French beast connection

A great way to become a better rider is to ride with people who are better than you. It won’t make you faster or stronger or smarter or more successful in racing. However, with the clever use of an iPhone or GoPro you will be able to snap pics and show them to your friends on Facegag, upload them to The Stravver and etcetera, proving that you are heroic and tough enough to ride with Titanic Crusher ergo you are almost as good as Titanic and if you only had more hours to train and dope to ingest and motors to install you would be as good as he.

It’s important that the footage not show how Titanic Crusher is barely breathing whereas you sound like a medicinal advertisement for sleep apnea.

The first time I saw Frexit was on the New Pier Ride. He was humbly pedaling along in an ugly bicycle outfit trying to fit in among all of the perfectly attired, matchy-match profamateurs on the Tuesday morning preenfest. He was doing a terrible job of it because despite his ugly outfit he had a smooth pedal stroke, a relaxed demeanor despite being squeezed in the middle of an idiot sandwich, and worst of all, he was smiling as if a morning ride with friends was for enjoyment rather than for huge expressions of serious seriousness topped off with seriousity.

Before we hit Pershing, the life and death battle had begun as the idiots jostled for position, which in the South Bay does not only means “place where you can be nearest the front with the smallest risk of having to be on it,” but also “place from which you can solicit new riders to join your fake race clubteam.”

Velo Club LaGrange, a historically fake clubteam, had won the last several recruitment contests, and even as they jockeyed for position I came up hard on the inside, threw an elbow, and began the finishing sign-up sprint.

“What’s your name?”


“That’s weird. Did someone add an ‘s’ by mistake when you were born?”

“No, I am French.”

“What’s your last name?”

“Stievenart,” he said.

“Oh,” I nodded. “So you’re actually Belgian.”

He laughed as we hit the bottom of Pershing. “You should join Big Orange,” I said. “We are a bunch of dorks also know as Team Lizard Collectors or The Asphalt Magnet Gang, but we will reimburse your entry … ” I couldn’t finish because he rode away. And away. And away.

At the end of the ride I offered to wash his bike if he would join Team Lizard Collectors, and he agreed. Thus began Frexit’s association with a club that would be shameful for him but glorious for us.

It turned out that Frexit had won a bunch of French national time trial championships, and had won a big stage race several times called Tour Encaisseur des Lézards and was training for the 24 Hours of Le Mans bike race. Frexit won that race last year, by the way, destroying his competition by a huge margin as he came in first among over 3,800 insane people.

In the process, Frexit became known as a terror on two wheels, riding crazy distances at crazy speeds, and more importantly, showing up at our local training crit to give us all a chance to take selfies with him and sit on his wheel for half a lap or so. In 2017 he returns to Le Mans as defending insane person and with the twin goals of winning again and cracking the mythical 900km mark over a twenty-four hour period. Naturally, we’ve been helping him at Telo by offering up copious quantities of fresh seal pelts for repeated clubbing.

Best of all, you can be part of Evens’s 2017 Le Mans quest on Wednesday, August 16, when he will be out at Westchester Parkway doing a tune-up ride from 6:00 AM until about 5:00 PM. In order to simulate the attacks and surges of the race, Frexit has kindly invited other cyclists to come out for any period of time to ride with him and spice things up. It should be about as fun as having rusty nails pounded up into your gums, maybe more.

But as long as you get a few selfies to show to your friends, it will all be worth it. See you there. Briefly.



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18 thoughts on “French beast connection”

  1. Back in the early 80’s they had a recreational event in Central Park called The Pepsi Challenge, a 24 hr ride usually held in early May. I went in 82, and 83, and I think it folded not terribly long after that.

    It was billed as a recreational event, but of course many people came out to see what kind of mileage they could put together, and as you might expect there would be various assemblages of rotating pace lines, though to be clear, the wide range of abilities of people on the course at any time made riding a pace line a dangerous practice.

    That is unless you were Team Toga, who had John Howard attempting to set the 24hr record, and those guys ran a pace line of about 8 or nine riders and swapped in fresh meat every 50 miles to keep John going. I think also they had to swap out because after 50 miles of constantly shouting ahead “Coming Through! On your Right! Hold your line!” most people needed a break.

    That wasn’t a race format in which people were racing. Sort of like a group ride! :).

    Anyway, I have to expect that Frexit (aka Evens) is allowed to group up with people, or do the individual non-team competitors have to ride alone?

    1. It’s a mass-start race. Everything goes. It’s filled with attacks, surges, and has a total of 30,000 feet elevation over the 24 hours.

  2. …there see that guy 100 riders in front of me? That’s TR, he was in the 1984 olympics, I wasn’t. (You mean something like that?)

  3. …or I’m 3 degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon because I ride with a guy that rode a bike in QuickSilver? Oh! I’m good at these! Now if I could just say, that guy over there, he’s the guy that sounds like he is off his rocker on that crazy cycling blog, but I don’t ride on the west side.

  4. Pro tip from the fake clubteam recruitment think-tank: race reimbursements, if at all, only marginally increase race participation. BBQ & tacos on the other hand…

  5. I was in front of frexit once. I was re-swallowing my insides when he rode by with a smile on his face. I knew right then he was in a whole different league.

    1. Sitting in his wheel in a break when he flicks you through is not a happy place.

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