Donut report: 2/8/20
February 8, 2020 Comments Off on Donut report: 2/8/20
I missed the start this morning due to an emergency room detour, but rode the course in reverse and met up at the college. It looked like a smaller group than normal. Many were doing the Rock Cobber in Bakersfield, and others were “saving” their legs for the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre tomorrow.
According to wire reports, Cole Lewis made mincemeat of all comers on the first climb to the Domes.
I hopped in with Stathis and Fred Mackey on Western. It wasn’t really a fair fight since the group behind stopped at all the lights. Fred and Stathis were on the gas, with Fred hauling us in his dazzling Origin Seizure Suit all the way to 9th Street, after which Stathis took off.
I sat on his wheel all the way to the top of the Domes, where he collected a point.
Then on to the Glass Church, where a small group of Ivan Fernandez, Cole Lewis, Nigel DeSota, Julien, and Wes Morgan pinched off from the group in Portuguese Bend and hung out the “We Are Gone” sign.
Over the final bump in PB, Fred grilled and drilled all the way to the church, where the escapees had a big gap. I got across, catching just as they crested the final bump. There was a mad dash for the #fakesprunt, with Nigel leading everyone out and Cole getting the #fakewin and the #realsocks, as today’s point winners each got a lovely pair of South Bay Cycling socks.
Fred and Leo Bugtai raced all the way to Via Zumaya; I took a couple of weak pulls but after being off my bike for 11 days and stuffing my guts with Turkish delicacies, all I can say is, “That’s poor preparation for the Donut and thank Dog I had the brains to bail on the Rock Cobbler.”
Julien crushed everyone on the climb, but Stathis, Cole, Rich Mull, and Rodrigo (?) made a go of it to no avail. It was good to see Colin the Canadian getting back into form after a lot of hamstring/leg issues. I went home and had a real, old-fashioned Donut coma.
Stathis Sakellariadis 6
Seth Davidson 3
Cole Lewis 2
Andy Engel 2
Leo Bugtai 2
Arturo Anaya 2
Julien Bourdevaire 1
Rich Mull 1
Nigel DeSota 1
Jon Petrucci 1
Charon Smith 1
Kevin Phillips 1
Build it and they will leave
August 31, 2017 § 12 Comments
When Junkyard came up with the idea of an alternative Thursday ride to the NPR due to massive construction on Westchester Parkway, it was a doozy: One warm-up lap followed by four hard efforts around the PV Golf Course, finishing on the monster climb of La Cuesta.
We skipped the warm-up that first ride and got straight to business. By the end, the group was in tatters. I think the day was November 6, 2014. The next week we also skipped the warm-up and added a lap. It was horrible beyond belief. No one could believe that anyone would voluntarily do such a thing.
As the months went by, one by one riders heard about The Flog. They came, they sampled, they never came back. From a training perspective, the ride was worse than useless. But far more awful was the damage it did to your ego. Always dropped and left to ride alone.
After a year, Michael Hines suggested we stop and regroup after each lap, effectively turning it from a race into interval training. We agreed. The ride only got harder, and the non-benefits even more pronounced. A two-fingered handful of riders soldiered on, but by then the ride’s reputation was so bad that new faces were few and far between.
The ride wrapped up its 35th edition for 2017, to resume again in January. I love this ride more than any other. It represents the best that competitive cycling has to offer: A small group of friends who take care of each other, who are safe and respectful, who go all out, and who make progress in whatever way they’re trying to improve. And at the end, if things work out, covfefe.
This ride has so many great memories for me! The day that Daniel Holloway and his crew showed up and destroyed the course record. The countless times that Stathis blasted the group apart, effortlessly, it always seemed. Amazing feats of speed on La Cuesta (and everywhere else) by Chris Tregillis. The continual, never-say-die efforts of Michelle Landes, one of the toughest riders around. Evergreen Mike Hines, reliable and hard as nails. Greg Lonergan who always made the hardest efforts even harder. Derek Brauch, always raising everyone’s game. Emily and Aaron, the happiest couple in the world! Lauren Mulwitz and the times she has come out and smashed. Josh Alverson, fearsome, funny, friendly, and quick to show us how Stanley O’Grande gets things done.
David Wells and his countless antics, videos, and photos. Luke Rokuta, dependable and smiling and thrashing it with his Pioneer power meter. Bill Klahr and Stacy Hill, two regulars, and of course Tim Vaughan and Steve Shriver!
And there were the handful of incidents! Marc’s fall in the hairpin, Emily’s fall in the hairpin, Kroboth’s fall in the hairpin, Michelle’s wheel-tap, Hines’s chain snap, the incident with the jogger, and Rico’s collision with the curb. For a ride that has gone off more than 140 high-intensity times, that’s an enviable record–and there have been no serious injuries.
Of course what I miss most are the people who used to come and don’t any more. The ride is too far, too early, too painful, too stupid, too pointless, or just too boring. Robert Efthimos, one of the best people I know and a tough competitor, Stathis and Chris, Stacy, Eric Anderson, Greg Seyranian, Greg Lonergan, and Head Down James, who I once screamed at for taking the hairpin at lightspeed.
“You crazy sonofabitch!” I yelled. “You can’t take the wet downhill hairpin like that! People will follow you and get killed, for fuck’s sake!”
Head Down James didn’t shout back. He looked at the ground and said quietly, “But I was only going 35.” That was his last flogging; our loss.
Jon Davy, Bob Spalding, Major Bob, and the immortal Francis Hardiman! Riding with him and Alex Barnes was such a low point in terms of ego but a high point of humanity … so many fine riders and good people have moved on to other and better things, which I get. But I miss them all anyway! Turbo Tom Duong, and remember Peyton Cooke? I do! He used to be there every time, along with Eric Anderson.
And of course the people who showed up once or twice, delivered their message or had it delivered, and never came back. Michael Smith, Dan Cobley, Greg Leibert, Jeff Konsmo, Dave Jaeger, even Dan Sievert, “the Bull.” Dave Holland came and dished it out once, Gussy did half-a-Flog, and our Dear Leader, Junkyard Joe, comes once a year whether he wants to or not. The one or two cameo appearances of Evens Stievenart and Julien Bourdevaire were never to be forgotten.
Between the “been there” and the “done that” there are all the people on the Facebag Flog page who’ve never ventured forth. Please come! We will be gentle, and if not gentle, at least respectful. That’s my promise.
And I’m grateful to those pedalers who still make this ride a part of their lives. Josh Dorfman, the eternally happy Michelle Landes, Kristie Fox, Mike Hines, Emily and Aaron Wimberley when they can swing it, Luke Rokuta, Bill Klahr … thank you all.
It was a great year of flogging. 2018 will be our fifth anniversary, the make or break date for most marriages. Let’s keep this love affair alive.
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PS: Don’t forget the Wanky’s. As if you could.
The point-one percent
August 16, 2016 § 27 Comments
Here’s a quick rundown of things that have happened in the last couple of months:
- Three cyclists killed in PV
- Crazy road rager assaulted a man and his kid for riding their bikes
- Friend #1 got run over on PCH in Malibu
- Friend #2 got terribly injured by hit-and-run in San Diego
- Friend #3 got run over in PV
- Entire club ride narrowly avoided being taken out by road-raging Tesla
- Group of angry NIMBYs tried to ban cyclists from public roads
- Surfer gang member advocated death for cyclists who break traffic laws
- Wealthy citizen compared cyclists to “dog shit”
It’s easy to think that the world has gone crazy. When bicycles are the enemy and cars are the hero, we’ve literally turned the Imperial Stormtroopers into underdogs.
Except, we haven’t.
These same last few months I’ve been riding almost exclusively in PV, ground zero for the bike wars, and I’ve been sticking to some of the most controversial residential areas where opposition to cyclists is supposedly fiercest. What I’ve found is surprising, and it’s this: Most people are friendly.
I make a point of waving and saying hello to everyone I run across. Except for a couple of incredibly sour people for whom death will be a huge relief (for them and for us), people invariably wave back and smile. I’ve stopped and chatted with Mark the Dude with the Two Giant Poodles, and Bob the 80-Year-Old Dude Who Has Run Across America Twice.
What’s more interesting is that I’ve had zero car-bike incidents. This doesn’t mean they aren’t happening; video from other cyclists proves otherwise. But by and large, people in PV are fine with bikes, especially when the cyclist is highly visible.
Since I began riding with super powerful daytime front-and-rear lights, I’ve become visible at all times. A 1200-lumen flashing headlamp gets your attention no matter how distracted you are, and a 100-lumen red taillight does the same.
What’s more interesting is that some very low-grade detective work has revealed that the “horde” of bike haters in PV is actually one guy using multiple fake aliases on social media to create the impression that many in the community share his views. The police know his identity, and although he’s noxious, crude, and wants to incite trouble, he’s nothing more than a harmless crank afraid to show his face in public, not to mention a terribly inept surfer.
At their worst, people may be slightly bothered by having to slow down for bikes. But the 99.9% hardly get enraged, and they certainly don’t wish for death and catastrophic injury as the penalty for pedaling a bike. Of course the .1% that do can do incredible damage, and they have.
But most people are on our side, and recently, so are the police. And 99%? The odds could be a lot worse.
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South Bay mayhem report: Good man down and CYA
February 3, 2011 § 6 Comments
One of our tried and true South Bay cycling veterans got hit by a car yesterday in Santa Monica. Our guy had stopped at the red light, put his foot down, and waited for green. He got the signal and began making a left hand turn. Idiot motorist apparently blew through a red light and hit him head on. Our guy has a fractured C5, lacerations and stitches on his leg, a bike in ten thousand pieces, and a long, brutal road to recovery ahead.
Idiot motorist probably has a few scratches on the hood of his wagon and perhaps some pangs of guilt. But the real question is, does he have insurance? Our guy is going to have a mountain of medical bills and lots of missed work.
This accident brings onto the stage a grisly drum I’ve been beating for the last year now. Below is a reprint from a short article I posted on the Big Orange Cycling Yahoo newsgroup. Please read it and take action. The ass you save is going to be your own.
How to save your ass when the motorist who runs you over is also an uninsured or underinsured deadbeat shitforbrains
At my office we’ve taken in a number of bike-car accidents in the last year, everything from trashed bikes to people who are never going to walk properly again to people whose last action on this earth was pedaling a bicycle. What follows is some advice that I hope you’ll heed.
Most people think that if they’re in a bike-car collision, they’ll be able to recover money from the driver as long as the driver is insured. What you may not know is that in California, the minimal insurance coverage for accident liability is $15,000. What you also may not know is that 85% of the drivers on the road have this minimal coverage. This means that their insurance company is on the hook for $15k, and that’s it.
To put it in perspective, the money you can recoup from the careless idiot who took you out while sexting his girlfriend a “Brett Favre” evaporated on the life flight trip to the hospital, and once your expenses exceed the $15k that most drivers carry, you’re done. That’s the bad news, and it’s very, very real. Imagine how hard it is as a lawyer to tell someone who’s been trashed for life that their recovery won’t pay for their first day of medical care…then imagine how hard it is for the victim who has to actually live through it.
There is, however, a very cheap and very effective way to protect yourself and your family. It’s called uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage, and it comes standard with almost every auto insurance policy. Many cyclists are unaware that this coverage on their own auto liability policy even exists, and many more are unaware that it covers them in a bike-car collision when they’re not even in the car.
This means that when idiot’s policy tops out at $15k, you have the legal right to turn to your own insurance company for the remainder. So far, so good, but there’s a catch: most UM coverage is also minimal, often only $15 or $25k, which is hardly enough to make you whole when you suffer significant injuries.
Unlike most insurance stories, though, this one has a very, very happy ending if you’re proactive about it, because you can increase your UM coverage to very high levels for only a tiny increase in your monthly premium. Although your UM coverage is generally barred from exceeding your liability coverage, if you have $500k worth of liability you can bump up your UM from $25k to $500k for only a few bucks.
For the sake of yourself and your family, take a minute to look at the face page of your insurance policy, check the UM coverage, and then call your agent to ratchet that sucker up to the max. With the spate of deaths and serious injuries occurring in our midst this past year, this is something you can’t afford to put off.
The other benefit to turning to your UM coverage in the event of an accident is that if you’re forced to use it you actually wind up with a larger recovery than you would if you were making a claim against a driver with adequate coverage.