It was a good day to be racing. The sky looked dark and menacing with a chance of rain, weird weather for California. Luckily it stayed dry in Orange County as over one-hundred brakeless fixed gear racers came out to the Comeback Crit thrown by OCBrakeless.

There were a lot of riders out there looking to compete, a lot of new faces and a couple of heavy hitters. It’s early in the season, if it’s even started yet, so it was anyone’s race. The course was really short but the wind made it technical, drafting and teamwork were key. If you couldn’t ride shoulder-to-shoulder in a pack, you were going to eat shit.

The race started off clean as everyone got a feel for the course. After three calm laps, it was off to the races. It only took 30 min to thin out the field of 112 to just about 30-35 racers. People were attempting to break away but were always caught. Using some pro-team race tactics, two riders from Team Throne and GLK actually managed to stay away from the peloton.

The chase group didn’t pick up speed until the last three laps and by then the two leaders were unreachable. It was a battle for 3rd and those who could’t keep up were struggling not to get dropped. Here’s local racer Tony Zaldua’s account of the final minutes in the peloton:

“GLK and Throne did a great job of attacking and getting one of their men away. A lot of inexperienced racers were tired of just being up front and wasting energy. I tried to organize a Chase group but a lot of people weren’t strong enough. So I decided to work for Cruz, my teammate, and lead him out for 3rd place… I was happy about that.”

Overall it was a great turnout for a race so far out from LA. Competition was solid and there wasn’t a serious crash. It was a good way to start off the underground Crit racing season. Yes… it’s started.

COMEBACK CRIT RESULTS
1- Jerry Rios (GLK Racing)
2- Felipe Castillo (Throne Cycles/GSS)
3- Cruz Murillo (Unknown Bikes)

Thanks to our TRAFIK contributors, Abe Figtree, Leen, James Morales.
Photos by Gus Sarmiento
and Julio Bustamante – IG @boostamantefotos

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Hopefully you had off of work today, which is President’s Day in the USA. But did you know that before 1900 this day was considered BIKE DAY – the grand opening of the bicycle season. While most stores were closed, bike shops would open their doors to show off the latest models. In Boston, racers would hold street crits that tons of people off work would attend. Dope. It was basically like a Bicycle Black Friday.

Why don’t we have anything like this anymore? sigh. Here’s what it was like in New York on Bicycle Day over 100 years ago…

Stores competed to attract the crowds. At the Tinkham Cycle Company, for example, the Royal Hungarian Band played, bicycle bells rang, acetylene and electric lamps flashed, and visitors gawked at bikes with three, four, six, or ten seats. Every customer took home a lily bulb to plant; the owner of the handsomest and tallest flower could redeem it for a hundred-dollar bicycle come June.

Today, car culture rules President’s day sales. Wouldn’t it be nice if a bicycle retailer took this holiday back? At least we can ride today… we have off.

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See the full article via The Atlantic

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This past Friday had everyone worried. Sudden downpours, cloudy skies, thunder, lighting. Were people going to race in this? Fortunately for everyone expecting to race the Lord of Frogtown that night, the weather gods answered their prayers. The 2nd annual Lord of Frogtown did happen. A three-lap, 6 mile, crit around the industrial /river area known as Frogtown, this was the 2nd year for the underground event. This race called for a keen eye to keep from falling since roads were choppy AF… full of potholes, ruts and bumps.

The race kicked off with the ladies going first. Representing for MOM RIDAZ and the all-female crew S.W.A.T. was Esme Gnarly who took first. For team Sabertooth Squad, Leana took second and Caroline Dela Victoria, who was looking to beast but was hit by a vehicle, finished 3rd.

Soon after the Men hit the course. It was a sprint start to get positioning as the racers hit the sloping bridge onto Riverside. Right at the crest there was a line of oncoming traffic so everyone was forced to pack the lane, making all their moves dangerous being almost shoulder-to-shoulder on shitty ass roads going as fast as possible. This little uphill led to a nice downhill launch where if you kept your speed you could keep it spinning throughout the lap. The front pack stayed strong to the end where it became a sprint to the finish line. As it turned out, the podium was the same as last year, pretty amazing considering there were about 70 racers.

Dante Young from Leader Bikes took first, David Ayala from Lincoln Heights Cyclery came in second, and teammate Michael Morales finished third. Great job to everyone who came out and braved the conditions!

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No Cheaters Allowed!

It has been brought to our attention that some cyclists that are planning on racing in tomorrow’s “Lord of Frogtown” may be considering using add-on equipment to their bikes to provide an unfair advantage. TRAFIK will have marshals watching the course and if there is any use of rockets, jets, NOS, ion drives or any external propulsion systems, the racer will be disqualified and blacklisted from future LA races. This is not a joke, as you can see in the video below a “jet bike” can easily beat a Ferrari, so other racers would have no chance of winning. Please leave your rockets at home and just come out to race a clean race for once. See you tomorrow, registration is at 8, race at 9pm.

We’ve also received word there will be bacon-wrapped hotdogs.

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When we saw the latest video from Azores Fixed we all had the same reaction… “Where the fuck are the Azores?” Halfway between Narnia and Middle Earth, the Azores are an archipelago composed of nine volcanic islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a beautiful place to explore and set out on a cycling adventure outside of the urban scenario.

Azores Fixed 2013 from Azores Fixed on Vimeo.

Bruno Sousa, the founder of Azores Fixed, got together with his friends and began touring the Islands on fixed geared bikes in 2013. Inspired by films of guys bombing hills in San Francisco he sought out to establish the Azores Fixed community and showcase his homeland through cycling and film. With awesome scenery and the tallest mountains on the planet (measured from the ocean floor – check Wiki), it’s easy to fall in love with the little islands. But bring extra tires if you are going brakeless, the roads will eat them alive.

Bruno was out in LA on a visit so we showed him a little bit of what Los Angeles cycling culture has to offer. We rode all over Downtown, Hollywood, up Griffith, and ended with a group ride to Pizzanista. He was surprised by the amount of cyclists in LA, especially while waiting in line for $2 slices. As many of us would love to ride down tropical mountains, Bruno enjoyed slicing through traffic in the dense city and taking in fantastic sunset views of the metropolis we call home.

We had a great time making new bike friends. The next time we have a flight layover in the Azores, we are definitely crashing on Bruno’s floor.

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Welcome to 2015

10

Jan

2015

Already 2015 has been a crazy year for us over here at TRAFIK so we wanted to start of the blog with a safety message for all you foos looking to get your ride on. Most of us ride on the street and it’s important to remember that cars are a lot more likely to co-operate with you if they know what you’re doing. So take your lane, be predictable and show cars where you are going. Check out the pic and article below from Bicycling.com -Sign Language

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