I am more motivated than ever to keep throwing down.
Until next time,