Not sure if ya’ll have heard of this. It’s the Wolfpack Hustle® Marathon Crash Race. Look it up! It’s a huge race (ride) that Happens every year in Los Angeles, California.
The reason it is called the “Crash Race” is because the race takes place at 4am on the actual LA Marathon course BEFORE the marathon happens. We basically “crash” the course. Is it illegal? NO. It used to be, but it gained such a local popularity and now nationwide, this is now known to be the biggest non-sanctioned race that is actually supported by the city of Los Angeles, and is even aided by the LAPD….go figure! ( I do have to give much credit to the leader of Wolfpack Hustle® Don Ward aka Roadblock because if it weren’t for him going to all the city council meetings, dealing with the police and being the bicycle activist that he is, this event would not be what it is today!)
Going back to the race, and my own personal back story of this event.
I have known about this event roughly 3 years already and missed it every year. It’s not that I never wanted to do it, it’s just to me it is a huge production for to not only wake up or stay up and then do what most groups of people do to make this race a convenient thing to do in the wee hours of the night, which is bring 2 cars, drop one car off in Santa Monica at the finish line and bring the other car to the start line annnnnd then at the end of the race, drive the car at the finish to pick up the car that was left at the start! (Even typing the process makes me feel lazy! LOL!) Also, being the non-morning person I am, the very thought of waking up at 12:30am to go riding in 57ish degree weather just never seems appealing to me!
I had a long day already, woke up at 8am, got the family up and out to Universal Studios for some fun famtime for the day. When we got back from Universal Studios I thought: Hmmmmm I think I’ll have enough time to get a quick nappy in before our scheduled meet time of 1am (yep 1am). Boyyyyy was I wrong!
I had to get my bike ready and round up my riding gear, which took me up to 11pm. I thought okay, let me get at least an hour and a half of some shut eye in. I asked my wife for a favor to wake me up at 12:30am before she went to bed, and she being the awesome wifey she is obliged.
So as I’m trying to knock out, I’m starting to imagine the race, who’s going to be there, how’s the course going to be at 4am in the morning, so on and so forth. NOW things are starting to get real, I COULDN’T SLEEP!!! My wife let’s me know that it is now 12:30am, and now I am feeling anxious, tired and not feeling like doing the event.
I dig deep, get up and pump myself up and tell her “alright, time to rock n’ roll!” I was hoping that impressed her…It didn’t. I think she fell asleep right when she woke me up! ugggggh. LOL
So, now I’m ready, 1 am comes quick…Here’s a picture of our (Ryan, Yanothan and Mine) Bikes ready to rock this thing!!! Notice the nice “cyclelove” stickers?! Yay!
We drive out to Santa Monica to drop off one of the cars. I have to admit, one of the biggest things that was giving me anxiety was wondering about the whole parking situation. Los Angeles can be really ticket/tow crazy in these areas, ESPECIALLY Santa Monica! Thankfully, my anxiousness was put to rest when we discovered a public parking area that is literally a half a mile away from the finish line…Thank God!!! When we got such an awesome parking spot, I took that as a sign that it was going to be a spectacular night! I was happy!
We get to the meet spot in Hollywood at around 2 am, we are early, which is fine, because we now had to look for a spot to park the other car. Again, we are blessed with another great parking…RIGHT NEXT TO THE START! Now I’m really excited!
So since we are early, we decide to just chill and chit chat in the car, til the 3:30am meet time comes around. As I said, we just hung out in the car, but not too much chit chatting happened because we were all tired!
Around 3 am we start hearing a bunch of hootin’ and hollerin’. I look through my rear view mirror, I start seeing bicyclists of all different styles and not to mention different walks of life, trickling in one after another. The voices that started to be just a lil murmur started to become a soft roar, and now we new, not only was it time to get out of the car, but it was now time for us to experience this crazy event! Here we go!
This is Ryan lookin’ tough and Yano with a nice smile! (notice the cyclists in the back…you ain’t seen nothing yet!)
Ryan again looking tough, or looking like an alien is looking through his eyes! And yep, that me! (what is with my James Dean hand gesture? I’m missing a cigarette btw dur dur dur)
As we turn the corner, we are smacked in the face with such a huge crowd of people…all on bikes, and yep, it was an awesome site!
Cyclists of all different sorts… Racers, Riders, BMX, Mountain Bikers even tall bikes! You name it, all bikes you can think of were out there, some to race and some like us, just to have fun and experience this event.
It felt good flying my cycling group colors… atleast on my legs! It was too dang cold to not wear a jacket!
This is a nice panoramic pic Yanothon took…this is just to give you an idea of the crowd….
The ride started with a rolling start that was lead by an LAPD patrol car, which was kinda cool and made the event feel kinnnda safe. Kinda.
Me being the seasoned cyclist and group rider amongst the 3 of us, I felt a bit responsible for the guys… I warned them not to get caught up in the speed and know we are not “racing” so it’s not worth getting in a crash over. (btw, there was 7 crashes reported, I saw 4 of them, one with a woman knocked out cold ont the street) They agreed and we went our way cautiously along and through the mass of riders. I was really impressed, proud and happy that the 3 of us actually stayed together throughout the ride. You have to understand, we are men and men get their egos in the way all the time, especially during events, so it was nice to see how cool headed we all were being towards each other and the other cyclist by not feeling the need to race or get mad at every other rider that happened to pass us.
The ride was great. Riding through LA was awesome, especially cause the fact that the streets were blocked off. I’ve ridden these streets many times, so I was especially excited for Ryan and Yanothan, because I knew they were going to enjoy the sites, different textures and even smells of this diverse city I know and love called LOS ANGELES!
This is us going through Beverly hills…Sorry that the pic is so blurry…. while I was riding, I realized I wasn’t shooting pictures, and I didn’t think it safe to shoot pictures while there are hundreds of cylists around, but I took my chances:)
We finally made it! Turns out we did 28 miles in 1hr 32 minutes…not bad for cruising!
All in all it was a great night. Was happy to have finally experienced this event. I’d be open to do it again, just as long as I get a nappy in!