Break Away at the Lake: The Harbor Master Criterium

From Juniors to Cat 1’s, the inaugural Harbor Master Criterium provided a full day of high-intensity crit racing. Fields filled out nicely as racers toed the line to throw down for over $2700 in cash and prizes. As temperatures rose, lap times fell and purses swelled. A little breeze and a lot of adrenaline went a long way to keep racers and spectators glued trackside, cheering for every breakaway, sprint, and prime opportunity.

The course was considerably more serpentine than typical for a criterium, demanding tight handling through back-to-back turns. While packs in the lower category races became strung out, the Cat 3 and Cat 1/2 racers were hesitant to let any break go unchallenged. With 9 turns in .6 miles, straights were short. Although sprinting remained crucial to be competitive, winners placed an emphasis on strategy and pack position. Multiple primes per category kept competition heated and treated spectators to some impressive racing.

New Orleans’ only USAC road race of the season drew out 112 competitors, including several out-of-state racers. The Womens’ field filled out nicely, by local standards. Without question, participation was incentivized by $250 in primes sponsored by peloton Magazine. The Cat 5 and Womens’ fields played host to a handful of first-time racers and newbie crit-racers. As well received as the race experience seemed to be, we are hopeful that the event may have recruited some new blood to the local cycling scene.

A substantial number of pure spectators dropped in on the criterium as well, keen to discover what all the fuss was about. Spectators and racers alike were treated to a bevy of extracurricular fun, including free massages, mouth-watering cuisine from local food trucks and free-flowing Pabst Blue Ribbon beer served by a custom-built beer bike, La Fiets. Title sponsor, Massey’s Professional Outfitters put a Marin cyclocross bike up for raffle, taking advantage of the growing local interest in ‘cross to help raise over $750 in donations for the Harbor Master’s charity beneficiaries, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, and the Pablove Foundation.

After the title of 2014 Harbor Master was awarded to the best racer in each of seven race categories, crowds dispersed, just before the afternoon showers that arrive like clockwork to abate the oppressive heat of summertime New Orleans. With the entire purse and all prizes awarded, we packed it in, optimistic that the event provided a substantial amount of value to the local racing scene, and established a footing to become a regular fixture in the Louisiana/Mississippi road race schedule.

Once again, a big thanks to the many rockstar volunteers and to the generous underwriters that made this event possible: Massey’s Outfitters, Bicycle Michael’s, Pablove Foundation, Salvation Studio, Person Huff CPA Group, Medical Rehab Accident Injury Center, Peleton Magazine and Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation.

Keep spinnin’!
Boedi, Rich and Townsend

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

Dress for Success

Our buddy Townsend Myers (originator of the original O.C. Ride) has been hard at work in the lab developing some ultra-slick new kits for Semi-Tough Cycling Club, New Orleans’ finest bicycle gang. Jerseys are stylishly composed in the club’s classic colorway of mocha, green apple, white, and black. The back is emblazoned with the symbolic lightning bolt and cup-o-joe emblems around the logo, to let all the riders dusted by your breakaway know where you come from and what you’re all about. Additionally, these top of the line kits by Garneau are guaranteed to significantly cut wind resistance and dramatically increase wattage output.*

This is a limited run, available by preorder only for only another week. Don’t snooze. Check out Semi-Tough’s shop on Garneau to get set up with some fly digs.

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I, for one, can’t wait to get my hands on this kit.
Cheers,
Yeah You Ride

*Possibly false

NOLA Women on Bikes

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Our good friend Katie Hunter-Lowrey (hopefully soon to be guest-blogger!) sent over some info on a new cycling group in New Orleans, NOLA Women on Bikes and their inaugural ride. We’re pretty pumped on the amount of cycling related events and groups forming in New Orleans right now. Let the good times roll.

The info:

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Wednesday May 1st 6:30 pm at the Morning Call Coffee Stand in City Park. Come help us shape the mission of NOLA Women on Bikes, meet all the new members of the group, plus help us plan for the 1st Bike Ride happening the next week (Sun, May 12th)!  This is open to ladies/trans only, but please invite those you think would be interested in attending! Plus, maybe we’ll ride a loop of the park afterwards and check out the new bike facilities in City Park! Facebook event:https://www.facebook.com/events/366380783478305/

Cyclofemme Ride Sunday May 12th, 10 am to 1 pm.

Join NOLA Women on Bikes for our first ride ever! We will be riding a slow paced ride to commemorate our Mother’s of Strength here in New Orleans. Start with us at the St. Joan of Arc Statue and we will wind through the city ending at the Original Big Seven Second Line Parade. This is open to women and transgendered people of all ages – families encouraged!!! Please remember that kids under 14 need to wear helmets. More info about our ride will be posted on the National Cyclofemme Website – http://cyclofemme.com/2013-rides/#USA
facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/439972789430858/?ref=ts&fref=ts

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Get spinnin’

Yeah You Ride

Rouge Roubaix Instagram Roundup

Early To Bed, Early To Shred: NOMAMBO Dawn Patrol

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For those unfamiliar , NOMAMBO (New Orleans Metropolitan Area Mountain Bike Association) is the Nola bike community’s premiere MTB club, as well as its longest acronym. These are the guys to thank for maintaining the Spillway trails and organizing many events. As we approach summer and temps rise, morning riding becomes a continually more attractive option. If you’re a morning person, or just trying to eat dirt for breakfast, NOMAMBO is hosting a 7 AM ride on Saturday March 9, 2013. Loving it and want more? Their next group meeting is Wednesday March 13, at Rotolo’s in Metairie. Probably a good time to pay dues, if you haven’t already.

For more info, peep www.nomambo.net, or NOMAMBO’s Facebook. Their Facebook cover photo is a well updated and reliable indicator of whether the trails are open or closed. Save yourself some time before you take that drive.