The 6th and final Lord of Griffith will go down as one of the most brutal races LA has ever seen. This year TRAFIK embedded a reported in the pack to do all the hard work as the rest of us kicked back and watched the action. Here’s his firsthand account:
“When we arrived at the park a massive crowd surrounded Sean who was answering questions and going over the race specifics. There was some confusion because some riders stayed behind and others started making their way up to the starting/finish line. As we lined up, racers were cracking jokes and a good vibe was going around. Little did they realize that many of these riders would be eating pavement before the afternoon was over.
Then out of nowhere we head screams coming from behind us. “Move!” “Get out the way!” It was Sean leading a pack of about 15 riders up the hill, followed by the rest of the field clipping in and chasing after them. Some guys were still warming up in the parking lot and pretty much lost from the start. If you got caught in the back there was no chance of making it to the front.
The first downhill claimed a couple victims. Racers hit speeds above 40mph and at the bottom was the most dangerous obstacle, a 90 degree right hand turn into city traffic. Rubber was burning as the brakeless racers skidded to loose speed in order to negotiate the turn. Traffic was congested that day and riders were forced into a single file. That section alone ended several racers days. One rider from Pomona crashed through the rear window of a car and must have been going 30mph when he hit it.
Coming around lap after lap, there seemed to be more and more ambulances on the course. On the second lap, a rider from Sabertooth Squad/ FFSR was laid out with EMS bent over him. Police Officers and Firefighters at the bottom of the decent were trying to get riders to stop and slow down to avoid another crash or injury. It was chaos.
On the final lap it started to rain. Fitting. It’s your last lap, your legs are begging you to stop, you see all this carnage and spills going on around the park and its just you and your bike and one epic challenge. Made me feel like a bad-ass conquering this mountain in these conditions. That’s what made it a great race for me.”
- Abraham Figtree
Check out all the pics from the day over on our FLICKR TRAFIKPIX. Find yourself.
This Sunday, March 1st, the Lord of Griffith will be held for it’s 6th and final time. This race, first created in 2009 (see video below), was one of the first “street” races to utilize the amazing climbing terrain that we have right in our backyard…Griffith Park.
At first, it was a race where wearing cut-off jean shorts and tank tops was acceptable. Come as you are and ride what you brought. But it quickly became an event serious fixed gear racers put on their calendars a year in advance. Bombing through the streets during an alleycat takes skill, but to win LOG you need a different skill-set altogether. Climbing ability became a necessity if you wanted to compete in the LA race scene and LOG can take credit for inspiring that.
It hasn’t been a race without its controversies, though. Over the years people have been accused of cheating, lap counts may have varied, and secret short-cuts may or may not have existed. Who knows, who cares. The one constant that has stuck with this event is how fun it is for everyone involved. We can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon in the park than watching the last potential Lord of Griffith suffer up LA’s premiere peak. We’ll be sad to see this event go, so say thanks to Sean/TOLA for holding it down when you see him out there. We wish him well wherever he may roam.
Course Preview: It will be in and around Griffith Park.
REGISTRATION and EVENT INFO HERE: https://www.facebook.com/events/330645270472656
Check out some vintage photos from LOG I, III, IV – all on our FLICKR Page TRAFIKPIX. Here’s the very first poster for the event:
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.
See the full article via The Atlantic
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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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.