Category Archives: feelmylegs

Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer will be Sunday November 9th, 2014

Excited to finally confirm the date for this year’s event. We’ll meet at the normal spot, Sunset Triangle Park in Silver Lake, at 745am. For some resources see the summary from 2013 or my Feel My Legs category with the 8 years of history. Also trying to put on Thus Climbed Zarathustra (4th one?) on that Saturday. It’s a combination alley cat / stair climb event that utilizes the stairways in the same neighborhoods as Feel My Legs. History of posts about that here.

There is a facebook event page, where I’ll be posting updates.

 

A few points worth reiterating for FML:

While a few cyclists are competing for points, the majority are out there to simply ride up some of the steepest hills in Los Angeles. It is open to everyone.

There are no entry fees or prizes.

Between hills is neutral; we ride together. At the top of each hill we wait for everyone else to make it. If you are fast you will be sitting around a lot.

Please no jock mentality or bad attitudes. If you think cyclocross is too crazy and you wish USAC had more races than this is probably not the event for you.

No spectator or support cars on the hills. We try and keep this low key as it’s busy enough in some of these neighborhoods.  Spectators encouraged to ride bikes. Same with photographers and journalists.

Rain does not cancel. In fact, it has rained a surprising number of times on this day over the years. Check your almanac.

We will group ride from the last hill back to the start.

Please review the write-ups from previous years!

Hill order TBD.

 

Eldred St from the top. Some say it's steeper than Fargo... Photo by @WolfPackHustle

Eldred St from the top. Some say it’s steeper than Fargo…
Photo by @WolfPackHustle

 

 

Thanks for reading, hope to see you there.

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Incredible video of Los Angeles

I love this so much. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who tried to guess where every shot is from! I’ve only watched once, but I saw two streets that have been in Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer. One only a few times in the early years, but another has been a hill each of the 8 years. Can you guess which?

 

 

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Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer update for 2014

Usually by this time of year the hill climb event I put on, Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer, is already scheduled. Or may have already happened! This year I am pushing it to late summer or maybe even early Fall. I apologize for the delay, but a few things have prevented it from happening as normal. Don’t worry though, it will go on.

Also, I’m starting to prepare for 2015, which will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of this event! Hope to do a few extra things next year to really celebrate. Can you believe it has been that long? Long live #BikeLA.

Climbing Los Angeles

Meanwhile, I was very fortunate to have Peloton Magazine cover it as part of their issue on climbing. It includes wonderful photos from my friend Jordan Clark Haggard, some of which you can see at this link, below the excellent photos of my friend Megan Dean of Moth Attack Custom Bicycles. Thanks Jordan and everyone at Peloton!

Also in the issue is my very good friend Steevo. We rode the Great Divide mountain bike route together in 2007 (more famous for the Tour Divide race that uses the route). We’ve been friends for 20 years and bikes have been a part of that equation ever since. He’s the 10x winner of Danny Chew’s Dirty Dozen hill race in Pittsburgh, which my event is based on. More interesting than that are the stories on his blog, which you should definitely check out.

When I schedule this year’s event I will post here on this site and on my twitter, @MattRuscigno.

 

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2013 Feel My Legs I’m A Racer

Photo by Donovan Jenkins

The 8th annual Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer is now in the books! And by books I mean completed because unlike Danny Chew I do not keep detailed logs of the event. But fortunately a number of people come out and take great photos and videos so we do have documentation- see the entire history here. We had about 55 cyclists start, which is fewer than the previous couple of years, but on the other hand we had one of the lowest rates of attrition.

As always, thank you to all of the Swarm! volunteers who make this happen, especially Jesse and Jessica who ride up every hill and keep score for me. I couldn’t put this on without you two! And of course thank you to all of the riders who came out, had a great attitude and challenged themselves for no reward. The scenery and accomplishment are reward enough?!

Photo by Donovan Jenkins

Final points:

44 Jon Budinoff
41 Seth Britton
25 Ed McGreevy
16 Joseph Griffith
9 Michael Relth

Congrats Jon for not only winning this two years in a row, but for also winning the Swrve race the day before! And Seth for coming out and making him work for it the day after you won a road race.

Thanks Boyz on the Hoods for making this video:

More coverage and photos:

Errin Vasquez / Frontage Roads

Center Line Rule

Thrasher’s photos

Donovan Jenkin’s photos

Michael Wagner’s photos

Thanks everyone, see you next year!

Top of Mt Washington / Self-Discovery climb.

Top of Mt Washington / Self-Discovery climb.

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Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer #8, Sunday April 28th 2013

[Update Tuesday 4-23-12: Strava data!]
[Update Monday 4-22-13: It's official; we're going backwards. Again. Same map as last year, which I also embedded below]

A lot has changed in the Los Angeles bike world since I first held this event in 2006! Urban riders have become racers with regularity, racers have found the benefits of riding in the city and unsanctioned bike races are the norm. What I love is that these were the original goals of my bike club, Swarm!, way back in 2005 when we put a name to what we are doing- blurring the line between being a commuter and a racer and adding DIY ethics to everything. Bikes are more than exercise machines- they are a medium for exploring the world! Putting yourself on a bike in a city is still an act of rebellion. With that said I present to you the 2013 Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer.

ShawnBannonMtWash

Sunday April 28th 745am at 3626 W Sunset Blvd / Sunset Triangle Park in Silver Lake.

Rider meeting at 810am, roll to first hill at 815.  Please be on time!

Yes- fun, rain, shine, any bike, water, snacks, tube, tools, stokedness, riding just to finish, riding for points, waiting at top of each hill
No- bad attitudes, entitlement, car support, jock mentality, entry fee, prizes
See other FAQ on this earlier post and entire event history here. Last year’s info and ride report are fairly comprehensive. It’s a facebook event too.

Send any questions to BikeSwarm [at] gmail. Day-of announcements on twitter: @BikeSwarm
I may need some more day-of volunteers, please let me know if you can help out. Thank you!

Andrew

What exactly is this?

This is a stage ‘race’ on 10 of the hardest hills in Los Angeles that started in 2006. We ride as a group between hills and then each hill is its own event with points awarded for 1st through 5th. We regroup and ride together to the next hill. The rider with the most points after 10 hills wins! It’s based on Danny Chew’s Dirty Dozen. Most riders are out there just to ride all 10 hills in one day, which is no small feat. It’s also a fun tour of hidden roads in Los Angeles.

Red- hills
Blue- route between hills
Green- route back to start from last hill

And strava data is available.

What are the hills?

Micheltorena
Duane
Fargo
Stadium Way/Boylston
Baxter
Marview
Thomas
Commodore
Eldred
Mt Washington

Do I have to race?

Definitely not! Most people on this ride are not racing, but are there just to ride up single every hill, which is a huge endeavor on its own.

Is there an entry fee?

No!

Are there prizes?

No!

Can I ride fixed gear?

You can try! We ride together from hill to hill and any gear that you could get up these hills with will be too low to stay with the group. You are welcome to come out and prove me wrong though. No automobile support to drive your bike around. I don’t care if you are the Messenger World Champion of the World. Using a flip flop hub is okay.

Will I get lost?

Probably not. We ride as a group from hill to hill at a chill pace. At each hill it will be obvious where to go. At any turns or confusing parts I’ll try to have chalk or a volunteer. We regroup at the top only after the last person has made it up. Either way, please familiarize yourself with the hills and the route.

How can I prepare?

Climb. A lot. Also check out all of the hills beforehand and learn the areas we ride through.  A good gauge is Micheltorena off of Sunset Blvd. It’s long with steep sections and if you can make it up that comfortably I think you can hang on this ride. Another test is Fargo St, which is a monster of a hill.  Most people who come out way underestimate how hard this is. Which is why more than half who start don’t finish.

Do I get a meal or picnic or something out of this?

I wish. In the past we’ve done everything from pancake breakfasts to picnics and from t-shirts to patches, all for a free event! I’m not sure we’ll be doing any of those in 2013, but I’ll see what I can do.

Who puts this on?

My bike club, known as Swarm!. We ride everything from alleycats to international UCI races. Collectively we think that the world would be a better place if people rode bikes and ate vegan food more often.

My friends want to watch, can they drive along the course and stop at the hills?

Absolutely not. We’re going to be on narrow roads in quiet neighborhoods; I don’t want to add to the car traffic. They are welcome to ride bikes along with us and I’ll help navigate the best places to see and how to get around. By the end almost half the people with us are just there to watch and cheer on the other riders! Again, no cars. I will ask you to leave. If multiple people cannot abide by this I will simply cancel this and ride away.

How long is this ride?

Plan to be done around 2pm, hopefully sooner.

Anything I can do to help?

Thanks for asking! I need help getting the word out. Please send this page to your bike club/crew/gang. I also may need some volunteers the day of. Getting up and down the hill may or may not be required. Photography is always appreciated, but again, by bike, not car. Get in touch at bikeswarm [at] gmail.

Thank you for your interest and I hope to see you at Sunset Triangle Park on Sunday the 28th!

GroupThomas

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Photos, Videos and Coverage of the 2012 Feel My Legs I’m a Racer

Photos by Donovan, Wolf Pack Hustle and Area45. Links to more photos below.

Backside of Amethyst in Montecito Heights. Photo by Errin Vasquez

It had started to rain and even though we were riding the usual 10 hills, we were riding up Amethyst St from the backside and it proved to be an entirely different experience.  The road is narrow, filled with potholes and blind corners with steep switchbacks that wind up a seemingly rural mountain. Our group had diminished in size and smiles were infrequent. But as I stood at a switchback filming riders go by I looked out from the hood of my rain jacket and for no reason in particular thought to myself, ‘This is why I put on this ride.’

Eldred St from the top. Some say it's steeper than Fargo...
Photo by @WolfPackHustle

It’s a Los Angeles that most people never see.
It’s a physically and mentally hard journey with little reward.
It’s camaraderie. The fastest cheer on the others from the top of the hill.
It’s simple. Pedal your bicycle up hill. No money exchanges hands, no permits or road closures, just simple bike riding on public streets.

The famed cobblestones of Baxter from Echo Park Ave. Photo by @Donorun

 Results
1. 50 points – Jon (Wolfpack)
2. 40 points – Evan
3. 16 points – Ivan
4. 15 points – Jacob (Swarm!)
4. 15 points – Michael (La Grange)
6. 10 points – Chris (Orange 20)
7. 4 point – Mark D.

[update 4-10-12: Points/results now correct]

Jon Budinoff on Thomas. Props to him for winning every hill. Photo by @Donorun

Uyen Nguyen was the only woman to attempt all 10 hills in 2012. And if there was an award for Most Stoked she would definitely get it. Photo by @Donorun

It didn’t rain until hill number 7, but since we did the route backwards [map] this when we were farthest from the start- probably reduced the drop rate.

Everyone who endured until the end, excluding one guy who hadn't made it up yet- sorry man! I felt bad for keeping people in the rain even a minute longer... Photo by me.

Sasha, my partner for the Day in the Life series, made this cool video using our GoPro.

Road Block from Wolf Pack Hustle stopped by to shoot this video of Eldred St.

Thanks so much to everyone who makes this ride possible, from the Swarm! volunteers like Jesse and Molly who rode up every hill and kept score to those who come out and ride. It really makes me happy that so many people find joy in such a unique event! Below are some of my favorite photos and there’s more 2012 coverage from Wolf Pack Hustle, TakeOver LA, Velo Club LaGrange, and photos by Errin Vasquez/Area45  and Donovan Jenkins.  And there’s the history of the previous 6 years.

The rain was really falling by the time we left Eldred St. Photo by @WolfPackHustle

White Knoll to Marview is a classic hill, has been on the FML route since the very first year. Photo by @Donorun.

A 29er and a Rando bike! All bikes are welcome! Photo by @Donorun.

Riding up Boylston from Stadium Way ensures that we get the maximum elevation out of each hill. Photo by @Donorun.

We arrived at Fargo with our crew to the confusion of the LA Wheelman folks. Fortunately they were very cool and cleared the hill for us to race up it. It helped that a Furnace Creek 508 veteran was the one deciding who goes up when! Thanks Picachu! Photo by @Donorun.

Welcome to Eldred Estates. Photo by me.

Vegan waffles with strawberries and cream, potatoes, tofu scramble and coffee warmed us up nicely post-ride. Thanks to Sasha and Luz for organizing the foods! Bad photo by me.

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Final map and details for 2012 Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer

Racer I am, Legs My Feel?  We’re going backwards this year! Here’s the map of the 10 hills:

Hills- Red
Route between hills- Blue
Return from last hill- Green

Sunday March 25th, 745am at
Silver Lake Pedestrian Plaza

Sign in at 745, meeting at 815am, roll to hill #1 at 830. Please be on time!
Day-of announcements: @BikeSwarm
Yes- rain or shine, any bike, water, snacks, tube, tools, stokedness, riding for points, riding to finish, waiting at top of each hill
No- bad attitudes, cars, jock mentality, entry fee, prizes
See other FAQ on this earlier post, propaganda here, entire event history here and send any questions to BikeSwarm [at] gmail
I may need some more day-of volunteers, please come speak with me in the morning if you’d like to help out. Thank you!

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