CyclingIllustrated.com: BJ Hale and Danny Munson pulled together SoCal riders, racers, writers, and photographers to create the best one-stop online newsmag for cycling in the state. Updates after every race. Incredible photos by a bevy of talented and skilled and dedicated photographers. Interviews. Video interviews. Coverage of pro races and racers. Coverage of local races and racers. Promotion of local bike-friendly businesses. Honesty. Integrity. And best of all? It will be twice as good in 2013.
Mad Alchemy Embrocation: Winter 2011-2012 was filled with awesome morning rides, thanks to this wonder product. Just don’t get it on your balls or your clam.
Continental Gator Hardshells: I raced on ’em. Trained on ’em. Rode ’em until they were more square than the frames on a pair of Buddy Holly eyeglasses. But you know what I didn’t do? I didn’t flat on ’em. Except for that one time I rode through a nail, thumbtack, and broken glass store.
Nite Ryder 750 MiNewt: The embro kept my legs warm. The Nite Ryder kept me alive. I wonder why people will blow a couple grand on Di2, but are too cheap to buy a lightweight, powerful, rechargeable light that will keep them alive?
FAGE Total 0% Greek Yoghurt: I’m sorry, but it’s just awesome stuff. Eat this, not that. And eat a bunch of it. It’s packed with protein, too.
Squaddra Team Kit: I’d never worn Squaddra stuff before, and was skeptical. And boy was that skepticism misplaced. For starters, the stuff is made locally, in San Diego. The race pad is cozy and plush enough to double as an easy chair. The fit is sublime. Best of all, when I crashed my brand new kit on my brand new bike in my very first ‘cross race, it didn’t ruffle so much as a stitch. Four star stuff.
CVS Pharmacy Nasal Strips, Medium Clear: Thirty to a pack, you’ll never run out. Cheap. Stick so tightly to your nose that you have to pry them off with a screwdriver after the ride. You’ll breathe better and put out an extra 450 watts, and are guaranteed and look like a pro. (Goes great with wintergreen scented isopropyl rubbing alcohol, which you have to use to swab down your nose to remove the oil before putting on the strip, otherwise it’ll pop off from all the grease and yuck.)
SPY Quanta Rx Sunglasses: With a clear version and a dark version, I can see anywhere, in any condition. They’re bulletproof and make me look like the assassin I wish I was but will never be. The best eyewear I’ve ever weared. Worn. Plus, they’ve never sponsored Lance.
Specialized Purist Bottles with Honking Perfect Nipple: Makes drinking water on your bike as pleasurable as drinking milk from a…milk dispenser.
Gnarlube Pink Unicorn Socks: I’m not gay, but you’d never know it from these socks. They are distinctive. Made by local grower, er, manufacturer, “Sock Guy” in San Diego, they are well crafted and built to last. Chicks so dig a guy with pink socks. Just saying.
Lance Armstrong: The dude who made cycling the funniest fucking joke around. Again. Thanks, Lance!
Twitter: Hooked me up with legitimate crazies like Cap’n Taintbag, UCI Overlord, Cycletard, Supcat, Yu_Kie, BroomWagon,VaginaStrong’s mmmMaiko, and countless others. You know how much giggling and laughter I’ve emitted, scrolling through your tweets? Countless spitloads. That’s how much.
Lion of Flanders Coffee Cup: Bought at the outrageous price of $15.00 on Zazzle.com, plus nine bucks for shipping, it was highway robbery. But now my morning starts with a steaming brew swirling around the paws of the angry lion. Cool, eh?
Peet’s Coffee: I made the switch from Sckubrats. Peet’s is better, hands down. (Future post coming on the TRUE secret best coffee in SoCal.)
NPR Kit: Makes me feel like a truly professional wanker. Not just an amateur.
Alibris.com: Source of every second-hand book on cycling ever published, and dirt cheap.
My Three Readers: You are the people who have made Cycling in the South Bay what it is today in the cycling world…a niche within a microfissure hiding inside a largely invisible crevice.
Wankers of the South Bay: You are my inspiration, and the unattainable goal to which I daily aspire. Thank you.