More All Clubs BBQ love

August 13, 2019 § 1 Comment

Among the sponsors who have generously donated to this year’s All Clubs BBQ and South Bay Cycling Awards, Big Orange Cycling has been a part of the festivities since the beginning.

In addition to being extremely well represented in a number of award categories, that is, one category in especial, Big O has repeatedly broken new ground in its approach to promoting cycling. And I’m not just talking about kit design.

Big Orange was one of the first clubs to adopt bike safety as an ongoing and integral part of its club operations–not as an informal emphasis on safety, but by using instructors and a proven curriculum to protect its members on the streets of LA. In conjunction with Cycling Savvy, Big O continues to lead in its approach to safe use of urban roadways.

Among other innovations, Big O is the perhaps the only club in the history of cycling to welcome Brad House with open arms. It was a sad day for cycling in the South Bay when this titan of something left the sunny skies of SoCal for the arid, windswept steppes of Dallas.

In addition to structured rides every weekend that calibrate with the off-season in racing from July through May, Big Orange promotes rider education and has been a key entry point for countless riders who have gone on to become successful racers on local, state, national, and international levels.

For another year, Big Orange puts its money where our mouths are and has donated generously to help promote unity, diversity, and community in cycling.

Thank you!

END


More All Clubs BBQ love

August 13, 2019 § 1 Comment

Among the sponsors who have generously donated to this year’s All Clubs BBQ and South Bay Cycling Awards, Big Orange Cycling has been a part of the festivities since the beginning.

In addition to being extremely well represented in a number of award categories, that is, one category in especial, Big O has repeatedly broken new ground in its approach to promoting cycling. And I’m not just talking about kit design.

Big Orange was one of the first clubs to adopt bike safety as an ongoing and integral part of its club operations–not as an informal emphasis on safety, but by using instructors and a proven curriculum to protect its members on the streets of LA. In conjunction with Cycling Savvy, Big O continues to lead in its approach to safe use of urban roadways.

Among other innovations, Big O is the perhaps the only club in the history of cycling to welcome Brad House with open arms. It was a sad day for cycling in the South Bay when this titan of something left the sunny skies of SoCal for the arid, windswept steppes of Dallas.

In addition to structured rides every weekend that calibrate with the off-season in racing from July through May, Big Orange promotes rider education and has been a key entry point for countless riders who have gone on to become successful racers on local, state, national, and international levels.

For another year, Big Orange puts its money where our mouths are and has donated generously to help promote unity, diversity, and community in cycling.

Thank you!

END


And now a word for our sponsors …

August 8, 2019 § 13 Comments

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?

Hardly.

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.)

END


And now a word for our sponsors …

August 8, 2019 § 13 Comments

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?

Hardly.

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.)

END


Making friends

July 6, 2018 § 6 Comments

I will cut to the chase scene. Nancy Linn of the PV Bike Chicks kicked in an incredibly generous $2,000 to support the infamous South Bay Cycling Awards in 2018, now in its sixth embarrassing year. The donation was made in the name of the Race for RP Fund. More about that later.

All of this started a few months ago with an email exchange, typical for me in that it was brief. My emails go like this:

Hi, Nancy

Would you have a few minutes to chat this week?

Thanks,

Seth

Of course this sounds like a solicitation for something, which it was. As Nancy told me later, “I thought you wanted money for the Wanky Awards.”

Instead, I’d had the idea of putting together a skills clinic with the PV Bike Chicks and working on some of the essential riding techniques whose importance I’d become keenly aware of as a result of riding with Yasuko, a new rider. I’d donate the time and they would buy me coffee. Nancy thought it would be fun and educational, so we began doing monthly sessions after I finished with the Thursday Flog Ride.

And you know, it was!

Cars and stuff

Occasionally Nancy would mention her husband and his interest in cars. Unfortunately, I am dead to the world of cars. Evens Stievenart, our local hammer, former professional race car driver, and car track racing instructor, has in the past talked to me a little about cars, but these are stillborn conversations because, cars.

Whereas other bike racers love to pick Evens’s brain about, you know, cars, I simply am not a car guy. And Nancy knew this the first time we ever met.

“I remember really well,” she said. “I was at the PV Bike Center and you drove up in some horrible old wreck, it was quite memorable.”

All I could think was, “Horrible old wreck? Doesn’t she know that was a CAMRY? Sure it might have had a couple hundred thousand miles on it, and it did make that funny clank when you put it in gear, and it smoked a bit, and vibrated a bit too much, and it tended to drip a bit of oil when you weren’t looking, and the windshield did have a few blind spots where you had to kind of look around the quarter-sized divots, and it did smell like beagle on the inside (especially on a rainy day), and there were some bits of rust peeking out from around the doors, but other than those flesh wounds that was a stand-up, respectable, take-it-to-the-Oscars ride.”

After that I started listening to Nancy a bit more carefully when she occasionally mentioned cars, and one day she was talking to one of the other Bike Chicks and I thought I heard her say her husband raced cars.

“Did you say your husband races cars?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said.

I thought about that for a while and wondered if racing cars was as expensive as racing bicycles. I mean, there are people out there with $15,000 bikes. “So, what kind of cars does he race?” I asked.

“He’s currently in a Ferrari,” she said.

I’d heard of those, and wondered if it had a lot of carbon in it. I figured it probably did. Then I went home and googled “How much does a Ferrari race car cost” and it turns out that they are more expensive than bicycles. Also, when they break or need a tune-up, you can’t drop them off at Boozy P.’s for half an hour, payable in beer.

Who knew?

Racing for a cause

It turns out that Nancy’s husband, Neil Langberg, does in fact race Ferraris (these are red cars made in Italy), but he and Nancy are also racing something else, and it’s got the awkward, hard to remember, doesn’t-really-roll-off-your-tongue name of “relapsing polychondritis.”

I could tell you what that is, but Nancy has done a much better job than I’ll ever do in this powerful documentary about an autoimmune disease that attacks the body’s cartilage. In addition to the relentless pain and damage to the body’s organs that the disease can cause, it is a low-to-zero priority for medical research funding due to its rarity. Less than six people per million are afflicted with it, and research dollars on the national level are devoted to diseases that affect more people.

Nancy, who spent years suffering from relapsing polychondritis without knowing the cause, as it is extremely challenging to diagnose, finally got a definitive diagnosis and decided to do something positive about it. Enter Race for RP Fund, a fund that solicits donations and makes the money available to research, awareness, and advocacy programs through the Community Foundation of Louisville, which itself administers over half a billion dollars in philanthropic funds.

Nancy’s husband Neil put his own twist on the fundraising by sponsoring a racing team whose mission is to promote awareness of relapsing polychondritis.

Relapsing polychondritis and bikes

All of this is another way of saying that Nancy, married as she is to a hard core car racer, has zero trouble understanding the delusions and ridiculousness of bike racers. More importantly, she recognized that what is happening this year with the South Bay Cycling Awards is something that matters.

In short, for 2018 the South Bay Cycling Awards, also known by any number of much more disparaging names, is being held in conjunction with the All Clubs BBQ, a massive barbecue cookoff and picnic being held on August 12 at El Dorado Park in Long Beach. The purpose? To bring together all of the cycling communities, get people off the bike and out of the clown suits, and begin the process of building stronger American communities at a time when the forces of evil are doing everything they can to tear us apart.

The challenge faced by people with relapsing polychondritis is great. The illness is not widely known, research interest is low, and no cures are on the horizon, even the distant one. But like the challenge faced by our diverse cycling communities as we try to get from point A to point B without being maimed or killed, it’s something that will require people working together to fix the problem.

And the best place to start with people is … with people.

Thank you Nancy and Neil.

END

IMG_1041 2

 

 

The good times rolled

October 16, 2017 § 14 Comments

The 2017 South Bay Cycling Awards are in the books. The Academy voted on a slate of incredibly worthy nominees with the following results:

2017 Greatest Advocate, Lynn Ingram
2017 Best Bike Shop, ShiftMobile and Jason Morin
2017 Best Young Rider, Makayla MacPherson
2017 Best Old Rider, Keith Ketterer
2017 Most Improved, Thomas David Rennier
2017 Best Club, Velo Club LaGrange and Patrick Barrett
2017 Best Event, Belgian Waffle Ride and Michael Marckx
2017 Wanker of the Year, Greg Seyranian
2017 Belgian Award, Dan Cobley
2017 Group Ride Champion, Eric Anderson
2017 Best Sponsor, BonkBreaker and Greg Leibert
2017 Best Male Racer, Jay Williams
2017 Best Female Racer, Megan Jastrab
2017 GC Award, Rahsaan Bahati
2017 Greatest Recovery, Debra Banks
2017 Strava KOM, Meagan Jones
2017 Most Happy to Help Others, Pablo Maida
2017 Most Fun, Michelle Landes
2017 Best Spouse/SO, Sarah Butler
2017 Steve Tilford South Bay Rider of the Year, Charon Smith

This year’s award ceremony was dedicated to the life of Steve Tilford. Steve’s wife Trudi Rebsamen and her sister, Susan Ohlman, traveled from Chicago to attend the awards, along with a contingent of Midwestern friends of Steve. Steve was posthumously inducted into the South Bay Cycling Hall of Fame and Trudi was presented with the induction statuette, hand made and hand painted by an artist in England. It was an emotional evening for everyone who had known Steve, and his presence was strongly felt.

But the fact is that these were also the Wanky Awards, and like the event from 2015 when Steve attended and gave the keynote speech, it was a night of celebration mixed in with a healthy dose of silliness and a massive dose of good times. Those good times weren’t immediately apparent to Academy member Derek Brauch and his teammate John Abate, who found themselves feverishly assembling the famed Wanky backdrop with broken pieces of PVC piping, missing nuts/bolts, all with a few minutes to showtime. A quick trip to Lowe’s and some more feverish duct-tape engineering resulted in a shoddy backdrop perfectly appropriate for the proceedings that never collapsed on the stage or the crowd but at all times appeared as if it might.

Academy member Dan Martin pulled off another stunning year of twenty hand-made Wanky plaques, beautifully painted and mounted horseshoes to signify the incredible stroke of luck and confluence of astrological alignments that it takes to win an award. Winners fought like vicious dogs to keep people from pilfering their hard won trophies and swag bags, but it was only when Jon Paris slit the throat of the pinata baby seal, spilling out hundreds of dollars in swag from Performance Bicycles that things went berserk. No one died, thankfully.

The event continued with Rahsaan Bahati co-hosting the awards, and he actually carried the day with witty commentary and impeccable delivery. One of the most important things to deliver, of course, were words of thanks for the numerous people and organizations who prevented the award ceremony from being a complete failure. In no particular order:

  • Strand Brewing, via Joel Elliott and Rich Marcello, who made the best brewery in the South Bay our home for the third year in a row.
  • Yasuko Davidson, who baked the most prestigious awards of the entire night … the magical loaves of bread! Recipients James Cowan and Greg Leibert looked pretty stoked!
  • Patrick Barrett came to the awards with pounds and pounds of smoked brisket, making himself a true champion of the people.
  • Velo Club LaGrange donated $1,500.00 to defray expenses, and believe me, otherwise we would have been quite frayed.
  • Big Orange Cycling kicked in $1,000.00 to further defray the frayees, and it was awesome.
  • Long Beach Freddies gave $1,000.00 to this august event, meaning that with a bit of creative accounting and skulduggery and cooking-of-the-books, we would almost end up in the red, instead of being drowned in red ink.
  • South Bay Wheelmen gave $300.00 to buy flowers for the wives of the Academy members.
  • Pedal Industries, via Todd Brown, donated custom race-day bike gear bags to three lucky recipients. The bags were custom-designed with the Wanky logo for 2017.
  • Wend Wax, via Ryan Dahl, donated Wend chain wax kits to every recipient. It’s the best lube for your chain; I won’t use anything else.
  • Echelon Color, via Tony Manzella, donated the printing for our posters and for the memorial poster we presented to Trudi.
  • Metadzn, via Joe Yule, donated design services for our logo and for the poster design.
  • Law Office of Seth Davidson, via me, donated South Bay Cycling socks to every recipient, Steve Tilford memorial socks to every recipient, 20 signed copies of Phil Gaimon’s “Living the Cycling Dream,” and 12-oz. bags of Groundworks whole bean coffee to all winners.
  • JoJeBars, via John Abate, donated awesome energy bars–fresh baked, delicious, and healthy food to fuel your ride.
  • Methods II Winning, via Ken Vinson, donated killer pint glasses to every recipient.
  • Mammoth Gran Fondo, via Caroline Casey, donated another set of killer pint glasses to every recipient.
  • BeachBody Performance, via Denis Faye, donated recovery drink mix and energy drink mix to every recipient. Denis also showed off his French insults on stage, which were the best!
  • Origin Clothing, via Marco Cubillos, donated clothing to every recipient and also provide models Bailey and Flint to work the room and be generally awesome.
  • VeloFix, via Matt Brousseau, donated tire repair kits to all recipients.
  • Special shout-out to Hint Water via Kevin Salk, for providing several hundred bottles of  Hint Water which made a huge difference as the night wore on and thirsty cyclists began thinking about the next day’s ride and getting hydrated. Talk about saving the day!
  • Extra-special shout-out to Jami Brauch for getting customized swag-bag stamps with the Wanky logo and hand-stamping all of the bags for that extra custom look.

Of course a ridiculous event like this could never have happened without lots of people flailing around and making stuff up at the last minute. Again, in no particular order …

  • Chris Gregory, who’s been with us since the beginning and is the inventor of the world-famous hashtag, #ewaw, Everybody Wants a Wanky! Chris designed and made the necklaces for past winners, designed and sent out all of the finalist invitations, picked up all of the Charmin for butt-hurt runners-up, survived Costco to get water, and of course served as podium presenter for the fifth year in a row.
  • Sherri Foxworthy, who’s also been on the podium from Year One, providing guidance laced with a bit of profanity, and lots of laughs on the stage. “Batteries.”
  • Stephanie Lin, podium presenter who never misses a chance to dress up and make us all look better than we otherwise possibly could.
  • Kristie Fox, who for the third year has done the hard work of ordering and designing and getting the cake, the cupcakes, the coffee vendor, organizing all of the e-invitations, completing the database, moving huge amounts of junk from pillar to post, serving as shipping terminus for things as varied as lamps, socks, and drink mix, and then of course dancing until the very end.
  • Tara Unversagt, who managed all of the winner signatures on the poster and made sure that the right thing was in the right hands at just the right moment.
  • Delia Park, who managed sign-in and traffic flow.
  • Lynn Jaeger, who showed up as a guest but ended up getting conscripted to the sign-in table.
  • Marc Spivey, Academy member who lined out the sound system and the killer playlist.
  • Derek Brauch, Academy member who built the backdrop under great pressure.
  • Dan Martin, Academy member who made the world-class trophies.

Additional thanks to Bjorn Snider for the great write up! I’m sure I’ve left lots of people off who donated time and money to make this event happen, but hopefully you’ll remind me so I can add them in! Already planning for 2018!

Awesome thank you to Jay Yoshizumi for the fantastic photos below!

END

The good times rolled

October 16, 2017 § 14 Comments

The 2017 South Bay Cycling Awards are in the books. The Academy voted on a slate of incredibly worthy nominees with the following results:

2017 Greatest Advocate, Lynn Ingram
2017 Best Bike Shop, ShiftMobile and Jason Morin
2017 Best Young Rider, Makayla MacPherson
2017 Best Old Rider, Keith Ketterer
2017 Most Improved, Thomas David Rennier
2017 Best Club, Velo Club LaGrange and Patrick Barrett
2017 Best Event, Belgian Waffle Ride and Michael Marckx
2017 Wanker of the Year, Greg Seyranian
2017 Belgian Award, Dan Cobley
2017 Group Ride Champion, Eric Anderson
2017 Best Sponsor, BonkBreaker and Greg Leibert
2017 Best Male Racer, Jay Williams
2017 Best Female Racer, Megan Jastrab
2017 GC Award, Rahsaan Bahati
2017 Greatest Recovery, Debra Banks
2017 Strava KOM, Meagan Jones
2017 Most Happy to Help Others, Pablo Maida
2017 Most Fun, Michelle Landes
2017 Best Spouse/SO, Sarah Butler
2017 Steve Tilford South Bay Rider of the Year, Charon Smith

This year’s award ceremony was dedicated to the life of Steve Tilford. Steve’s wife Trudi Rebsamen and her sister, Susan Ohlman, traveled from Chicago to attend the awards, along with a contingent of Midwestern friends of Steve. Steve was posthumously inducted into the South Bay Cycling Hall of Fame and Trudi was presented with the induction statuette, hand made and hand painted by an artist in England. It was an emotional evening for everyone who had known Steve, and his presence was strongly felt.

But the fact is that these were also the Wanky Awards, and like the event from 2015 when Steve attended and gave the keynote speech, it was a night of celebration mixed in with a healthy dose of silliness and a massive dose of good times. Those good times weren’t immediately apparent to Academy member Derek Brauch and his teammate John Abate, who found themselves feverishly assembling the famed Wanky backdrop with broken pieces of PVC piping, missing nuts/bolts, all with a few minutes to showtime. A quick trip to Lowe’s and some more feverish duct-tape engineering resulted in a shoddy backdrop perfectly appropriate for the proceedings that never collapsed on the stage or the crowd but at all times appeared as if it might.

Academy member Dan Martin pulled off another stunning year of twenty hand-made Wanky plaques, beautifully painted and mounted horseshoes to signify the incredible stroke of luck and confluence of astrological alignments that it takes to win an award. Winners fought like vicious dogs to keep people from pilfering their hard won trophies and swag bags, but it was only when Jon Paris slit the throat of the pinata baby seal, spilling out hundreds of dollars in swag from Performance Bicycles that things went berserk. No one died, thankfully.

The event continued with Rahsaan Bahati co-hosting the awards, and he actually carried the day with witty commentary and impeccable delivery. One of the most important things to deliver, of course, were words of thanks for the numerous people and organizations who prevented the award ceremony from being a complete failure. In no particular order:

  • Strand Brewing, via Joel Elliott and Rich Marcello, who made the best brewery in the South Bay our home for the third year in a row.
  • Yasuko Davidson, who baked the most prestigious awards of the entire night … the magical loaves of bread! Recipients James Cowan and Greg Leibert looked pretty stoked!
  • Patrick Barrett came to the awards with pounds and pounds of smoked brisket, making himself a true champion of the people.
  • Velo Club LaGrange donated $1,500.00 to defray expenses, and believe me, otherwise we would have been quite frayed.
  • Big Orange Cycling kicked in $1,000.00 to further defray the frayees, and it was awesome.
  • Long Beach Freddies gave $1,000.00 to this august event, meaning that with a bit of creative accounting and skulduggery and cooking-of-the-books, we would almost end up in the red, instead of being drowned in red ink.
  • South Bay Wheelmen gave $300.00 to buy flowers for the wives of the Academy members.
  • Pedal Industries, via Todd Brown, donated custom race-day bike gear bags to three lucky recipients. The bags were custom-designed with the Wanky logo for 2017.
  • Wend Wax, via Ryan Dahl, donated Wend chain wax kits to every recipient. It’s the best lube for your chain; I won’t use anything else.
  • Echelon Color, via Tony Manzella, donated the printing for our posters and for the memorial poster we presented to Trudi.
  • Metadzn, via Joe Yule, donated design services for our logo and for the poster design.
  • Law Office of Seth Davidson, via me, donated South Bay Cycling socks to every recipient, Steve Tilford memorial socks to every recipient, 20 signed copies of Phil Gaimon’s “Living the Cycling Dream,” and 12-oz. bags of Groundworks whole bean coffee to all winners.
  • JoJeBars, via John Abate, donated awesome energy bars–fresh baked, delicious, and healthy food to fuel your ride.
  • Methods II Winning, via Ken Vinson, donated killer pint glasses to every recipient.
  • Mammoth Gran Fondo, via Caroline Casey, donated another set of killer pint glasses to every recipient.
  • BeachBody Performance, via Denis Faye, donated recovery drink mix and energy drink mix to every recipient. Denis also showed off his French insults on stage, which were the best!
  • Origin Clothing, via Marco Cubillos, donated clothing to every recipient and also provide models Bailey and Flint to work the room and be generally awesome.
  • VeloFix, via Matt Brousseau, donated tire repair kits to all recipients.
  • Special shout-out to Hint Water via Kevin Salk, for providing several hundred bottles of  Hint Water which made a huge difference as the night wore on and thirsty cyclists began thinking about the next day’s ride and getting hydrated. Talk about saving the day!
  • Extra-special shout-out to Jami Brauch for getting customized swag-bag stamps with the Wanky logo and hand-stamping all of the bags for that extra custom look.

Of course a ridiculous event like this could never have happened without lots of people flailing around and making stuff up at the last minute. Again, in no particular order …

  • Chris Gregory, who’s been with us since the beginning and is the inventor of the world-famous hashtag, #ewaw, Everybody Wants a Wanky! Chris designed and made the necklaces for past winners, designed and sent out all of the finalist invitations, picked up all of the Charmin for butt-hurt runners-up, survived Costco to get water, and of course served as podium presenter for the fifth year in a row.
  • Sherri Foxworthy, who’s also been on the podium from Year One, providing guidance laced with a bit of profanity, and lots of laughs on the stage. “Batteries.”
  • Stephanie Lin, podium presenter who never misses a chance to dress up and make us all look better than we otherwise possibly could.
  • Kristie Fox, who for the third year has done the hard work of ordering and designing and getting the cake, the cupcakes, the coffee vendor, organizing all of the e-invitations, completing the database, moving huge amounts of junk from pillar to post, serving as shipping terminus for things as varied as lamps, socks, and drink mix, and then of course dancing until the very end.
  • Tara Unversagt, who managed all of the winner signatures on the poster and made sure that the right thing was in the right hands at just the right moment.
  • Delia Park, who managed sign-in and traffic flow.
  • Lynn Jaeger, who showed up as a guest but ended up getting conscripted to the sign-in table.
  • Marc Spivey, Academy member who lined out the sound system and the killer playlist.
  • Derek Brauch, Academy member who built the backdrop under great pressure.
  • Dan Martin, Academy member who made the world-class trophies.

Additional thanks to Bjorn Snider for the great write up! I’m sure I’ve left lots of people off who donated time and money to make this event happen, but hopefully you’ll remind me so I can add them in! Already planning for 2018!

Awesome thank you to Jay Yoshizumi for the fantastic photos below!

END

2017 South Bay Cycling Award finalists

August 24, 2017 § 6 Comments

Our four-person steering committee, shattered rudder and all, sat down with the cat yesterday to make the agonizing decisions about who would be a finalist for the galactically renowned 2017 South Bay Cycling Awards.

Some choices were simple. How could we not pick Kayle LeoDoyle for Wanker of the Year finalist? How could Debbie Hoang Efthimos not be in the mix for best spouse? My dog, what she has endured!

Other choices were fiendishly complex and resulted in yelling, shouting, cursing, insinuations about one’s parentage, and repeated trips into Hoofixr Man’s garage for two of the committee members to work out their differences over giant glasses of home-brewed beer. When we were unable to agree, which was pretty much all the time, we left it up to the cat, Anaximander.

Since cats don’t talk much, and certainly don’t do so on command, Anaximander would break the tie by purring. Long purr meant yes, short purr meant no. And so it went.

Here are the finalists, culled from a garbage heap of worthy nominees, names legendary in the niche within an invisible crevice inside the  microscopic crack of the non-sport of profamateur bicycle pretend racing. The criteria were of course rigorous. Unlike past years, not a single name was selected simply because all the other names sucked so badly. Okay, maybe one or two.

Each nominee was evaluated as follows:

  1. Suzy-Johnny come lately, or person who’s been around the block a few times?
  2. Past recipient of the same award? If so, your chance of getting it again is basically zero. Ish.
  3. Desperation. Was the nominee dying to get the award? Had the nominee politicked? Was the nominee the beneficiary of a 10-page, detailed nominee list submitted by a “friend” to “guide” the selection process?
  4. IDGAF factor. Does the nominee GAF? No award for you if you don’t show up, even though last year Elijah left early (no, we haven’t forgotten), and Joe Yule did too, with no excuse other than he “had somewhere else to go,” i.e. bed.
  5. Distance. Is the nominee coming into town from far away?
  6. Laughability. Will there be a good story to tell about the nominee? Or is the nominee a quiet, hard worker who blends into the background, never to be seen walking down the streets of Manhattan Beach late at night with a giant inflatable sex organ?
  7. Bro-ishness. Is the nominee part of the “in” crowd? Or does the nominee shun public association with such an obvious bunch of losers?
  8. Dues paying. Has the nominee slogged in the trenches for years, never to be recognized for her/his contributions, or is the nominee a glad-handing, publicity seeking wanker who has been twisting arms, bribing committee members, and hustling like a cheap whore on Christmas Eve?
  9. Disappointment factor. Would the nominee be emotionally crushed by being omitted? Or would the nominee be more crushed by being a finalist and not winning? No award ceremony is a success unless a majority of nominees feel like the whole thing was a cheap ripoff of a badly-done sham.
  10. Were we tired of arguing and ready to chuck the whole thing so we could go home and have dinner?

As you can see from the above, none of the above criteria was favorable or unfavorable. You could be a trench-laborer and ignored, or a trench-laborer and a finalist. You could be a contemptible showboater and not selected, or a contemptible showboater and a shoo-in. Although the criteria were very rigorous, they were randomly applied, especially as Hoofixr Man’s rye brew began to affect half of the committee and especially after Anaximander stopped purring and shifted into cat-flatulence mode.

Anyway, here’s the list. If you are on it, go ahead and celebrate or despair, as appropriate. If despite your legendary contributions you were mercilessly snubbed, remember that the race goes not to the swift or the wise, but to she who perseveres. Or as Charlie Brown would say, “Just wait ’til next year!”

2017 South Bay Cycling Award Finalists

Greatest Advocate: David Pulliam, Lynn Ingram, Peter Flax
Best Bike Shop: ShiftMobile, Bike Palace, Raleigh SaMo
Best Young Rider: Makayla MacPherson, Megan Jastrab, Bader Aqil
Best Old Rider: Jan Palchikoff, Michael Hines, Keith Ketterer
Most Improved: David Ellis, Thomas David Rennier, Elijah Shabazz
Best Club: Velo Club LaGrange, Big Orange Cycling, Bahati Foundation Cycling Club
Best Event: Belgian Waffle Ride, Telo, CBR Series
Wanker of the Year: Kayle LeoGrande, James Doyle, Greg Seyranian
Belgian Award: Evens Stievenart, James Cowan, Dan Cobley
Group Ride Champion: Josh Alverson, Eric Anderson, Jack Daugherty
Best Sponsor: RAAM/Joseph Duerr, BonkBreaker, Helen’s Cycles
Best Male Racer: Justin Williams, David Holland, Matt Wikstrom
Best Female Racer: Makayla MacPherson, Megan Jastrab, Coryn Rivera
GC Award: Dan Cobley, Greg Leibert, Rahsaan Bahati
Greatest Recovery: Debra Banks, John Walsh, John Abate
Strava KOM: Phil Gaimon, Fred Mackey, Meagan Jones
Most Happy to Help Others: Joann Zwagerman, Pablo Maida, Patrick Barrett
Most Fun: Michelle Landes, David Wells, Raja Black
Best Spouse/SO: Debbie Hoang Efthimos, Julie Black, Sarah Butler
Steve Tilford South Bay Rider of the Year: James Cowan, Charon Smith, Greg Leibert

south_bay_cycling_awards_poster_2017_final

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2017 South Bay Cycling Award finalists

August 24, 2017 § 6 Comments

Our four-person steering committee, shattered rudder and all, sat down with the cat yesterday to make the agonizing decisions about who would be a finalist for the galactically renowned 2017 South Bay Cycling Awards.

Some choices were simple. How could we not pick Kayle LeoDoyle for Wanker of the Year finalist? How could Debbie Hoang Efthimos not be in the mix for best spouse? My dog, what she has endured!

Other choices were fiendishly complex and resulted in yelling, shouting, cursing, insinuations about one’s parentage, and repeated trips into Hoofixr Man’s garage for two of the committee members to work out their differences over giant glasses of home-brewed beer. When we were unable to agree, which was pretty much all the time, we left it up to the cat, Anaximander.

Since cats don’t talk much, and certainly don’t do so on command, Anaximander would break the tie by purring. Long purr meant yes, short purr meant no. And so it went.

Here are the finalists, culled from a garbage heap of worthy nominees, names legendary in the niche within an invisible crevice inside the  microscopic crack of the non-sport of profamateur bicycle pretend racing. The criteria were of course rigorous. Unlike past years, not a single name was selected simply because all the other names sucked so badly. Okay, maybe one or two.

Each nominee was evaluated as follows:

  1. Suzy-Johnny come lately, or person who’s been around the block a few times?
  2. Past recipient of the same award? If so, your chance of getting it again is basically zero. Ish.
  3. Desperation. Was the nominee dying to get the award? Had the nominee politicked? Was the nominee the beneficiary of a 10-page, detailed nominee list submitted by a “friend” to “guide” the selection process?
  4. IDGAF factor. Does the nominee GAF? No award for you if you don’t show up, even though last year Elijah left early (no, we haven’t forgotten), and Joe Yule did too, with no excuse other than he “had somewhere else to go,” i.e. bed.
  5. Distance. Is the nominee coming into town from far away?
  6. Laughability. Will there be a good story to tell about the nominee? Or is the nominee a quiet, hard worker who blends into the background, never to be seen walking down the streets of Manhattan Beach late at night with a giant inflatable sex organ?
  7. Bro-ishness. Is the nominee part of the “in” crowd? Or does the nominee shun public association with such an obvious bunch of losers?
  8. Dues paying. Has the nominee slogged in the trenches for years, never to be recognized for her/his contributions, or is the nominee a glad-handing, publicity seeking wanker who has been twisting arms, bribing committee members, and hustling like a cheap whore on Christmas Eve?
  9. Disappointment factor. Would the nominee be emotionally crushed by being omitted? Or would the nominee be more crushed by being a finalist and not winning? No award ceremony is a success unless a majority of nominees feel like the whole thing was a cheap ripoff of a badly-done sham.
  10. Were we tired of arguing and ready to chuck the whole thing so we could go home and have dinner?

As you can see from the above, none of the above criteria was favorable or unfavorable. You could be a trench-laborer and ignored, or a trench-laborer and a finalist. You could be a contemptible showboater and not selected, or a contemptible showboater and a shoo-in. Although the criteria were very rigorous, they were randomly applied, especially as Hoofixr Man’s rye brew began to affect half of the committee and especially after Anaximander stopped purring and shifted into cat-flatulence mode.

Anyway, here’s the list. If you are on it, go ahead and celebrate or despair, as appropriate. If despite your legendary contributions you were mercilessly snubbed, remember that the race goes not to the swift or the wise, but to she who perseveres. Or as Charlie Brown would say, “Just wait ’til next year!”

2017 South Bay Cycling Award Finalists

Greatest Advocate: David Pulliam, Lynn Ingram, Peter Flax
Best Bike Shop: ShiftMobile, Bike Palace, Raleigh SaMo
Best Young Rider: Makayla MacPherson, Megan Jastrab, Bader Aqil
Best Old Rider: Jan Palchikoff, Michael Hines, Keith Ketterer
Most Improved: David Ellis, Thomas David Rennier, Elijah Shabazz
Best Club: Velo Club LaGrange, Big Orange Cycling, Bahati Foundation Cycling Club
Best Event: Belgian Waffle Ride, Telo, CBR Series
Wanker of the Year: Kayle LeoGrande, James Doyle, Greg Seyranian
Belgian Award: Evens Stievenart, James Cowan, Dan Cobley
Group Ride Champion: Josh Alverson, Eric Anderson, Jack Daugherty
Best Sponsor: RAAM/Joseph Duerr, BonkBreaker, Helen’s Cycles
Best Male Racer: Justin Williams, David Holland, Matt Wikstrom
Best Female Racer: Makayla MacPherson, Megan Jastrab, Coryn Rivera
GC Award: Dan Cobley, Greg Leibert, Rahsaan Bahati
Greatest Recovery: Debra Banks, John Walsh, John Abate
Strava KOM: Phil Gaimon, Fred Mackey, Meagan Jones
Most Happy to Help Others: Joann Zwagerman, Pablo Maida, Patrick Barrett
Most Fun: Michelle Landes, David Wells, Raja Black
Best Spouse/SO: Debbie Hoang Efthimos, Julie Black, Sarah Butler
Steve Tilford South Bay Rider of the Year: James Cowan, Charon Smith, Greg Leibert

south_bay_cycling_awards_poster_2017_final

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Celebration

October 23, 2016 § 16 Comments

The Fourth Annual South Bay Cycling Awards wrapped up with hardly any controversy! There are too many people to list for their wonderful contributions. No, wait, that’s not true. This is the Internet and there is absolutely no limit. So here goes!

First off is Diego Binatena, from Base Cartel. Why Diego? Because I fucking forgot to thank him last night, out of all the people who deserved mention. Bottom line? Buy his shit. It’s awesome and he’s a good dude.

This year the event hit the medium-time thanks to the Southern California and Nevada Cycling Association. They kicked in a ton of money and funded the toilets, the lights, the sound, the stage, free food, chairs, tables, pro photography services, and half the beer. In short, they made the event! My only question is this: Where were all the SCNCA award recipients? Jeez! What is it about “free food, free beer, and cash prizes” that you bike racers don’t understand?

The plus side was that there were plenty of SCNCA recipients to come collect their trophies and cash, and no group better represented the spirit of the night than the crew from SC Velo. What  fantastic bunch of kids. I think they may have even learned new cuss word or two. I always take pride in mentoring the youth.

Anyway, on to the thanks!

Jan Luke, SCNCA President. Made shit happen. Made this partnership happen. Lugged in the trophies. Lugged out the trophies. Was awesome in every way!

Chris Black, SCNCA Vice President.

David Huntsman, SCNCA Secretary. Lawyer, advocate, friend, guy who has done so much to breathe new life into SCNCA.

Armin Rahm, SCNCA Board Member. Racer, dad, promoter, businessman, friend. Showed up to show the Amis how a Bavarian drinks beer.

Justin Williams, SCNCA Board Member. Racer, cool guy, friend. Ready with a quip and encouragement, hell of a bike racer.

Suzanne Sonye, SCNCA Board Member. Legend, legend, legend. Oh, and legend.

Matt Wikstrom, SCNCA Board Member. Mr. Git R Done. Handed out checks, coordinated everything for two months before the shit show, brought more goodwill, enthusiasm, and execution to the event than anyone ever. Plus kicked the shit out of everyone on the Donut. Except those two pesky juniors.

Sean Wilson, SCNCA Board Member.

Omar Lozano, SCNCA Board Member. Promoter, dad, husband, and part of the “new face” of bike racing promotion in SoCal. Enthusiastic hard working dude who supports juniors, local, and binational racing.

Dan MunsonSimply the best. Pro photographer. Even as I write this he’s putting together a folio of the amazing evening. Prepare to be blown away.

StageOne: Designed everything. Logo, t-shirts, patches, bar tape, banners, posters, and virtually every kit worth looking at in the South Bay.

South Bay Wheelmen: Local bike club that kicked in hard cash to buy flowers for the lovely deserving recipients.

Wend Wax: Chain wax. Look. This shit works. So go get some. Ryan Dahl generously donated 20 sets of Wend Wax, a billion dollar retail value, for the award winners’ swag kits. So frigging cool. He also gives me all the wax I can use.

JoJe Bars: Energy bars. John Abate and Jessica Cera’s amazing energy bars that are organic, wholesome, taste great, and give you an amazing kick in the shorts when you need a boost on the bike or off.

Beachbody PerformanceEverything you need to win, to finish, or to prop your legs up on the couch and watch the Cubs win instead of riding your bike. Beachbody has been the number one step up and deliver new sponsor for cycling in 2016.

BonkBreaker: Provided awesome swag bags to award winners containing energy snacks, energy chews, and super cool musette bags. Thank you!

Marc Spivey: Wanky Committee member who filled the venue with the right sound at the exact right time. Marc’s lifetime in the music and entertainment industry, and his passion for music has meant that every single year we’ve had sound that matches or exceeds the most famous award ceremonies anywhere.

Derek Brauch: With the help of Jami, put together the most awesome Wanky Swag Bags™ ever. Provided us with meeting space for our numerous and redundant meetings, the best analytical mind around to improve, question, improve, question, and improve until we were even better than the year before.

Trey Smith: The ghost in the machine. Every year Trey provides us with incredible sound that makes the whole thing happen.

Keedar Whittle: Fantastic comedian who kept people in stitches, hit the great stuff, didn’t shy away from politics, race, and biking, and left us all happy and glad he came.

Michelle Landes: Arranged flowers, total selflessness, and was there with a smile, encouragement, and assistance every step of the way.

Chris Gregory: Truly the Spirt of the Wankies. Whether it was ordering the Hall of Fame figurines, designing and making, the necklaces, choosing and assembling the invitations, recording and double-checking RSVPs, taking photos at the event, making elegant podium presentations, keeping things running smoothly, and always helping me just when the confusion was at its max, “thank you” doesn’t even begin to do it.

Lisa Conrad, Sherri Foxworthy, Stephanie Lin, Chris Gregroy: These four amazing women have been with the event since its inception, if “inception” is what you call a bunch of drunks in a dive bar trying to give away awards to passers-by. From the minute we said “Wankies” they donned their evening finest and showed up with shimmering with beauty, poised, happy, funny, gentle, and they’ve been here every year since. Truly, no matter how rough and sort-of-ready the biker gang crowd is, they give us all the class you can’t get all sweated up on a bike.

Jami Brauch: Jami artfully designed and stocked the swag bags despite having a newborn to care for–the bags were so great this year that people simply couldn’t resist stealing them. Can’t wait for next year!

Kristie Fox: She helped with the swag bags, she set up and managed the sales table (books, socks, bar tape, patches, t-shirts), and she singlehandedly ordered and delivered the most massive and awesome cake in the history of the awards. And cupcakes! And done with a smile and ruthless efficiency.

Strand Brewing Co.: No mere words can thank Joel Elliott and Rich Marcello for this amazing venue, for their support of grass roots cycling, and for providing the infrastructure and support to pull of this best-ever event. Oh, minor detail! FREE take-home growlers of White Sands DIPA, their top-shelf, brew, to every adult who showed up.

Tony Manzella and Echelon ColorPrinted and delivered the amazing award ceremony posters. Ansel Adams said it: “The negative is the score, but the print is the performance.” And what a performance by Echelon Color it was!

Tara Unversagt: Tara worked to get SBW sponsorship involved, helped with swag bag materials, and did the ultimate job of Cub Scout Den Mother by keeping me organized and on track throughout the event. So much fantasticness in one person!

Phil Gaimon: Best UCI US pro road racer, attended our event, made us look semi-sort of legit, and promoted what is the best Grand Fondue on the calendar: Phil’s Malibu Cookie Dough Gran Fondo. Register here, register now. Phil drove straight from Clovis, NM, to make the event. How awesome is that? Very awesome!

Daniel Holloway: As if Phil Gaimon weren’t enough, reigning US road/crit champ Daniel Holloway brought the star power and picked up right where he left off. Being a part of the South Bay community. Thank you so much for sharing.

The 2016 South Bay Cycling Awards award winners were:

  1. 2016 Greatest Advocate:  Sarah Barraclough for BMUFL/Master Safety Plan advocates
  2. 2016 Best Bike Shop:  Performance Bicycle
  3. 2016Best Young Rider:  Ivy Koester
  4. 2016 Best Old Rider: George Pommel
  5. 2016 Most Improved: David Holland
  6. 2016 Best Club: Long Beach Freddies
  7. 2016 Best Event: Dana Point Grand Prix
  8. 2016 Wanker of the Year: Denis Faye
  9. 2016 Belgian Award: James Cowan
  10. 2016 Group Ride Champion: Elijah Shabazz
  11. 2016 Best Sponsor: Beachbody Performance
  12. 2016 Best Male Racer: Justin Williams
  13. 2016 Best Female Racer: Katie Donovan
  14. 2016 GC Award: Joe Yule
  15. 2016 Crashtacular Fred: Marvin Campbell
  16. 2016 Strava KOM: Chris Tregillis
  17. 2016 Most Happy to Help others: Chris Gregory
  18. 2016 Most Fun: Sochin Lee
  19. 2016 Best Spouse/SO: Jeanette Seyranian
  20. 2016 Ian Davidson South Bay Rider of the Year: Tony Manzella

Until next year, thank you!!!

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