Friday, July 17, 2009

2009 Acura LA Bike Tour Finishers' Certificates Now Available

Congratulations cyclists and thank you for a successful 2009 Acura LA Bike Tour! For the first time ever, cyclists will be able to download their finishers' certificates. Suitable for framing, this certificate commemorates the cyclists's finish and preserves the data for a lifetime of memories. Use the link below to view and print your Official Acura LA Bike Tour Finisher's Certificate.

Acura LA Bike Tour Finisher Certificate

Friday, June 5, 2009

2010 Los Angeles Marathon Date Change—Immediate Action Needed!

Whether you ran it, walked it, volunteered for it, sponsored it, or cheered for it, I’d like to thank everyone who took part in last week’s 2009 Los Angeles Marathon.  Though we faced a host of challenges – not the least of which was the Memorial Day date – we did it, together!  

As we plan for next year’s Marathon, many of you have reached out to voice your support for moving the race back to a Sunday in March. We’ve heard you and we agree.  Now, the Los Angeles City Council needs to hear from you.

The Council is set to vote on a proposal to return the marathon to its traditional March date; in fact, one of the Council’s committees already has endorsed the change.  But we need your help to ensure that the full Council votes to adopt the measure.  Please click on the link here ( to sign our petition telling our elected officials that the race date matters and that you want to see the Los Angeles Marathon held on a Sunday in March.  Then forward this note to friends, family members, and anyone else you can think of who may wish to join our effort.  

As always, we appreciate your support and thank you for your assistance.  Working together, we’re confident in our ability to continue to build a world-class event that, true to our mission, inspires athletes and connects communities.  

See you on the road!

Russ Pillar, President

The Los Angeles Marathon

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Acura LA Bike Tour Images

Here are a few images that I took while riding the Acura LA Bike Tour. I do not recommend trying this, but I use to be a pretty good bike racer back in the day. If you want to share photos of the ABT, please join our facebook group.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Thank You

The Acura LA Bike Tour would like to thank all the participants, the vounteers, the staff and Acura for making the 2009 Acura LA Bike Tour such a success. We look forward to seeing you in the future.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Final Prep

Well can you believe the big day for the Acura LA Bike Tour is tomorrow morning? Now it's time for you to make sure everything is double checked and in order. Get your packet today because you won't be able to pick it up in the morning. The start is 5am so you should try to plan on getting to the start at 3:30. There are so many people doing this and you don't want to be in a rush that extra time will go very quickly. Make sure you're bike is in perfect working order and the tires pumped up. It'll be cool out tomorrow morning and you might be standing at the start a little while so you want to dress warm but layer since you'll warm up on the ride. Make sure to get your water bottles and any food/energy bars packed up with your helmet and other cycling gear by tonight. Sure the start is early but the experience of having open LA roads to you on a bicycle ride while watching the sun rise is priceless. Be safe and have fun!

Nate Loyal 
Bike Fit Specialist

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Acura LA Bike Tour Final Instructions

Final instructions are now posted on the LA Marathon/Acura LA Bike Tour website. Click here for all the information.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009



USC Campus: fee is $10/vehicle; lot opens at 3am

Directions: Exit 110 Harbor Freeway at Exposition Blvd. Proceed west to Figueroa and turn right. Proceed north to Jefferson and enter parking lots on the left. Or proceed west after McClintock enter parking lots on the left or turn left on Vermont and enter parking lots on your left.

Exposition Park: fee is $10/vehicle; lot opens at 3am

Directions: Exit 110 Harbor Freeway 110 at Martin Luther King Blvd and proceeds west to Menlo and turn right entering parking lots on the left.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Dodger Significant Others to Ride ABT

Jodi Mientkiewicz, Maggie Ethier and Marikym Hervieux talk about why they're riding the Acura LA Bike tour for ThinkCure!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Acura LA Bike Tour Safety Tip

Anytime we ride our bicycles outside safety is a concern and priority. For the Acura LA Bike Tour the roads will be closed off to car traffic and because of that the roads you will be on will be so much safer to ride. Riding safely is still a priority. There will be plenty of other riders out there with you and at the start it will be dark. Make sure that when you are riding not to make sudden changes in direction or brake without warning. If you have to pull off to one side of the road or the other just take a look over your shoulder to see if anyone is coming up quickly behind you. If you need to stop try to stop along the side of the road but also even with gradually slowing down call out saying "stopping". This will give the riders behind you a heads up on what you are doing. Having a basic bicycle headlight and bright colored clothing can also help. Be safe, be smart and have fun out there. 

Nate Loyal 
Bike Fit Specialist

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bike to Work Week

It's Bike to Work Week, which is a great way to put in some extra miles in preparation for the Acura LA Bike Tour. The LA County Bicycle Coalition have published the week's festivities. If you have some time go support their efforts!

Monday May 11 
8:30 am 
Kick-off Event at Olvera St. 

Tuesday May 12
8:00 am
Blessing of the Bikes at Good Samaritan Hospital.
For more information click here.

Wednesday May 13 
8:00 am
Downtown LA Bike Ride.
Meet at Civic Center Metro Red Line Station at 8am. 

Thursday May 14 - LA Bike to Work Day
Free rides all day on Metro and other transit operators.
Pit Stop at City Hall East between 6 and 9 AM.
- Come show the Mayor and elected officials that we are here in numbers!!
- Then stop by LACBC pit stop at 634 S. Spring Street.

Check out the complete list of pit stops for LA County. 

Friday May 15 - Bike to School Day
For more information contact Also visit Safe Bicycle Routes for LA Schools. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bike Valet

The Santa Monica Classic was last Sunday, and once again runners were treated to a great course, cool shirts and perfect weather. One thing that was also kind of cool was the bike valet provided by the LA County Bicycle Coalition. I think we took around 75 cars off the road and gave runners the convenience to park their bikes next to registration and the start. I encourage promoters to use this service!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Club Profile - Major Motion

Major Motion Cycling Club, named after the 1899 world 1-mile champion Major Taylor, has always had a knack for finding and developing talented junior riders. Current US Pro Criterium Champion Rahsaan Bahati and Under - 23 Criterium Champion Justin Williams are two of the clubs most notable alumni.  

Damon Turner and Dave Pullman are two men that have committed time, energy and resources to give young riders the opportunity and support to shine. We spoke with Damon Turner.

Acura LA Bike Tour: What does the man Major Taylor mean to your club?

Damon Turner: Major Taylor inspired the guys who started Major Motion, an adult club, in 1975. He means everything when you think about what he had to experience, the discrimination he endured. He was focused, determined and he was an amazing human being. It is his spirit that has allowed for the success of Major Motion Development, the junior team that grew out of the adult club.

ABT: Does he not get enough credit in terms of what he accomplished in the sport? 

DT: I don't believe he is receiving the credit he deserves, but I feel now that he's getting some credit. There are bicycle clubs around the country naming themselves after him or who are inspired by his accomplishments. His hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts has raised a statue of him, and a Worcester non-profit, the Major Taylor Association, holds an annual bike event , the George Street Challenge, that is held on a street where he trained.  

ABT: You guys have done an incredible job of getting African-American kids on their bikes. Tell us about the history and the methods to get kids riding.

DT: Dave and I started Major Motion Development with two juniors in 1997. We noticed that there were very few kids from our neighborhood in the sport of cycling. Basketball, football, sure, but not cycling. This is a sport that allows a kid to express his or her individuality and we wanted to see these kids have that opportunity. The very first kid was Rahsaan Bahati (currently of Rock Racing) and it just kind of started growing from there. Other kids saw his success and wanted to be a part of it.  It was really word of mouth and when we'd compete at races kids want to be a part of the program. We knew there were plenty of potential Bahatis and we wanted to help them enter and excel in the sport. We never stop looking for new talent and any chance we get to expose young people to the Major Taylor legacy, we take it.

ABT: Any future talent we should be aware of?

DT: Yes, Cory and C J Williams, younger brothers of Justin Williams are placing in the top 5 of the senior races they're competing in. They're definitely keeping up the family tradition. Morgan Ryan, he's a great stage racer and Aasin Taylor, who has only been in the sport for a little over six months is another rising star. He recently placed 2nd in his first CAT-4 race. He's an incredibly smart rider, who we are really excited to be working with. And let's not forget the girls, Alexis Ryan, who's 15, and is doing Pro 1/2 women's races.

ABT: What's next for Major Motion?

DT: We are headed to Junior Road Nationals, Track Nationals and we got our 6th invite to the Le Tour de Abitibi, which is a UCI stage race in Canada. We're working hard and hope to be on the podium at all these!

ABT: Favorite Ride?

DT: I like Montrose, its a proven training ground that is bound to make you a better rider.

ABT: Favorite Shop?

DT: Shout out to all the bike shops that have supported Major Motion Development. We are grateful for the support and encouragement.

Click here to find out more about Major Motion.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Some Fun Rides in LA

In my opinion, some of the most epic rides are in the Los Angeles area. If you ever drive up PCH, take notice of the dozen or so canyons in Malibu that seem to shoot straight up. Tackling Tour de France type climbs is not for everyone. For those who need to get some last minute leisurely mileage in their legs, I have posted a few links to some fun easy routes.  


Monday, April 27, 2009

LA County Bicycle Coalition

Some very good things are getting done by the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.  Here is a link to some of their current and past projects.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Acura LA Bike Tour Tip - Hybrid v Road Bike

Former Lance Armstrong mechanic Dave Lettieri explains the differences between a hybrid and a road bike.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Riding can be tough. Why make it harder?

If you are fueled-up correctly, your riding can be much more enjoyable and healthy. Don't get caught up in the thought that the calories you take in before or during a ride will counter the calories burned. But is it really sensible to eat a big meal before a short ride?  Hardly. 

If you're going out for a light ride of 45 minutes to an hour and normally don't eat anything, try to start with a light meal. If you're going out in the morning then just start with a healthy cereal or even an energy bar. Your local bike shop should have a great selection of energy bars. Try a number of different types and flavors to find something that you like and you wouldn't mind eating while out for a ride. 

What you should see is an increase in your sustained energy during your rides.  Plus your post-ride recovery will be better and you’ll be less likely to feel so dead after your rides. If you still have a dead feeling, try increasing your caloric intake slightly and stretch it from pre- to during your ride. 

Lastly, it’s also important to remember to stay hydrated. Here in Los Angeles our weather doesn't change much, but as little as a 10 degree swing in start to finish temps can make a big difference in how much water/fluid you should drink. Try to be sipping from your water bottle at least once every 10 to 15 minutes. This will get you in the habit of drinking while out on your ride. Hydration’s secondary benefit beyond enhancing the body’s nutrition intake and absorption, it also helps speed up your metabolism.

Nate Loyal 
Bike Fit Specialist

Acura LA Bike Tour Route

Please feel free to have a look at the Acura LA Bike Tour route. For an enlarged view click here.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter!

We welcome you to join the Acura LA Bike Tour Facebook group or follow us on Twitter.  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Christian Vande Velde Interview

After years of riding for some of cycling’s top names, Christian Vande Velde had the opportunity to finally take over the reigns as a team leader last year for Team Garmin - Slipstream.  For Christian it was a break out year placing third at the Tour of CA, fourth at the Tour de France and first in the Tour of Missouri. We recently had the opportunity to catch up with the American Tour de France contender.

Acura LA Bike Tour:  What's it like to be able to ride your bike for a living? 

CV: It's a dream come true that I have the ability to ride my bike for a living. When times are tough with travel and or injury, I try to keep things in perspective.


ABT: Can you give the LA bike Tour participant an idea of your day? 

CV: Wake up, change diapers, breakfast, ride for average of 4 hours, lunch, massage, play with kids, emails, dinner, catch up with Leah (wife), bed.


ABT: How many miles a week do you ride? 

CV: Around 500.


ABT: How many calories do you consume a day? 

CV: Anywhere from 3000 to 6000


ABT: During the Tour? 

CV: 6-7k


ABT: What would you be doing if you weren't a bike racer? 

CV: Not a clue, probably wearing a suit. 


ABT: Where are you right now? 

CV: In Girona, Spain.


ABT: What are you doing? 

CV: Sitting on my couch, watching Winnie the Pooh with Uma and drinking coffee. 


ABT:  You are active on Twitter. What do you think of it?

CV: Ashton Kutcher just reached 1,000,000 followers. I think it is crazy. I still have a hard time telling people what I am doing, but it is much better than a website and much easier to follow people. It's great.


ABT: Will you catch Lance someday on the number of people following you? 

CV: Never. 


ABT: Favorite sport, other than cycling? 

CV: Water skiing. Motocross...almost anything with an engine, mine gets tired every once in a while.


ABT: Would you consider riding with 15,000 other riders at next year's Acura LA Bike Tour? 

CV: Of course!

Follow Christian on Twitter or at Team Garmin Slipstream.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Acura LA Bike Tour Tip- Changing a Flat

Former Lance Armstrong mechanic and owner of Fastrack Bicycles shows us the best way to fix a flat.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Acura LA Bike Tour Tip - Bike Lights

The Acura LA Bike Tour picks a couple of bike lights to get you through the ABT safe and sound.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

What To Wear On Early Morning Rides

Former Olympian Dave Lettieri shows us some clothing options for the Acura LA Bike Tour.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Proper Hybrid Fit for the Acura LA Bike Tour

Fit specialist Nate Loyal shows us how to be comfortable and relaxed on a hybrid bike.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Road Bike Fitting

When choosing a road bike, the correct fit can make all the difference. Local fit specialist Nate Loyal takes us through a proper road bike fitting.

Club Profile - Velo Club La Grange

The Acura LA Bike Tour had the opportunity to talk to Velo Club La Grange board member and local category 2 bike racer Marco Fantone.

Acura LA Bike Tour: The club is one of the oldest and largest clubs in the US. Can you tell us about the formation?

Marco Fantone: La Grange was founded by Raymond Fouquet in 1969 in Westwood Village. La Grange is a small side street off of Westwood Blvd. and the intersection of La Grange and Westwood was the location of Raymond’s restaurant; “La Grange”. Translated from French, La Grange means “the barn” and apparently this particular barn was the starting point for the legendary Nichols Canyon ride, which continues on to this day. Word has it that there was steady growth within the club during the 80's and substantial growth during the “Lance Era”.

ABT: In the mid 80's La Grange had one of the best teams in the country on both road and track. What did that team accomplish?

MF: Don’t have the answer to this one.

ABT: I seem to recall them dominating on both road and track, having such riders as Olympic gold medalist Steve Hegg, Dave Lettieri and Thurlow Rodgers. Any aspirations to resurrect a program of that level?

MF: Comparing a top-flite team from the 80's to today is like comparing the Stone Age to modern technology. Not to take anything away from the accomplishments of those 80’s teams, but because there has been so much growth and interest in cycling in the U.S., the current level of commitment from both a time and monetary standpoint are much greater now than then. We have been fielding some very strong amateur teams over the past 5 years with surprising results.

ABT: Is developing young riders an initiative?

MF: This has always been something very close to Raymond and while the club has worked with a number of younger racers over the years, the influx of young riders to the sport, at least in our immediate area, has been thin. Ironically, the one demographic making a huge impact on the club has been in the 35-55 age range. Apparently, quite a few people who can no longer run, play tennis or shoot hoops have discovered cycling as the perfect no-impact cardio workout.

ABT: Aside from racing, La Grange has always played a part in local
politics. Why is that important to the club?

MF: Not sure if “politics” is exactly the right word; more like “public policy”. Because we are all cyclists who see the world from both the perspective of a cyclist and a motorist, we are in an excellent position to provide our input and feedback when it comes to cycling-related issues. Our strength comes from relationship building and over the years we have established numerous relationships on both the local and state levels as well as with important entities such as Cal Trans. I could briefly use the PCH repaving project last year as an example of how our involvement benefits all cyclists. Every cyclist who rides PCH is aware of specific pinch points that leave almost no room for both a cyclist and motorist. When it came time to re-stripe PCH, we contacted Cal-Trans and were able to speak directly to the lead engineer on the project. We introduced ourselves, and the club that we represent, as cyclists who are intimately aware of the hazards of PCH and asked if a three foot space could be striped off near the Bel-Air Bay Club, one of the more dangerous pinch points on the southbound side of the road. They reviewed our suggestions and today, a three foot wide space exists where no space existed before.

ABT: Best area to ride in LA?

MF: The hills above Malibu; probably the closest place to LA where you can feel like you’re tackling a Tour climb!

ABT: Best bike shop for Acura LA Bike participants?

MF: Helen’s Cycles has shops throughout LA and has a staff that seems to have the ability to assist virtually any level of rider, from timid beginner to the know-it-all pro racer.

ABT: If someone were inspired by the Acura LA Bike Tour to ride his or her bike more often, would La Grange be a helpful resource?

MF: The La Grange Friday ride has been the first step for hundreds of first time riders to get out on an organized pack ride. We all remember our first experience on the Friday ride; how intimidating it was to be riding with all of these individuals in matching kits and here we were in our plain wrap attire with mis-matched everything! But what a new rider can learn in the first few months is amazing; better bike handling skills and overall, more confidence.

The greatest aspect of being part of a club such as La Grange is the depth and wealth of knowledge within the ranks. We have an internal e-group of which some 300 of our 450 members are logged on to. It’s probably safe to say that if you have a problem you’re trying to tackle, there’s a club member who has already “been there, done that”. I’m now closing in on the big 4-6 and have been with La Grange since July 1997. I’ve seen the club grow from just over 100 to nearly 500 members over those years but perhaps more importantly, I’ve seen a change in the coexistence of cyclists and motorists in west Los Angeles. With greater numbers has come greater respect and perhaps a bit less hostility than in years past.

As with most things in life, it’s a work in progress!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cycling with Finesse

So you've started to ride consistently which is step one. Now what should you focus on while you are riding? Let's look into your pedaling form. Sometimes when we are exercising we feel that we think that a lot of pushing and pulling, like lifting weights, is a good thing and will give us the greatest returns. Cycling is a finesse sport. Think of it like swimming or golf. The harder you fight or muscle the technique the worse things can get. Muscles tire and joints can hurt. So with cycling the trick is all about your pedaling speed known as cadence. Now this is not your traveling speed. We want your legs to move quickly and efficiently. If you have a computer on your bicycle that tracks this, you will want to look for 85-95rpm. The sooner you work on this the easier riding will be in the long run. At first it might feel like your going slower but give it a few rides and your body will adapt. Your muscles and joints will thank you for it and as a bonus your endurance will get better. So if you find yourself in a big gear and pushing hard with a slow cadence, shift into an easier gear, spin more and start working on your efficiency.

Nate Loyal
Bike Fit Specialist

Monday, March 30, 2009

Shop Profile - Fastrack Bicycles

If you happen to be in Santa Barbara, check out Fastrack Bicycles. It's a true road shop with a rich history in elite cycling and plenty of connections to some of the sports great riders. The shop is packed with all the latest road bikes that one would see winning the Tour de France. We had the opportunity to find out a little bit more about the shop and its owner Dave Lettieri.

Acura LA Bike Tour: When you opened, most shops were still in the mountain biking is the bread and butter mode, what made you take that leap of faith to a road only shop?
Dave Lettieri: I thought if I could fill a need and a particular niche, I could have a good business.

ABT: What makes Fastrack different from other shops around Southern California?
DL: I think because the shop is owner operated, and that makes a big difference. Also, not many shop owners do not have the background that I have. Also still riding and participating in local events helps keep me up to date on the newest equipment.

ABT: You have a pretty good relationship with Lance Armstrong. How did you meet Lance?
DL: I knew Lance when I managed Chevrolet/LA Sheriff. (Note: The Chevrolet/LA Sheriff Cycling Team was a domestic based pro team from 1991-1995) Then he started vacationing in Santa Barbara in late 1997 and we became friends.

ABT: What does his comeback do for the sport?
DL: It’s big for the exposure that the sport gets. Every thing Lance does is reported on in the press.

ABT: Does that help with business?
DL: Absolutely, any publicity for cycling is good for the bike industry.

ABT: Has Lance changed the industry?
DL: Yes he has helped everyone from Trek to all the other bike manufacturers. He brings them into the sport. He also helps the coaching angle of the bike industry as well as the bikes.

ABT: You had a pretty successful racing career. Can you tell us how you get into riding?
DL: I did local century tours in northeastern Pennsylvania. Then started track racing in Trexlertown PA on the velodrome.

ABT: You competed in the 1998 Olympics. Tell us about your Olympic experience?
DL: That was great because everyone recognizes the Olympics. It gives a bit of credibility to anyone’s cycling career.

ABT: How do we get young people in the sport?
DL: I think with local events as well as having cycling mentors or coaches to help guide young riders.

ABT: What do you think of the swing towards bike advocacy?
DL: I think its good. If we have more bike lanes, bikeways and recognition for bikes or cycling, it’s a good thing.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Where to start with your bicycle training

So you're either thinking about starting up with cycling or already have been doing a little bit of it. So what's the most important factor when it comes to good training? Consistency. Consistency is what really makes the difference in a solid training program. Seems basic and it is. Be honest with how many day's per week you can train. Wether it's two days or six days a week, stick to something that you can really commit to. Rides are good but if you can't always get outside a mellow spin class can work in it's place to keep the consistency. Also make sure that you break up the workouts. Your body needs rest and rest is as important as the workouts. But if you have a day, you know the one, where you're just not motivated or feeling like going for a ride try this little trick. Get in your cycling gear, hop on the bike and go around the block. Takes just a minute or two but if you don't feel like going for a good ride by then you're done. Most of the time what you'll find is you'll still keep riding and that brings us back to the foundation of consistency. So get out there and have fun riding your bike!

Nate Loyal
Bike Fit Specialist/Coach

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Welcome to the launch of the Acura LA Bike Tour blog. This blog will serve as the informational hub to the event. In the next few weeks we plan to post a series of videos and articles that aim to inspire, motivate and help you become a better rider.

This year's event will take place on May 25, 2009. Start time is at 5:00 am. We look forward to another fun and successful tour around our scenic city. See you there!

Click here to register.