This weekend has been awesome so far, I’m kinda bummed it’s gonna be all over tomorrow evening. The boys have been racing well and everyone is in good spirits. My days are never ending, with only a few hours sleep in between, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Along for the Ride: Wolfpack Hustle Crashes the LA Marathon recap
On most Monday mornings, I usually find myself waking up at 7:30 wishing I had an extra thirty minutes to sleep before getting out of bed and dragging myself to the shop and start my opening routine at work. Today was not one of those days.
I woke up early Saturday morning to get ready for the rest of my weekend. Made a huge batch of Nutella cookies for my friends at the track and for the AZ boys who were coming out later on in the day to race Wolfpack. After picking up breakfast at Macca’s, I got to the track around 10am and was able to watch my friend Tara race the 500m tt and 4k tt, along with many others. After finishing her TTs, Tara some how convinced me to work on her legs as a form of recovery so she’d feel somewhat refreshed for her crit the following day. I reluctantly agreed haha During the break between the TTs and the omnium, we found ourselves stuffing our faces with Subway before I took Tara home. Upon returning to the track, I was happy to see that the Marans family was already there and estatic that Brittany was somewhere in the building. We quickly caught up with each other’s social/cycling/romantic lives then proceeded to walk around the track and be the social butterflies we are. After numerous amounts of heckling, cheering, and massages, the day started to wind down. The calm before the storm. I ended up going out to dinner with some friends, then headed out to Santa Monica to meet up with the AZFixed/State Bicycle Co guys. And this is where my adventure really began.
I rolled up to Cafe Crepe on Broadway and 3rd St around 9pm, wishing I was in bed but at the same time excited for what was going to unfold in the next 6 hours. When I walked in, the boys were being their typical selves; laughing over fart jokes and 30cm hot dogs. About a half hour later, the boys left to check out the course and I headed over to Tang’s to see if anyone had shown up yet. To my surprise, there were a handful of guys already there, all excited to do the race. I sat there for a while, trying to keep warm and shootin’ the shit with them before getting a text from Jesse saying that they were heading to the hotel room. So I said goodbye to my new friends, wished them luck, and drove over to the hotel.
As soon as I got to the hotel and properly introduced myself to the others in the room, I found a spot on the floor and tried to catch a few z’s before all the chaos began. That ended up not really going over to well. I used my foot as a doorstop so the guys could easily get in and out of the room and laid out of the way for about 20 mins. I was in total zombie mode when I decided to get up and try to make myself useful. The guys were in great spirits, and I could tell they were anxious to get on their bikes and just do the damn thing. Scott was shooting C02 at people while yelling, “AIR! AIR! AIR!”, Craig was scrambling to find his shoe covers and Jesse was trying to figure out how to avoid another Calville Bay incident until he was introduced to embrocation cream. I was handed keys to the rental car, gathered up some post-race clothes for some of the guys, then got in the car and headed over to Tang’s with the guys riding behind me. I drove at a steady 18mph so the guys could get a decent warm up on the 3 mile ride to the start. At this point, I started looking at it as just another road race and the soigneur in me kicked in.
We got to Tang’s around 3am. Parking was a bitch, but after 10 minutes of searching, we found prime spots right across the street. I found a course map for Mehdi to look over so he could stop and take photos at certain mile markers. I grabbed coffee for the guys. Sugar, half and half, but some got black. A few of the guys found warmth in a pizza place next door to Tang’s. I sat down and took a breather, knowing that in twenty minutes, the boys would be lining up for a neutral roll out to Dodger Stadium. I was nervous for them, but I had this gut feeling that something was going to happen, in a good way. The lights inside the pizza place flickered, signaling 10 minutes before roll out.
300+ riders flooded Sunset Blvd. It was definitely an amazing sight to see. Camera flashes were going off, cars were honking their horns, people were cheering and looking for their friends/team mates. Spencer, the owner of Ritte Van Vlaanderen, handed me some cycling caps to give to Hern as prizes. I somehow also collected jackets from some of his team mates as well. I didn’t mind. Ritte has always been one of my favorite local teams; it’s all about locals helping locals. I walked around the back of the mob to the front of the pack and saw our boys chomping at the bit to get this thing on its way. A couple of minutes later, they were off, and so were we.
We got to the finish around 4:45. It was entirely too cold at the beach with a light drizzle here and there. Mehdi and Eric met up with us minutes later, all jazzed about something. “We got to mile marker 7 and saw three of our guys, fixed, in the lead group! Didn’t see any other fixed guys in there.” he announced. I knew at that point, they were untouchable. At the rate they were going, there was no way anyone would be able to bridge a gap. This is when the adrenaline started kicking in. Despite the cold weather, I couldn’t stand still. I paced back and forth and conversed with the others at the line, nervously waiting to see the headlights from the motor that was following the lead group. I’ve never seen so much support from police like I did that morning. While in my nervous state, I was walking back and forth from our rental to the finish line and ran into a female cop watching from the sidelines, who seemed really interested (in a good way) about what we were doing. We even had a few come up to us at the finish line asking us how the weather was fairing for us, how many people showed up and if we were having a good time.
After what seemed like hours….
We all crowded around the crosswalk/finish line,yelling and cheering for the sprint finish. All I remember is me thinking, “Come on State! Come on State!” And, well….
"I cannot even explain how excited I am for this. This weekend is gonna be nuts. I may be a LA-area native…. But my money is on some dudes from AZ ;) Let the best legs win!!!"
Needless to say, my prediction on March 16th came true… State Bicycle Co took 1st, 2nd, AND 3rd in the fixed category.
Some might think that this is where the night ended. Well, for most people it did. Not me. Once again, the soigneur in me kicked into it high gear. The dark clouds over head had sympathy for us during the whole race, but as soon as more and more people rolled in, all hell broke loose. My first instinct was to get the guys warm. I gave Jesse my peacoat, then ran to the car to get Craig’s gear. I made sure everyone else was covered and asked if they needed anything. After the awards were given out, I helped the Bicycle Haus guys load up the bikes. Jesse was being stubborn when he got to the car, per usual, wanting to help load up the car. I demanded him to get into the car before he got hypothermia. He reluctantly climbed into the car after a few minutes of me hassling him, and we were off to LA. I’m not sure what time we ended up getting back to the hotel room. All I know is that I had been up for more than 24 hours, and I had no idea how I was going to last through the day, let alone get to the crit race that was 60 miles away. I said my good byes and my ‘I’m so proud of you’s before getting into my car and parting ways with the boys.
I ended up doing a huge circle trying to get back onto the 101, trying my damn near hardest to get to Ontario to make Tara’s first race of the day at 7:30am; and possibly racing the cat4 women’s race. I ended up getting there at 7:06, barely awake but the coffee and yogurt I got from Starbucks woke me up a little bit. I sat in my car for a little bit after making my rounds to say my hellos, trying to get a little warm before standing in the rain to watch Tara race. Well, I ended up passing out in my car for 2 hours. Needless to say, I was exhausted.
It is now Monday night, and I’m sitting here on the computer typing away at 11:45pm because I cannot sleep. Like I said when I first started this post, I’m usually up by 7:30am on a Monday morning wishing I had an extra thirty minutes to sleep. Today, I had an extra 6 hours of sleep, and a 4 hour nap during the afternoon. I guess I got what I asked for.