By Seth Davidson
The South Bay’s July 4th Holiday Ride was very hard. Unlike the Memorial Day edition, Independence Day 2012 included most of the local heavy hitters, along with a super fat dude wearing 25 hectares of red lycra, who was just heavy. Tony Restuccia from Helen’s set a new course record atop Mandeville Canyon. Jeff Konsmo from Big Orange finished second. Various other Los Angeles-area machinegunners rounded out the top fifteen. Here’s the video; don’t bother watching unless you love looking at fully clad asses pumping idiotically up and down for 17 minutes.
Douchebag of the Day award went to the pissed off hausfrau at 13:40 in the black SUV, who was suffering from the “Life in a $4.5 million Home on Mandeville and the Existential Hell of Dealing with People That Aren’t Your Contractors or the Maid You Make Walk your Dog/Child while Asshole Cyclists Force You to Lift off the Gas and Rotate your Left Hand Down a Little on that Wheel Thingie” syndrome.
I really like you. Would you please lift your boot off my face?
The two big stories, though, were Tink and Miles Jr. Kristabel Doebel-Hickock, or “Tink” as she’s known around here, showed up for the ride on Bunny, her brand new Cannondale, which is several pounds lighter than the lead-and-marble Trek with the square wheels she’s been using for the past year. The upgrade was apparently good for her. She did the climb in 16:15, placing her ninth overall on Strava among all 622 riders to ever upload a time, including men, women, and dopers.
This extraordinary dick stomping is even more impressive when you consider that this Holiday Ride set the all time speed up the canyon, with Tony and Jeff climbing it in 15:46. Try to squeeze out a 16:15 sometime on that climb, and then send me a sext of the cute nurse working you with a defibrillator. Then tell me it’s not that tough.
The trajectory of Tink’s progress is as scary as her results are amazing. At the last Holiday Ride, we shelled her from the break with ease. Today, she dropped all but a handful of some of the best climbers in LA County, and she did it on a power climb. Although her slight build has made her a force on steep gradients, no one had ever seen her shred on a long, gradual power climb like Mandeville.
Fragile boy egos were ground up like so many earthworms in a blender. Tougher dudes just accepted the reality and felt relief that she doesn’t race against them.
Tink entered the fray of amateur cycling last November with a pedigree as an NCAA Division 1 cross-country athlete from Vanderbilt, but since she took up cycling she’s added muscle mass to her tweezly legs which has generated power to go with her unbelievable aerobic capacity and lightning-quick recovery. With a little polish on the technical aspects of riding a bike, i.e. not crashing out every time there’s a downhill or a turn, she will be ready to race with the women pros, and win. And you can be proud to say that yours was one of the first dicks to get stomped off.
The perfect storm
On the other side of the gender chromosome, the Holiday Ride marked the debut of Miles Irish, Jr., a kid who could well prove to be the perfect storm of a cyclist. A tremendously gifted cross-country runner, at age 17 he rarely cycles except when his running schedule and summer studies will allow it.
You know that recurring fantasy where, like Alex Zulle, you hop on a bike one day and ride down, then drop, the Swiss national team? Miles has that kind of raw potential and scary power.
Indeed, those who’ve seen him unleash have suggested that Miles possesses the trifecta: extraordinary cardiovascular capacity, the will to destroy, and the Irish genes. His old man, Miles Sr., set the world record in the distance medley relay at the Penn Relays in 1987. That’s harder than winning the Ontario crit, folks. It’s a fucking rainbow jersey in what is the most competitive sport on earth, bar none. Junior seems to have every bit of Senior’s athletic prowess.
The few times Junior has come out to play with the old folks, he’s delivered a dick stomping. In the Holiday Ride fredfest that began with over 200 idiots, Miles hung on with the elite until the very end, when Greg Leibert waved him ahead to finish eighth on the climb.
For a first-time effort, competing against vicious and accomplished racers, this is nothing short of sensational. If he ever gets to ride more than a couple of times a month, watch for Junior to begin leaving even more destruction in his wake. Like Tink, in addition to being a phenom, he’s a wonderful guy: smart, polite, handsome, and a pleasure to be around. He’s another one about whom you’ll be saying, “That dude dropped me back in the day…”
Best of all, when I asked him how the climb was, he said this: “At the end there I wanted to vomit.” And he said it with a happy, satisfied smile.
Sounds like a bike racer to me.