Fresh Pavement and a Proper Groundbreaking

One of the city’s most restricted arteries just underwent a massive bypass surgery. I am referring, of course to Esplanade Avenue, the thoroughfare connecting Midcity to the French Quarter and Marigny. Built along a naturally elevated ridge once frequented by Native Americans, Espalanade was paved over long ago and painted with two lanes in each direction, each lane wide enough for an anorexic horse. When motorcars were introduced to the city, the lanes were not restriped, and the street was commensurately cramped to hell. In the 1940’s, nuclear weapons were tested on it, reducing its pavement to rubble.

All this changed recently when the street was repaved between Beauregard Circle and Claiborne and striped to be a single traffic lane and a bike lane. This long awaited and well-deserved overhaul was met with great enthusiasm from the city’s bike commuters, and clearly merited a groundbreaking ceremony of sorts. Organizers Peter Duffy Bennet and Bob Evans hosted the Big Bike Lane Break-In on Friday to flood the bike lane and demonstrate its capacity. Doing laps up and down the newly paved stretch, stopping at Canseco’s and various happy hours for drinks, and gathering en masse, cyclists officially sent the message that the lane was in use and major bike traffic was on the way. In order to foster good will and establish responsible practices, Peter and Bob encouraged all riders to stay in the bike lane as much as possible, and obey street signs and traffic signals. This was by far, the most courteous and civilly obedient social/group ride I have ever attended. Way to go, Bob and Peter, great ride.

Cheers,
Rich
Yeah You Ride

Local Hardmen of the 512: Beat The Clock and Cycleast

Riding new roads is great, but at the end of the day, asphalt makes for a poor companion. A major highlight of our recent trip to Austin was the opportunity to link up with local riders who were not just solid in the saddle but genuinely cool people as well.

Beat The Clock is an Austin cycling club with its roots in the messenger community. Founder and owner of Beat The Clock messenger service John Trujillo decided to form his own cycling club under the same banner.  He clearly had no shortage of hard riders with good personalities to recruit from. And it showed when we went up to Austin to ride with BTC. These guys were definitely strong, but more importantly, they were really fun to ride with. No drama or yelling about the paceline, no pressure, no hammerhead douchery. Positive attitudes and healthy sense of humor all around. What puts them a cut above other cycling clubs and race teams is that they do not ride together because they’re all fast, they ride together because they are all rad doods. Being fast is just a coincidence, and a nice one at that. You can tell with certainty that even if sponsorship dissolved and the team disbanded, these guys would still be out there mashing together.

PHOTOS ABOVE YOINKED FROM BTC FACEBOOK (SOME BY JOHN WATSON)

Not being self-absorbed pricks, BTC keeps it legit in the bicycle community, hosting events from yoga-infused social rides to challenging alleycats. Let’s face it. Being the tits as an amateur bike racer might get you laid on a rare occasion (more likely its the booze) but it’s not going to make you a hometown hero anymore than winning a POGs tournament. What matters is remembering where you came from and how you got into this game. Less than a year ago, YYR was working briefly as couriers and mashing out training rides on fixed gears, the only bikes in our stables. BTC has similar roots, and that makes it easy to see why they understand the importance of engaging the bike community on every level. People aren’t going to know your race team’s record for the season, but they are going to know who is providing the entertainment, organizing events to pass on the enthusiasm.

Cycleast bike shop in East Austin is the baby of Russell Pickavance, a really rad guy and by far the tallest rider in Beat The Clock. We had the pleasure of riding with him for a bit on Saturday, and decided to check out his shop after our ride and some face-stuffing at Torchy’s Tacos. He revealed that he had lived in New Orleans for some time in the past, and regaled us with his own tales of gators in the road and shenanigans of the sort that can only exist where open container laws do not.

The shop, at 501 Perdenales Bldg 2B, is adorned on the outside with some pretty dope graffiti and artwork. Inside is a studio as well, where Russell does repairs, restoration, and custom building. While he works on all sorts of bikes, he seems to have a soft spot for building cross bikes and city-practical fat-tire commuters (again, pretty much a cross bike). Be sure to check this place out if you find yourself in the 512.

Cheers,
Rich
Yeah You Ride

YYR On The Road: Austin, TX

This past weekend, Yeah You Ride went on a desert retreat with good friends from Semi-Tough Cycling Club. We rolled out of New Orleans, a caravan of hatchbacks, four men, five bikes, one chihuahua, all united in a quest for answers, thirsting for knowledge, and also Topo Chico mineral water.

Saturday began earlier than any day in my recent, albeit generally hazy, memory. While I can’t say with certainty what time we woke up, I do know that around 7:15 my brain turned on and I found myself in our new friend Jennine’s kitchen, wearing a Rouler kit and eating fried eggs with rice and quinoa on tortillas. One good cup of coffee and several trips to the bathroom later, we were clipping in cruising down South Congress towards downtown Austin.

More after the jump…

Continue reading “YYR On The Road: Austin, TX”

Dispatch From The Front Lines: Parisite Alleycat Recap

Yeah You Ride went on a desert retreat to Austin, TX, last weekend (more on that to come) and was forced to miss the Parisite Skatepark Alleycat Benefit. We are stoked to see more and more people putting on DIY races and are always down to help make them happen. Big ups to Ooti, Bike Shop Freret, Siberia and Humidity for making something happen. Although we could not get a piece of the action, a good friend of ours did. Here is what she had to say:

Parasite 7

“Even though Parisite Skatepark is anything but ordinary, we didn’t know what to expect from a bike race hosted out of a skatepark. Nonetheless, we bit the bullet & went out to support. Editorial note: Doin’ it for the kids!

Parasite 4
There wasn’t a massive crowd of people who entered the race – turnout was close to 20. However the regular skate park crew was huge. A really entertaining group of kids from all ages gathered on both BMX & board to ride the ramps at the park. While most of them don’t own road bikes they were still interested to know more about our bicycles & races in general. A great start to a short & fun race throughout the Bywater, French Quarter & CBD.
 
The alley cat wasn’t super competitive & felt more like a fun joyride than a race. Checkpoints didn’t have side challenges, so the race was mostly just riding from A to B. The most difficult thing about the race was the level of humidity in the air that afternoon. Adding a little more spice to the race was Gay Pride weekend, which was in full effect as we navigated through the Quarter & CBD to the different checkpoints. In summary, we’re happy we didn’t let the skate park scare us away – met some cool dudes & got to support Parasite skate park.”

Tales of a Cat 5 Nothing

The Tour de Lousiane is the New Orleans Bicycle Club’s annual two day stage race. This being my second sanctioned race (the first being the Rouge Roubaix, purely a test of survival for me), I had no real expectations other than learning a thing or two. I caught a ride to the Northshore with Robinson Sudan and his lovely accomplice Jeannine for a couple days of spoke spinnin’ and shenanigans.

The Road Race

Was two sixteen mile loops of gentle rolling terrain. Thirty-two miles didn’t really seem like much of a distance for a road race so I worried that the overall pace would be super high. Goal: don’t get dropped!

Lap one:  consisted of the pack staying together for the most part with a few slight attempts at breaking away and one racer knocking about the pack like a drunk bowling ball. More than a few curse words were aimed at this gentleman as he rubbed tires and shoulders.  Apparently this is Cat 5 racing (or Crash 5 as it is frighteningly known to be called) where breaks don’t really stick and people bump about.  Rob stayed toward the front, rotating pulls with a few riders and being ready to chase anything down.

Lap Two: A time bonus was awarded to those who finished the first loop in 1st, 2nd and 3rd and so a short sprint was had 200M out. WIth no interest in gaining the time bonus, I jumped on someone’s wheel anyway just to make sure I was there for a potential break. Didn’t happen and the pack quickly regrouped to what I felt was a slower pace than the first. Remember our drunk bowling ball racer? About halfway through the second lap I heard the sickening crunch of carbon, steel and flesh hitting the tarmac. Never like hearing or seeing that and I hope the dude is OK, but I felt safer now that he was out of the race. As we approached the toughest “climb” I moved up to the front as I thought any move might be made here. Three of us got off the front for a second but the pack was right on our wheels so we all sat up. At this point I realized it would be a group sprint 200M out. I marked the dude who had been winning some races lately and tried to stay on his wheel but got boxed in on the right and when the sprint started I had to make my way to the center of the road, eating up time and energy. My man Rob was trying to lead me out, but amongst all the excitement of my first sprint to a finish I rode right passed the help and ended up getting 6th. Honestly, wasn’t too mad about that.

The Time Trial

The race of truth and I might be fibbing. Push as hard as you can for three miles. No fun. 20th place.

The Criterium

Ride a .8 mile loop with 8 turns for 30 mins in rain-slicked roads? OK, sounds fun! I was a little trepidatious to ride in my first criterium in these poor conditions but decided I was there, had paid and if it got too sketchy, I’d pull out. For the first few laps, the pack was cautious around the turns but once we got used to the conditions, the heat was turned up. I decided that I would go for a prime and at least come away from the race with something, so after the bell was rung and they announced, “$50 gift card!” I moved to the front and positioned myself third wheel for the final turn and sprinted, unchallenged for the prize. After drifting to the back to recover for the next 15 mins or so, I was able to work my way back to the front and pull out a 4th place finish. Woot!

But enough of my yammering, on to the photos! Thanks to the N.O.B.C. for putting on the event and thanks to my race pals Rob and Jeannine (who also snapped many of these great photos!) for the good times. On to the next one!

Keep spinnin’

-Boedi

Summer Sprint Series

Yeah You Ride is excited to announce a new, “business casual” competition circuit, the Summer Sprint Series. Riders will pony up and compete for cash in head-to-head drag sprints, with the top 3 sprinters taking home cheddar. Every month the location will change, as will the distance of the sprint. Originally conceived as a fixed gear and singlespeed only event, we have decided to allow geared riders to compete in a separate bracket. Check out scoring and rules below.

sprintseriesfinal

Location: 6701 Stars and Stripes Boulevard (approximate, look for us)

Rules: Buy-in is $5. BYOB/BYOL (Bring Your Own Beer/Bring Your Own LaCroix). Only 2 riders sprint at once, stay on the course. We’ll have an “eyeball” finish. To-close-to-calls will sprint again, so make sure you leave your challenger in the dust.

Scoring: As this is a series, there will be a cumulative point system to determine a winner after the series is completed. The series winner will receive a separate, additional prize.

For each sprint won, a rider will receive 1 point. A loss earns 0 points.

First place overall will receive +5 points towards their cumulative total. Second will reveive +3. Third will receive +2.

Payout will be roughly as follows. First place: 50% of pot. Second Place: 30% of pot. Third place will get their $5 back. The remaining percentage will go towards the purse for the overall winners of the entire series.

Get spinnin’

-Yeah You Ride

Tour de Lac

Manchac Pass.
Manchac Pass.

I saw this photo of Weston McWhorter’s in January and knew I was missing out on something special. So when Townsend Myers invited the Semi-Tough Cycling Club to Tour De Lac part Deux, I knew I had to be there. While the ride around Lake Pontchartain doesn’t offer much in elevation change, the approximately 160 miles through the steamy lowlands of southern Louisiana seemed like quite a challenge. Plus it was 60 miles further than my previous longest ride. Partly because of the pot of coffee I drank that day at work and partly child-ish “Christmas-Eve” excitement, I didn’t get one wink of sleep the night before and worried if I’d crack some 40 miles in. Luckily, Wes, who unfortunately couldn’t ride, followed as support in the Rouler car. Water, Gatorade, bananas and amazing fruit and rice cakes (plus Instagrams) made the world of difference. I’m ready to do it again.

Enjoy my gallery after the jump and check out some great Instagrams from @Roulernola as well.

Yeah You Ride

-Boedi

Continue reading “Tour de Lac”