First Donut of the year? Total fuggin’ beatdown. Huge group of fifty knuckleheads. The festivities started off at Hi-Fi Espresso in the Redondo Riviera, where we had some excellent coffee and pre-ride b.s. chatter. Hopefully this will become the new launching pad for the Donut Ride; it’s way better than the Sckubrats down the street.
Wily Greek: 2 points, Domes #1 and Zumaya Crown
Leo Bugtai: 1 point, Domes #2
Nigel DeSota: 1 point, Hawthorne Sprunt
Many of the South Bay’s softest pillow babies have been catching up on their beauty sleep and staying safely tucked into their beds at o’dark-thirty, with the skies sprinkling cats and dogs at least three times in December and temperatures dipping into the high 40s: certified leg-warmer temperatures. But some hardpeople know that both of the Southern California road races are fast approaching—Santa Barbara on January 25 and UCLA on February 22.
So while some are trying to figure out how to get rid of their extra egg nog, others are sharpening their table saws for the scarce chance to race up a hill for more than one minute. In the South Bay that means January Donuts have a few extra SHUs on the Scoville scale of spiciness. Today was no exception.
The cannonade started right out of Malaga Cove, with Nigel DeSota, fresh off having signed his first pro contract with Team Novo Nordisk, and Wes Morgan pairing up to drill it at 500 watts of welcome. Gio and a handful of wishful thinkers held onto wheels, with Strava Junior slowly pulling the ebullient bastards back with a Zone 4.628 lactic acid party in tow. By the top, the picturesque PV Cove view was the last thing on anyone’s mind, with the group of fifty blown apart only seven minutes after rolling out from Riviera Village.
There was minimal regrouping as Jon “Six” Petrucci closed the gap, seeming to enjoy his shiny new fitness along with Leo Bugtai. Davy Dawg, Ivan the Terrible, and the EA Sports, Inc. latched on and pulled through to keep the pace hot down Paseo Del Mar and out of Lunada Bay. Strava Junior and Six pressed to get away up the Pacheco Bump and along the PV West rollers to Hawthorne, with Leo, Wes, and Nigel keeping the pace vicious.
A healthy red light at Hawthorne allowed the twenty-five survivors a regroup. Sure enough, once the light turned green, Fred “Seizure Suit” Mackey teamed up with Strava Junior to remind everyone what it means to be part of the Fight Club at the front, with Mackey driving the duo to put a healthy gap into the group around Point Vicente, towards Terranea.
But Six hasn’t been training for nothing, and he flexed and showed what he’s built over the past year under the tutelage of the Wily Greek: explosive attacking power with the aerobic fitness to sustain it. He bridged with Ivan, Gio, and Pornstache glued to his wheel. But the dwindling group of chasers had no intention of allowing much leash. The run-up to the Switchbacks featured a huge effort by EA Sports, Inc., who splintered the field from Trump to the base of the climb. The elastic seemed to snap on the pre-climb rise at Trump, with Strava Junior spring-boarding Six and Pornstache, to a 16-second gap to start the climb.
As the group turned left onto the Switchbacks, numerous parachutes were pulled and the group took a breather through Turn 1, with everyone licking wounds, while Six and Pornstache held their gap. Leo lit the dynamite up the Switchbacks through the first two turns.I was second wheel, bad-bad-bad, and drifted to the back of a group featuring the now-dwindled group of Ivan, Nigel, Leo, Wanky, Fukdude, Wily Greek, and Hector, and we brought it all back together at Turn 4. Six and Wily held a small gap as the leaders approached the college, making the turn onto Crest to start the final assault to the Domes.
On Crest things got ugly, with Wily bridging to and shedding Six as I hauled the tattered remnants up around the bend to the flat spot. Six caught his breath, countered, and bridged to Wily, leaving the rest of us #sadface. On the flat spot Leo dashed away with Fukdude as I became a smear in the road. Pornstache overhauled me before the final turn. There was someone else up ahead but I’ve forgotten who. Bottom line? Wily drew first flood in the Donut leg of the Unified Title 2020, riding away with a $15 coffee card from Hi-Fi Espresso.
In San Pedro what had started ugly got a lot uglier. Andy Angle, who had been victimized by his pillow and missed the start, joined the group. It’s always bad news when he shows up, and today was no exception.
We got to 9th Street and Davy Dawg twisted the pedals all the way to Via Colinita so hard that there were only a few shards of melted flesh and bone remaining when the road got steeper. There was a big rush and the survivors battled up Via Colinita with EA Sports, Inc. harpooning the wannabes on the first part of the climb before detonating. (Note to People Who Want to Get Fit by Fucking Off: EA Sports, Inc., did an hour of motor pacing yesterday.)
Leo, I, Andy, Guido, and Wily were all that remained back on PVDE. Andy shelled everyone on Crest easily, and Chef Gio, who had somehow wound up in front of us, provided a huge pull for much of the climb. At the end, Leo and Wily duked it out for the Hi-Fie coffee card, even though Andy outdistanced all. Andy suffered the ignominy of a PBD (pillow baby disqualification), as he’d missed the first climb and was therefore out of contention for the remaining points, thank dog.
The Hawthorne Sprunt was complicated by a bitter headwind that left a relatively large group to contest for the non-existent top step of the non-existent podium. I struck out early at the Glass Church but did nothing aside from drag a bunch of very fast people over the bump. Nigel DeSota left everyone in the shade to claim his coffee card, but not before a select group of dreamers including Dawg, EA Sports, Inc., Ivan, Guido, Anthony Freeman, Wes Morgan, and Pornstache ratcheted it up to light speed for the finish.
Rather than sit up and preen after Hawthorne, the gauntlet was again thrown down and the sprinters kept it full throttle all the way to Zumaya. Everyone who’d not been around to contest the sprunt was distanced and forced to chase hard, many to no avail. I was easily caught on Zumaya by Andy, then dropped by Wily, then dropped by the Hun, then dropped by Ivan, until I settled in with Casey at the Bat and Bearded Dude.
I tried to come by Casey but he wouldn’t have it and was content to set tempo, chasing Ivan to no avail, before riding me off his wheel. Andy claimed the win but again, PBD, and Wily claimed the Hi-Fi Espresso coffee card.
Crazy good riding by Turbo Tom Duong, who stayed with the front group on every key section of the ride. Fukker better not start beating me. Cameo appearance by Grams Tregillis, who hit out early on the Donut and didn’t get caught until Trump. When Chris is back on form, folks, look out. Also, Hun Watch 2020: Attila actually got faster as the ride progressed, which is a big bummer. One more Donut and he’ll be eating raw skulls. Ditto for Pornstache, who has gone on a sex diet in order to improve his riding. Seems to be working.
Denis “The Wanker” Faye closed a huge gap after Trump, bridging to EA Sports, Inc., and allowing a large portion of the group to reach the bottom of the climb together. Christian Quant showed up with a mega-beard; hopefully his legs will soon follow. Big thanks to Baby Seal, who in addition to turning in an impressive non-ride, did yeoman service delivering badly needed tubes and CO2 not.
Great news for people who want to fuck off, ride easy, pose, and post up on Facegag and the Gram–there are a lot of rides in the South Bay where you can do all that #fakery and more, but apparently in 2020 the Donut isn’t one of them.
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