One of the worst things about crawling around on your hands and knees begging for money to fund the All Clubs BBQ and 7th Annual Wanky Awards is that sometimes people take pity on you and crack open their wallet. Then you become what is officially known as a charity recipient, or worse, a debtor.
It’s a lot easier when people spit in your eye or hit you with a stone. That way you can curse the world and be self-righteous and shit. Plus, you don’t have to do anything. You sure as hell don’t have to say “thanks.”
In my various begging phases for the All Clubs BBQ and 7th Annual Wanky Awards, there is no place I have begged more piteously than at the feet of Velo Club La Grange. That is because from Year One they have been unstinting in their support of this august event.
For example in Year One at Naja’s, Sausage had a video camera on a tripod and captured not only the infamous Brad House “I love to wank” speech, but a host of other career-ending behaviors by all and sundry. To show how much he loved us, he later claimed to have “forgotten to turn the camera on.”
Whether we can expect those videos to resurface in a plain wrapped package demanding all the money in my bank account or $25, whichever is greater (Hint: it ain’t the bank account), or public release to TMZ is something that keeps many of the original Wanky Awards attendees up at night.
Since 2013, Velo Club La Grange has come through again and again as a steadfast supporter of this dubious event, each time committing precious resources, money, and manpower to add to the general level of embarrassment that accompanies adults riding plastic bikes in their underwear. But there’s more!
The last three years La Grange has put up serious cash as a major sponsor of the event in addition to loaning us the prestige of being associated with beefcakes pitmaster Patrick “Rockets” Barrett, who last year swooped in and produced a BBQ contest that will not soon be forgotten.
This year too, VCLG has donated major money, has re-donated Patrick, and also donated board member Jaycee Carey in the role of live music organizer. Working with his fellow cyclist musicians, Jaycee has formed the nonpareil Average Biker Band, which will debut at the BBQ/Awards to close out the event. In preparation for their SRO performance, VCLG has also fronted the costs of renting the studio for their rehearsals. No word yet on whether Jimmy Page has been sitting in as the studio guitarist.
What’s really amazing about La Grange’s support is that they have continued to be steadfast despite the fact that I have angered and/or personally insulted virtually everyone in the club at least twice, some folks five or six times. What explains such loyalty? Fear of getting smeared in this online rag?
La Grange has supported the broader cycling community for fifty years, and as our event has morphed from a series of misdemeanors into an event with a meaningful social purpose–that of bringing together the diverse world of LA cyclists into a single big celebration–La Grange has provided money, manpower, and moral support. It’s no coincidence that the best race of the year, held on the Porsche test track, was put together by VCLG.
Nowhere has the club’s support been more evident than in the actions of its new president, Rich Hirschinger, a guy I have pissed off more times than you can possibly imagine. Doesn’t matter. When push comes to shove, Rich has taken the high road (I dwell in the lower one) and lent the club’s prestige to an event that promises to benefit the entire community. It’s no coincidence that the club’s 50th anniversary year has been its most successful ever, and that it’s happened on Rich’s watch.
If every club in SoCal did a fraction of what La Grange does to support grass roots racing and social cycling activities, we would live in a completely different world.
Thanks again. WE APPRECIATE YOU. (And sorry for that time I said that thing to that dude about that stuff.)