by Rahsaan on February 11th, 2014

“I pray they will carry on in spite of that dreadful monster prejudice, and with patience, courage, fortitude and perseverance achieve success for themselves” Marshall “Major” Taylor.
I thought it was very fitting to write my thoughts down as we’re in Black History month and perhaps this will be a catalyst for more young Black kids to get involved in this beautiful sport of cycling.
To say Major Taylor could read the future in the 1900’s would be unfair.  To say he manifested the day when there would be more than one African American Cyclist (athletes) competing however would be fair.
The quote above written by Major Taylor in the 1920’s really takes me back and knocks me off my feet. To think about the things he encountered and had to withstand just to compete in a predominate white sport, yet he had the wisdom to know that one day there will be some after him.
You see, there have been a handful of Black Cyclist come from all walks of life to compete at the highest level of racing. Back in 1913, the Tour De France saw its first Black rider participate. His name was Ali Neffati from Tunesia.  It took 100 years for another Black cyclist to participate in the Tour de France when Kevin Riza took start in 2013 for the French Team Eurocar.


by Rahsaan on September 9th, 2013

“The Carlsbad Grand Prix is a cycling criterium circuit along a 0.9 mile closed course that loops through Armada Drive and Fleet Street in Carlsbad. The finish boasts a sweeping view of the Pacific Ocean”.
…and that it was.
Lets get to it. Because it’s the end of the season for a majority of the SoCal cycling scene, hosting an event this late is very risky do the possibility of lack of participation. Though the field was a bit smaller than average, that didn’t stop my race from being fast and exciting.
From the gun guys attacked each other and things were heating up. Having the wind to your back on the backside (tailwind) and turning the last corner only to  the beautiful ocean view and headwind slap you in the face, the course was very interesting and created different dynamics.
I followed moves and countered moves. After one counter, I found myself solo for 3 laps. Wasn’t happy…however by the grace of god, a guy came across solo from Spy and we rode 6-8 laps off the front before being caught by the main pack.
After a few more attacks, I countered again later in the race as I felt this could be a great time to go, because David Santos of Cashcal had just ripped the field into pieces for about half a lap. My counter came at a perfect time, I hit really hard over the hill and took 6 guys with me. As I pulled off, it looked as if the field was there but there were holes everywhere so I encouraged the group to pedal hard.
It took us about 3 laps to actually calm down and get organized. All the guys for the most part did their fair share of work and after 5 laps off the front, the lap cards came out and we now have 6 to go. We’re still working well together and of course with 1 lap to go the games almost started as the field is chasing hard as Bike Religion had missed the break.  As we crossed the finish line on the bell lap, I knew if we got caught, our chances were dead to get a placing because of the effort being put out over the last 15 minutes.
As soon as I felt the break sit up, I attacked and put my head down into the headwind and over the riser. I hit turn one and tried to standup over the hill but my body said no. So I powered in the saddle. I can see the field on my hills, I don’t want to fail, did deep is what I was telling myself.

As I crest the hill, I thought the down hill tailwind would be easy, but it hurt just as bad as going over the hill. I continued to power and be as aero as possible, as the last turn couldn’t have come any sooner. I rounded the last corner, the headwind took me from 34mph to about 25mph with 250m to the finish line, however it was enough for me to ease up and coast in for a solo victory. 
I was supper excited with how my race went. Really happy I shook the stomach flu I had from Thursday to Saturday night and was able to animate the race.
Thanks you Swamis and everyone involved in putting on this event. Great venue, great course, great views and the prize money was the best all year.

by Rahsaan on September 2nd, 2013

Day #3 and #4
The Staenberg Group Gateway Cup
By now most of you heard about my misfortunes during stage 3 of the gateway cup. Here is what happened so everyone can understand I race straight up.
On the very first lap I noticed the drive train on my bike not running smooth at all. I hardly put pressure on the pedals and had crazy skipping problems, I run into the pit only when the chain became wedged between my frame and the cassette….you know what, I don’t need to explain myself.
I finished the race 2nd and maintained the lead after day 3. Those of you who hide behind your social media handles, feel free to come from behind your smart phone  and say the negative thing to my face. Its very easy to talk trash after the race as you wonder if your cycling career would ever amount to 7 nationals titles.
Day #4
This was my kind of course. It was a figure 8 with ups and downs, sharp turns, bumps, holes, and a great crowed.
The game plane more complicated than other days only because we had other opportunities with other guys on the team such as Anthony who displayed great fitness during the series.
By getting another guys in the break and bringing home a result would have been the icing on the cake for me as I held on to a 10 point lead over 2nd.
 Strongman Aray of IS Corp was the guy I had to watch the entire race. Kind of sucks but when it comes to bike racing, you must use your brain first, heart second and legs 3rd.
After a few moves, Chad Harley rolled with a 5 man group that was soon out of sight out of mind. The gap opened up to 48 seconds at one point and it was great for us. Having those 5 guys in the front and 2nd and 3rd in the field with me, it was just a matter of time before the race would be over and Sharecare securing the win.
Chad Hartley brought home the win and I won the field kick.

It has been a long road to success on this level and I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to race my bike in a city that was very welcoming. The Staenberg Group and Mike Weiss knows how to throw on a party…I mean bike race.
I really want to thank my sponsors and teammates who laid it all on the line for me. Felt Bicycles, Pactimo, Shimano, Hutchinson, Sharecare, CytoMax and I’m sure a few more that I’m missing.  Marco Aledia, Anthony Canevari, Chad Harley and Rob White. I would like to also say thank you to 3 people who are behind the scene making the wheels turn. Thanks Paul, Clay and Rick for doing what you do!!!

by Rahsaan on August 31st, 2013

Gateway Cup Day #1
Lately in Southern California the weather has been HOT.  My fellow Angelinos has been suffering in the blistering heat. Then comes St. Louis!!! Now this is hot, humid, sticky and just outride wrong.
The first night was in Lafayette Square just east of the world famous Gateway Arch.  The course was a simi flat 1-mile loop with 4 corners started at 9:30pm.
The game plan was really simple. Watch the good guys, don’t miss the breaks and if we’re in it for a field kick, lead me out.
To my surprise (not to sound cocky or discredit anyone) the race started pretty quick. I think this had a lot to do with the atmosphere. The crowds were lined up around the course in numbers, picnicking, drinking, playing outdoor games and enjoying the bike race.
More than halfway through the race, the boys did great ridding as a team. Anthony, Rob and Chad did everything they could do to keep Sharecare in the game.
With 4 laps to go, local team, Harley Gateway hit the front and did a very good job ridding tempo for their sprinter as we set up shop right behind them.
On the bell lap, the swarm started but I yelled at the guys to just “stay together”. This was very crucial for our success; entering the last turn I was 5th wheel. With about 150m to go I opened my kick and made the push for the line. The legs were good but I was lacking some speed in the closing 50m, however it was just enough to close the deal and bring home the win for
Day#2 is Tour De Francis Park
new text here.

by Rahsaan on June 30th, 2013

Richest 1 Lap Prime

Day #10
Tour of Americas Dairy Land
What a great venue ToAD has put on. In the past I’ve raced the downer Ave course but last night felt a lot different.
Everyone who has ever raced downer Ave races it for one reason. The “Super Prime”.
Back in 2008 I won the super prime that was a nice $7,000 cash.
Here’s how it works. The community comes together and throws a huge party just after turn one. They have their own finish line, bell, announcer, music, etc. For $20 you can get a t-shirt, all you can drink beer and a hotdog or bratwurst. All the money raised from the sales goes into the pot for the super prime. The most interesting part of it all, there are no lap counters, they give you no warning, just a bell giving you 1 lap to make your move.
So in the team meeting our main objective was to “steal the cheese”.
As always, the race started off fast, in the beginning, I surfed the front to see what was going on and after about 10 laps I drifted from the top 10 to last wheel. 130 wheels back, I had a chance to spin my legs and buy my time until the super prime.
10-15 laps later I moved back to front and the team started to ride. We had 3 guys rotating nicely hoping any lap they would ring the bell. Lap after lap and my guys are getting tired, then bang, the crowed is so loud you can’t hear the bell, however I could see two people ringing the gigantic red bell.
With good position going into the last turn, I had to jump and race to the first corner (as the sprint is 100m out the corner). Facing a fast lead-out from others teams I had to jump much earlier than I wanted. I started my sprint with 500m to go and went into the corner first with 2 guys in hot pursuit. I was able to give it one last kick and cross the line for the $6,000 prime.
Now that I have the prime, I want to win the race however that effort took a lot out of me and we only have 10 laps to go.
A few guys in the field gave me some shoves to keep me in the pack. With 7 laps to go, I’m almost fully recovered and started to make my way back to the front. 6 to go, I made it to the very front and was thinking I actually have a chance to do the double. Win the prime and the race.
With 5 laps to go, we went into turn two and there were guys laying it down and with a little bad luck, I high sided and crashed pretty hard. Lost a finger nail, broke my bike, broke my Gopro (that’s borrowed)  and really took a big hit to my left leg.
After it was all said and done, no one really cared about who won the race anyway, everyone is there to see who would be the lucky racer to win the super prime.
Today is the last day of the 11 day race and I’m really looking forward to getting home.

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