Tag Archive for Cannondale

Today’s post, in which I party with the Cannondale pros at Paramount, and link to my heart’s content

To be honest, I was wondering what the heck I was doing there.

Not that I was complaining, mind you.

The official rollout of the 2013 Cannondale Pro Cycling team at Paramount Studios last Saturday was a hell of a party.

Ivan Basso and Peter Sagan discuss the team's prospects for this year.

Ivan Basso and Peter Sagan discuss the team’s prospects for this year.

As well as a chance to rub elbows with one of the best cyclists of the last decade, one of the few to give a certain disgraced ex-multiple Tour de France winner a run for his money; as a matter of fact, Ivan Basso is now the top finisher — though not officially the winner — of the 2005 Tour.

Not to mention the rider who could be one of the dominant cyclists of this decade. In fact, while Peter Sagan said his goal for this year was winning one or more of the classics, like Milan-San Remo or the Tour of Flanders, Basso said the young pro is capable of winning every race he enters, and he wouldn’t be surprised to see him win the Tour one day.

And he should know. Or almost, anyway.

Bored Sagan & Bike

Although Sagan seems a little bored with all the high praise.

Although that was something that bothered me a bit. Aside from Baso, the team — which also includes Bicycling magazine columnist Ted King, cycling scion Moreno Moser and rare Japanese pro Nariyuki Masada, who said he was riding to honor his hometown, which was destroyed in the 2011 earthquake and tidal wave — seemed a tad too modest.

Maybe I’m just too used to the brashness of American athletes, who seldom seem to downplay their abilities or ambitions.

Take this quote from Willie Mays, who had the skills to back it up:

“If it comes down, I’m going to catch it.”

Like the saying goes, it’s not bragging if you can do it.

I would have liked to have seen more of that confidence from the men on the stage. But maybe their quiet modesty belies bigger goals than they cared to admit.

At the very least, with Basso and Sagan on the team, they’ll always be entertaining. And have a legitimate shot at victory in every stage.

Cannondale Supersix Evo Hi-Mod Team

Want. Period.

And they’ll ride some very cool bikes.

On the other hand, I found myself surrounded by real reporters from the industry’s top publications — not that I knew who anyone was, since no one had name tags.

But the people with camera lenses longer than my, uh, arm seemed to know what they were doing, while I did my best snapping a few photos with my phone and an ancient first-generation digital camera.

Why they thought the author of this humble blog belonged there with the real professionals is beyond me. And no, I’m not being modest.

But as long as someone wants to invite me hang out with people like that — let alone ply me with free food and beer — I’m there.

And I’ll feel a little personal connection when I see the team roll past at the Amgen Tour of California this year.

Maybe Sagan will even top last year’s success of four stage wins in a row.

And maybe, just maybe, the young riders on this team will help us move past the disgrace and disappointment brought on by other riders this past year.

………

Speaking of our disgraced former Tour winner, Lance apologizes to the Livestrong staff, without offering a confession. An Aussie paper insists a Lance confession would challenge pro cycling’s credibility, which presupposes it has much to begin with. Reports are Lance confessed to doping after a full decade of denials in a two-and-a-half-hour interview with Oprah, and will agree to testify against those who facilitated it; the Times says he picked the wrong venue to come clean. The Wall Street Journal says the U.S. Justice Department has decided to join a whistleblower suit allegedly filed by Floyd Landis. The NY Post asks why Lance thought he could get away with it when doping has been common in cycling since the ‘80s, but how is he going to make up for what he did to LeMond?

Meanwhile, Italy relaxes its restrictions on formerly banned cyclists, which could allow Cannondale’s Ivan Basso — who refuses to look back at Lance —  to compete in the world championships on his home turf.

And retiring world and Olympic champion Nicole Cooke lets dopers have it with both barrels.

………

The LACBC is looking for volunteers for the Firecracker Ride bike valet and the city’s first Bike Prom next month, as well as the Operation Firefly light distribution program each Wednesday and Thursday.

And in case you missed it, you can still listen to the podcast of LACBC-affiliate chapter Culver City Bicycle Coalition as they host Bike Talk last Saturday, discussing all things bike in Culver City.

………

Huell Howser explains the history of bicycling in Los Angeles. Not surprisingly, that proposed $3 billion street repair bond is put on hold for now; Flying Pigeon calls it a bad bet. Flying Pigeon’s Josef politely takes the author of Pearls Before Swine to task for an admittedly amusing anti-bike cartoon. The Culver City street where an allegedly drunk, distracted driver injured 13 cyclists has been redesigned to be safer for cyclists and pedestrians. Bike, bus or carpool to grand opening of the new Patagonia store in Santa Monica on Thursday, Jan. 24th and get a free raffle ticket. Santa Monica’s Ocean Park Blvd goes green — and not just the bike lanes. Cycling in the South Bay writes beautifully about last week’s memorial ride for bike shop owner Steve Bowen. Long Beach’s Bixby Knolls host a Kidical Mass Tweed Ride this Sunday. No bias here, as a cyclist in Monrovia is accused of sideswiping the driver’s side of a minivan exiting a freeway; both driver and bike rider claim to have had the green light.

Newport Beach follows a deadly 2012 with a commitment to develop a new bicycle master plan. Actually, a more bikable Hwy 101 in Leucadia is a good thing. Meet a future 2020 BMX Olympian from Poway. The Sacramento Bee asks if changes should be made to CEQA so it can’t be used to stop projects like bike lanes. Why doesn’t anyone make bicycling jeans for women? Ripping a page from the LADOT/Street Services playbook, tiny Manteca bizarrely insists a new crosswalk would make a street more dangerous for pedestrians. Healdsburg CA becomes the latest city to consider an L.A.-style cyclist anti-harassment ordinance.

Katie Compton wins the national cyclocross championship once again, and heads the US roster for the world championships. A new petition asks the feds to charge equally for admission to National Parks whether visitors arrive by car or bike. An Oregon woman leads police on a chase after stealing a car, then tries to make her getaway by bike after they use a spike strip. Portland landlords decide the financial advantages of bikeways outweighs the disadvantages of reducing auto capacity. An Arizona rider documents why cyclists often ride to the left of the line. A writer in my hometown says always call it out when you pass; good advice. Once again, a life is saved because a cyclist could see the crashed car that passing motorists couldn’t. Champaign and Urbana IL work on becoming even more bike-friendly. Four century rides team up to form the new Kentucky Century Challenge. A New York AAA spokesperson says if drivers acted as carelessly as cyclists, there’d be carnage on the streets; unlike now, I suppose. Safe Routes to Schools cuts NYC child injuries over 40%. Now that’s chutzpah — when two Philly bike cops take a break, a thief steals their bikes and tries to make his getaway by bus. Be careful when you carry loose objects on your bike; a DC cyclist is killed when an object he was carrying — which turned out to be a barbeque grill — got caught in his spokes. A rider calls a new Florida bike lane a suicide lane, while another says bikes must be more dangerous than guns. A Florida cyclist is killed by a driver fleeing an unrelated hit-and-run.

A Sault Ste. Marie man is arrested for a) driving a vehicle into a deck, b) damaging a vehicle parked in the driveway, and c) throwing a bike at the garage door; I can forgive him the first two. A UK constable says young riders are “dicing with death” by riding ninja after dark. In a bizarre assault, UK teenagers stretch barbed wire across a roadway, which does little harm to motor vehicles — but could have killed a cyclist, motor or otherwise. Even cyclists in rural Scotland can come this close to getting run over, twice. A Dublin man is awarded 20,000 Euros when he’s hit by a car, despite repeatedly falling off his borrowed bike after “enthusiastically celebrating” St. Patrick’s Day. Evidently, bicycling is so powerful it can transform Thailand into a single bike-friendly city. Instead of making the streets safe for cyclists, Adelaide police crack down on riders violating Australia’s helmet laws. A car full of thugs attempts to knock an Australian woman off her bike. An Aussie study concludes that because more men bike, investing more money in bikeways is sexist — but not as sexist as trying to knock a woman off her bike. A writer says make the death of South African Olympic cyclist Burry Stander matter by improving the country’s infrastructure; a foundation has been founded in his name to do just that, while a tiny-hearted driver says don’t exploit his death if it inconveniences motorists.

Finally, a Virginia columnist can’t comprehend why the state needs a law making dooring illegal, while the state’s House Speaker seems to find it funny. Cleveland cyclists contend with crappy bike lanes — in the most literal sense. And if you think it’s been cold in L.A. lately, you were right.

No, really right.

Win a week at the Tour de France and a free bike from Cannondale; and a long list of LA bike events

Here’s your chance to participate in this year’s Tour de France.

For the second consecutive year, Cannondale will give one cycling fan the chance to spend a week working with Peter Sagan and the Team Liquigas-Cannondale. The winner will be a member of the behind-the-scenes team working on race day preparations and rider support for the team.

Oh, and they’ll give you a pretty decent bike, too.

To enter, just like Cannondale’s Facebook page, click on the Backstage at the Tour de France icon and fill out the application. Deadline for entering is Thursday, May 31st at 11:59 pm EDT; 8:59 West Coast time.

………

Bike Talk airs every Saturday at 10 am; listen to it live or download the podcast from KPFK.

Bike Long Beach hosts Bike Saturdays every weekend; ride your bike to participating local shops and business throughout the city to get special offers and discounts.

It Magazine invites you to celebrate the end of bike month with a panel discussion on Greening Your City: Biking Los Angeles, moderated by actor Ed Begley Jr. from 7:30 to 10 pm on Saturday, May 26th at the Lineage Performing Arts Center, 89 South Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena. Panelists include LACBC Executive Director Jennifer Klausner, former LA District Attorney and Paris cycle chic photographer Gil Garcetti, C.I.C.L.E. Executive Director Dan Dabek and Bike San Gabriel Valley co-founder Wesley Reutimann.

Sunday, May 27th, LACBC affiliate chapter Bike SGV invites you to their free SGV River Loop, held monthly on the last Sunday of the month along the San Gabriel River and Rio Hondo River bike paths. Meet at 9 am at Santa Fe Dam, 15501 Arrow Highway, with a 10 am departure; the ride features feeder ride check points, as well as a pit stop at Legg Lake with booths, music, mechanics, snacks, water and other goodies. Bike SGV has invited candidates for the 49th Assembly District to join in on this month’s ride.

Los Angeles cyclists enter the political realm when the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s new Civic Engagement Committee meets for the first time promptly at 6:45 pm (note the new start time) on Tuesday, May 29th on the Mezzanine level at LACBC headquarters, 634 South Spring Street in Downtown L.A. Help us work to get candidates for mayor and city council in Los Angeles and other area cities on the record for their stands on bicycling issues to ensure the election of more bike-friendly political leaders.

L.A.’s Council District 14 joins the LACBC, LADOT, and the Downtown LA Neighborhood Council to host a Downtown Bicycle Network Open House from 5 to 8 pm on Wednesday, May 30th at Aiso Plaza, Judge John Aiso Street & 1st Street, Downtown.

The Palms Neighborhood Council will host their 19th Annual Bike Rodeo on Saturday, June 2nd from 10 am to 2 pm at Palms Elementary School, 3520 Motor Ave. The event is free for Palms residents and children attending Palms area schools.

The next of the LACBC’s popular Sunday Funday rides takes place on Sunday, June 3rd with the East Valley Hansen Dam Ride; meet in front of the entrance to the North Hollywood Metro Station on Lankershim and Chandler in North Hollywood at 8:30 am, with the ride rolling at 9 am.

Take Back the Boulevard holds its third public meeting on Tuesday, June 5th from 7 to 9 pm at the Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock, 2225 Colorado Blvd. Participants will review a preliminary plan for a more livable Colorado Blvd to better serve residents and business.

The fourth annual Bike Night at the Hammer Museum takes place on Thursday, June 7th starting at 7:30 pm at the Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd. The free event includes a free portrait with your bike, a screening of the Kevin Bacon bike messenger movie Quicksilver — which LAist says he called “the absolute lowest point of my career” — and admission to the museum’s Made in L.A. 2012 biennial exhibition.

The Antelope Valley’s High Desert Cyclists hosts a series of monthly Brunch Rides starting at Marie Kerr Park on 30th Street West in Palmdale on the second Saturday of each month. The comfortably paced 15 to 20 mile rides will visit a local restaurant or coffee shop for brunch before returning to the starting point; organizers promise no rider will be left behind. The next ride is scheduled for Saturday, June 9th at 7:30 am, with successive rides scheduled for July 14th, August 11th, September 8th and October 13th.

L.A.’s favorite fundraising bike ride rolls out on Sunday, June 10th with the 12th Annual L.A. River Ride; this one just keeps getting bigger and better every year. Six different rides, from an easy family ride to a fast, flat century; this year’s ride includes an optional reverse start beginning in Long Beach. Funds go to support the LACBC in building a better, more bikeable L.A. County.

Recover from The L.A. River Ride with a laid-back bike, brunch and beer ride the following Saturday, June 16th. The first annual B3 charity bike ride will raise funds for the Pablove Foundation with beer and food specials, while making a loop between Golden Road BrewingTony’s Darts Away and Mohawk Bend.

Sunday, July 1st, Shuntain Thomas, the Real Rydaz and We Are Responsible People (WARP) will host a ride through the streets of South Los Angeles to raise attention to the problem of childhood obesity and streets as recreational space. The ride starts at 10 am at Exposition Park, and ends at a street festival at 86th Street and Vermont Avenue.

The 2012 GranFondo Cannondale Los Angeles rolls on Sunday, July 15th starting at Saddlerock Ranch at Malibu Family Wines, 31727 Mulholland Highway, offering rides of 40 and 75 miles; registration closes at 9 pm on Friday, June 8th.

The 4th Annual California Tour de Dreams 2012 will take place August 9th through 19th as cyclists will ride 540 miles from UC Berkeley to UCLA to educate communities about the passage of the California Dream Act and advocate for passage of the Federal Dream Act; register online by May 31st.

Bikes are normally banned from the famed San Diego – Coronado Bay Bridge, but you can ride it on Sunday, August 26th, during the 5th Annual Bike the Bay, to benefit the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition. Get an early registration discount through April 30th.

Early registration has opened for the national Pro Walk/Pro Bike® conference to be held September 10th through 13th in Long Beach. The 17th annual conference is sponsored by the National Center for Bicycling and Walking, and Project for Public Spaces.

This year’s Tour de Fat will take place on Saturday, September 15th at Los Angeles State Historic Park — and this time, it’s not scheduled on the Jewish high holidays, so everyone can attend.

Mark your calendar for the next CicLAvia from 10 am to 3 pm on October 14th; more details to follow

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