Monday, March 22, 2010

The state of cycling.

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


Jason said...

Story on a BIG ass brevet coming your way in XXC #7 in May.

There will always be bike racing even without Bikereg, and some might say it might be better without USAcycling.


Steve said...

I thought about the pre-marathon TT before...but thought otherwise after seeing how early runners start. Post-marathon is too congested.

One idea I had...but I'm not in Pgh enough to even plan it.....pre-Parade Crit. Tons of Cops already working to block off hard would it be to close down a couple more. Then have the 1/2/3 race finish up just before the parade starts. Tons of specators that normally wouldn't ever watch a bike race would be watching.

Anonymous said...

Some dude is having one of "alley cat" race that might make Erie almost hip, but we don't have a Trader Joe's.

Anonymous said...

hey steve i think your idea is called sommerville,N.J.