My take on cycling in LA, and what is possibly a national trend.
Velonews had an article yesterday where they cover what can only be described as an alleycat race. "Alleycats" started out as messenger races, and have morphed into something bigger it seems. There are entire calendars of races, racers, and a race culture that has very little to do with shaved legs, USA Cycling, the UCI, etc. (Sidenote: velonews, there are other races happening, maybe you should cover some of the East Coast racing that happens every weekend?)
Sunday was the LA marathon. This means closed streets right? Why not throw a bike race on the streets of the marathon before it starts? At 4 am, close to 400 people showed up to race the marathon course. A bicycle messenger world champion (yes seriously) flew in from New York to race it. 400 people at 4am. No permits, no insurance, no permission. Just doing it.
It seems events like this are becoming more popular. Rapha is known for their gentlemen's rides. It is like a brevet but shorter and faster. Levi has been putting on a gran fondo series that draws THOUSANDS of people. You dont need a license, but it has insurance, there is a winner, it is a bike race.
There are very few people out there who are willing to bust their ass to put on insured, sanctioned races. So when promoters stop promoting, and insurance, cops, and lawyers prevent other races from happening, they will still happen. Kind of. But is it racing if it doesnt show up on bikereg or USAcycling.org?