Telo Title IX

The Telo training crit has been around for decades. It’s an informal gathering of riders that, like hundreds of similar events across the country, takes place on Tuesday when cyclists get together to test their legs against riders. Why is Tuesday such a common day for a training crit? Because we rest on Monday!

These informal gatherings come and go; there’s no promoter and no organization–sometimes the rides fade away (as Telo did two years ago), and sometimes they reform. Earlier this year, StageOne Sports came up with a winner’s jersey that was awarded each week to the first-place finisher. Since there aren’t any refs and it’s an unorganized ride, it’s all done on an honor system … which mostly works!

Telo is without question the hardest Tuesday training crit in California; nothing else even comes close and it’s all thanks to the battering 20-mph head/crosswind that springs up every afternoon and blows into your face for half of each and every lap. Where other training rides have big groups (think Eldo or NPR or MAMO) that allow any reasonably fit cyclist to sit in, Telo allows no such luxury. Large fields are halved after a few laps and as the season wears on Telo always ends in a small one, two, or three-man breakaway.

The ride is so bitter and brutal that most participants do it only a handful of times a year, even though it runs every week from the spring to the fall time change. I’ve skipped it for years at a stretch.

The only bad part about the weekly winner’s jersey is that the winner is always a man. Because it’s not a sanctioned race or event there are no categories. You show up, assume the risk, and ride. And because men are lumped with women, no woman has finished first.

That’s when StageOne donated design services and we got together to make a winner’s jersey for the women. Telo is so tough that the women who come out and do it should have the chance of pulling on a victory tunic. Here’s what StageOne came up with. It’s a beaut!


The jerseys arrive today, Monday, August 1, and the first winning woman will get to wear her gloriously awesomely beautifully comfortably designed tunic after the Tuesday, August 2 ride. If you’re a woman and you’ve avoided Telo for whatever reason, henceforth it won’t be because there isn’t a jersey for you!



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17 thoughts on “Telo Title IX”

  1. I’m glad I’m back to training! Perhaps, by the end of the season (I still have more than a month, right!!?) I could earn that beautiful jersey!

    As I always say though: showing up to the start line is winning and everything after that is icing on the cake.

  2. Now all of the population is going to have reason to hate you… I can’t believe I’m doing this for a stupid jersey… Seth is such a wankers… Etc, etc, etc

  3. For the non-local rider, imagine a long, very narrow, rectangle. A strong, steady wind blows directly in your face along one long side of the rectangle, then at your back. Everyone accelerates into the tailwind, so no, no rest.

    Sprinters can’t wait for the last lap. There is nowhere for lazy, genetically average riders like me to hide in that headwind. The only other thing to note is the chicane, which doesn’t change anything about doing ~50 minutes of laps with a fierce headwind.

    It’s good bike racing in a nutshell. Bitter and brutal.

    1. You left out the oncoming cars through the chicane. It takes mental focus and grit to deal with that without wasting energy. Just adds to the fun!

  4. All those Tuesday world champs rides are hard. Up here the Port of Oakland Tuesday night ride will put you in the hurt locker. And there’s trains, train tracks, and trailer trucks roaming through.

    Nothing is harder than a hard POO.

    1. The best thing about Tuesday worlds is that each one secretly knows it’s harder than all the rest.

  5. Could you change that on your ride Description?:
    TELO Tuesday Training Race
    [TELO is dead. RIP. Don’t show up. This entry remains for nostalgic reasons.]

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