We're gonna ride it 'til we just can't ride it no more
From the South Bay to the Valley
From the West Side to the East Side
Everybody's very happy
'Cause the sun is shining all the time
Looks like another perfect day
I love L.A. (we love it) -Randy Newman
Coming with on this trip to LA with me was my fellow Chromies, Eddie, Veronika, Other Eddie, and their pup. Veronika won the Chrome Coveted Jersey in the fixed category at the 1st race of the Wolfpack Hustle Unified Title Series, the Marathon Crash. We brought her down there for the first race of the series and was carting her back on down to southern California for the third and final race, the 6th St. Drag. Before we got any of that racing business started, we parked Chrome One in Venice, bought some refreshments, and headed straight to the beach. All I could think about when I felt the warm sand on my feet and squinted from the sun's glare was back home in Portland, my friends were complaining that summer was over. Not for us. Not here. As we made out way towards the ocean I noticed a lack of dogs, as in, our two were the only ones there. Not long after I made that observation we were approached by a very nice lifeguard informing us that dogs were, in fact, NOT allowed on the beach. He said "if the cops see you on any sand here with a dog, you'll get a ticket." Is that so?" I asked as we sulked off of the beach back towards Chrome One. In our own form of protest and our yearning for some SoCal oceanfront action, we spotted a chunk of sand under a palm tree that looked promising. Sure, we were bumped right up to the parking lot..... we were still in sand doing what we were told we couldn't do and I gotta say, it felt good. I like to call that polite defiance.
We peaced out of our sand patch paradise and went to stuff our faces. Races aren't won on empty stomachs. I wasn't racing, but as part of her support crew I was forced to eat a delicious meal. The things I have to do for this job..... let me tell you..... After the team was fueled and ready to go we drove to the 6th St bridge. It was completely shut down for the sprints and we had a nice parking spot waiting right up front for us, if we could only get to it. It seems people were trying to use the bridge for parking. Bless their hearts. It was like that Heinz ad campaign in the 80's "the best things come to those who wait". Remember those? Well, it was just like that except instead of ketchup on a burger it was parking a RV at a race.
We had a bird's eye view of the finish line, a sweet hang roof top hangout on Chrome One, and pals to share the good time. The DJ was right across the street from us so we didn't lack the jams. The race was super late to start, but what did we care.... we had the best seat in the house. Friends came and went, racers raced, and night quickly crept its way onto the scene. Meanwhile Veronika, despite suffering major abrasions over a good portion of both arms and legs, was out there warming up. Once and awhile I gave the whistle a toot and stoked some peeps with product toss and the lucky ones got to come up top for some "soda pop". Yup, it was one of those summer time nights that you read about..... like you're doing right now.
The sprints went well, well into the night so it was kind of hard to keep track of who was racing when and what their standing was. Veronika crashed her bike very badly on a training ride a couple of days before Los Angeles. She still HTFUed and raced. Placing 9th overall that night and 3rd for series overall. The lady who took the W and the Coveted Jersey that night was crusher Shelby Walter. 1st place men's was Nate Koch. The race was kind of a cluster f--k as you can read on their recap. In attempts to right the race they are throwing a "rebate race" in Highland Park. Regardless of the 10 hours of racecatastrophe, it was a good night with good people. Los Angeles was short and sweet, but the memories will live on.