This summer has gifted fans of bike racing with the 2016 Olympics held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Tour de France couldn’t compete with the lure of Olympic gold, with some athletes leaving the TdF early to begin their Olympic preparations. Most notably Mark Cavendish, a world champion sprinter from the UK who won four stages of this year’s race, called it quits after the 16th stage. Though Cavendish was a favorite for the final stage of the tour and a sprint finish down the Champs-Élysées (a stage he previously won 4 times) Cav elected to bow out and prepare for Rio. Such is the draw of Olympic glory, second only to the over-all TdF winner in terms of prestige.
Getting in the Olympic spirit ourselves, this issue starts with a focus on the 1984 Olympics, officially held in Los Angeles, but with events throughout Southern California. There was tremendous pressure on the American athletes that year. The US had boycotted the 1980 games held in Moscow, Russia, the Americans hadn’t won gold in any cycling event since 1912 and it was the first year that women were allowed to race bikes in the Olympics.
With this as the background, we are excited to publish a collection of photos on loan from the collection of the Mission Viejo Library, that illuminates the conclusions to this epic story. The ’84 games was fundamental to encouraging the evolution of bike racing and marked the cultural significance of Southern California to the sport of cycling. For those who wish to ride the ’84 Olympic road race course, we’ve included a map of the 10-mile loop (page 16) in this issue. Located 50 miles south of Los Angeles in suburban Orange County, the course is a picturesque but challenging loop through the hills of a suburban paradise. (page 16)
As we look towards the 2016 games, we spoke with Philip Duff, the new owner and CEO of ASSOS, a Swiss cycling apparel company providing uniforms for the USA Olympic cycling team through 2020. Duff has a long history helping small companies grow without sacrificing their commitment to quality or company values. He was part of the team that helped save a small rock climbing equipment manufacturer founded by Yvon Chouinard from insolvency, turning Chouinard Climbing into Black Diamond, a brand that has been fundamental to the growth of rock climbing as a sport in the US. The multitude of indoor rock climbing gyms throughout the West Coast is a testament to the growth of the sport and that Black Diamond has been able to grow along with it, maintaining quality and keeping value a priority for the brand. It is this same focus on quality that attracted him to ASSOS, the originators of the Lycra bike short and jersey. What started as a small piece mentioning this Olympic sponsorship turned into a very informative interview that we’re sharing in its entirety.
We caught up with Dominic Phipps, who has authored the book Ninety Years of Masi, a documentation of the historic Italian brand Cicli Masi and their contributions to the development of our wheeled machines. To celebrate the official July 30th book launch, Masi invited the public to the Carlsbad Village Theater for a screening of the classic cycling film “Breaking Away” with a reception after at the Grand Pacific Palisades Resort and Hotel where Phipps and Dennis Christopher, the star of the movie, were on hand signing autographs and sharing their stories with the audience. As the launch of a book serves as a finish line of sorts for the publishing process, Phipps provided us an inside look at what it took to write the book and a thoughtful recount of the weekend activities. (page 33)
Our event and race calendar has been improved and now includes events not just in Southern California, but throughout the West Coast. Our goal is to help you find a community of people to ride with and make the most of your time in the saddle – participating in an organized event is the best way to accomplish both. With more than 100 cycling events scheduled for 2016 in the West Coast of the US, you are guaranteed to find an event that fits your budget, fitness and style of cycling.
See you on the route,
Chris Reynolds | Editorial Director