West Coast Gentlemen’s Race: The Teams

Photos by Jordan Clark Haggard & Nicholas Haggard

The toughest part about these events is the sheer number of teams and riders. How does one adequately capture all these teams and each of their own personal styles and affectations on the bike? Well, through a variety of ways, it turns out – from the car – onto the bike and then back into the car. The great thing about having photography from an event is to be able to look back through the photos and see what you missed. While each of the riders are out there riding the exact same course and dealing with the majority of the same elements (some more flat tires than others) they are all bringing their own personal flair and style to the event. Here are a few that were captured at the West Coast Gentlemen’s Race last month in LA.

Ritte Racing
The fastest team on the course and it showed as they whizzed past everyone, making their way up the mountain and over to the other side of the ridge. They made it look a little easy with their cadence and speed, but the looks on some of their riders faces as they passed through the sandy-wonderful-ness that was the Uncharted 30 was something else.

Bike Effect
Looking resplendent in their new floral print jerseys – one rider affectionately dubbed them the Laura Ashley Bicycle Team – the Bike Effect team roared straight to the finish line. Bike Effect, our retail partner in Santa Monica, chose to race almost exclusively on cyclocross bikes , definitely an advantage for them. Kudos to you!

SFCC Biergarten
The San Francisco Cycle Club (make sure to visit them tomorrow for Small Business Saturday) made the trip down to race under the moniker of one of our favorite drinking spots in SF — Biergarten. Unfortunately, they were one of the teams that were most stricken by the plight of the flat tire. They still managed to have a good time and were one of the last teams to leave the bar.

Brite Sport
These guys were another of the teams to make it down from SF for the race. Early on in the 30-Mile Death March we encountered them a few times. The game of leapfrog that happens during a multi-flat tire day is something that helps you remember the teams that you encounter on the day. A sympathetic smile goes a long way at this point and there were plenty from this group of gentlemen. Check out their full report – Brite Sport Tumblr.

TenSpeed Hero
Suffering the curse of the “ringer” is always a tough one to bare. There is always a team that – due to unforeseen circumstances is forced to take on a rider that they do not know, nor have they ridden with before. It is written somewhere in the Murphy’s Law of Averages that this person will either be much much faster and impatient, or unfamiliar with bike rides of the sort your attempting. It is not bad, it is not good. It just is. That they could handle themselves well while being thrust into this situation is a nod to their wonderful composure. They also did a quick breakdown of the teams they encountered on their fantastic site. Well worth a read – TenspeedHero.com

Rapha Women’s Team – Abby Watson led the Rapha Women’s Team from start to finish – and while they did pick up a ringer based in LA – of course they were the exception to the rule as her first time on gravel roads left her with a smile on her face and enough in the tank to take the final stop light sprint. These ladies were the only all women’s team and represented well through thick and thin and an extreme asthma attack at altitude as well.

Kappelmuur Independent
With their stylish livery a nod to the Mondrian La Vie Claire days – Kappelmuur was one of the teams to make the trip from the other side of the country (along with the Insane Cross Posse and the 9W Team). Their fearless leader Keith helped them keep focus throughout the day and it should be noted that he has done nearly every iteration of the East Coast Gentlemen’s Races. So to see a team travel across the country to participate is fantastic.

Golden Saddle Cyclery
Woody is the head mechanic/owner at Golden Saddle Cyclery over in the Silver Lake neighborhood. Not only is he a mechanic for this awesome little shop, but he is also a USA Cycling Track mechanic. He makes his travels to the Olympics and National Track events seem so cool and casual. He did the same thing at the Gentlemen’s Race and the word was that they were nursing a legitimately sick teammate the entire time. That is why Woody is just plain awesome.

Team Wooly Mammoth
If wooly is to be used as an adjective, it would be correct in describing this team. No one knows where they came from and no one knows actually what happened to them out there en route. One of their teammates – possibly British – was seen riding by himself throughout the day. However, photos do not lie, they were out there riding. But, photographic evidence begs the question – if you take off your jersey “to tan” – where do you put everything that was in your pockets?

These were a few of the events heard – or overheard – on the road and in the bar during the 2013 Rapha West Coast Gentlemen’s Race. They may be conjecture, they may be half-truths that were warped by heat and exhaustion. Either way, they are a part of the story.


Please find below the results of this wonderful day on a bike:

1. Ritte Racing 7 hours,17 minutes
2. Bike Effect 7:19 (first to finish)
2. Bicycle Haus 7:19
4. Kona 7:27
5. Brite Sport 7:34
6. 9W 7:54
7. Golden Saddle Cyclery 8:07
8. Team Provost 8:19
9. Giant Bicycles 8:21
10 Oakley 8:43
11. Bike Crave 9:01
12. Team Meyer 9:14
13. Rapha Women 9:20
14. Rapha Continental 9:29 (Lanterne Rouge; last to cross the finish line)
15. La Chiesa della Ruota Parlata 9:30

Did not complete full route/Did not finish:
Kapelmuur Independent
SFCC Biergarten
Addio BC
Celo Pacific
Tenspeed Hero
Wooly Mammoth
Insane Cross Posse