Results of the Lighthouse Uphill Challenge revealed.
Gildo wants it. Locals want it. The world wants it.
At this month’s Labor Day Ride of Long Beach, Calif., many got a taste of it, providing a whiff of what the entire Trikke world seemingly wants.
“It” is competition, measuring one’s skills against one’s self and others. In the name of sport. In the name of human nature. In the name of the advancement of the sport of carving!
Minus the fabulous Fakro Cup in Europe and the Trikkenut 100k in Ventura, Calif., the number of competitive carving events are rare and few, but some are dreaming of changing that. One of them is the man who invented Trikkes, Gildo Beleski.
In April, at a post-CicLAvia meal, G, as he’s more commonly known, shared with me his desire to see growth in the competitive side of carving. He was preaching the choir. I told him I’d do my part.
Cut to this year’s Labor Day Ride of Long Beach, the third annual. The Lions Lighthouse for Sight, aka the lighthouse at Shoreline Aquatic Park, is a favorite destination for local riders. And why not? The idyllic location in tranquil waters. The challenging, spiraling uphill, the exhilarating, spiraling downhill [video here]. What can I say? We love the spiraling downhill, eh So Cal carvers?
To anoint LDR 3 with something unique and different, the powers that be — including myself — decided to stage a mid-ride competitive event: the second-ever Lighthouse Uphill Challenge.
I mean, we’re there anyway, right?
While those who chose not to participate made their way up the spiraling ascent, as per usual, those whose hearts were suddenly racing a beat faster stayed behind, at the bottom of the hill — the lighthouse a journey to be taken alone. And timed. And recorded. And sorted. To compare with others. To compare with one’s self over time.
Twelve of the 35 riders who attended LDR 3 chose to participate in the LUC. Lighthouse Uphill Challenge, get it?
My favorite part — other than serving as timer and getting to say, “Ready, Set, Carve” — were the crowd’s reactions to each uphill carver as he or she climbed, spiraled, ascended, aspired, endured and made it.
The carvers atop the lighthouse cheered them on, bursting into applause when each climber reached the top and “touched the pole.”
The pole, Gina, touch the pole!
Fun times, great support and, oh, did I detect a little machismo as I announced the top three finishers?
Coming in first was the carver who came in first at the very first Lighthouse Uphill Challenge in November, 2011: Quincy Jeffries, doing it this time on a T6. Yep, that’s not a misprint.
Second … the crowd heightened … from SouthBay Trikke … the crowd heightened further … did Andy Pliska and Sean Tice of SBT tense up as they stood next to one another? Was that lip snarling from one of them, straightening of the posture from the other? …
Which did which?
Second place, from SouthBay Trikke … Andy Pliska in his first-ever race to the top. The crowd erupted again. And once again when it was announced that Sean, aka, Shorty, rounded out the top three. (NOTE: The announced third place finisher was incorrect. Upon further review, Martin Vasileski beat Sean Tice’s time by .4 seconds.)
But it wasn’t all about who was top dog. The Lighthouse Uphill Challenge was also about personal achievement, the kind So Cal Carver Monica Jeffries’ made when she first conquered the climb at an earlier group ride.
“Great, tired, amazing,” said Monica after her milestone at January’s MLK Ride.
In that spirit, a few unusual suspects made their first recorded assessment of themselves vs. the lighthouse, including the very young, a boy named Basem, and the young-at-heart, one John McKeever. And there was newbie Bill of Ventura. A brave step in front of your new friends, indeed!
Bill is becoming a regular (along with the lovely Lisa, also from Ventura). But is this grasshopper a hill-climber yet?
Mr. Bill stepped up to the plate, in this case, the starting line, and although he took “four days” to get to the top — as we joked later at the post-ride meal at Tequila’s Jacks — the newbie from Ventura reached the heights — in four minutes, actually, receiving the warmest cheers of the day.
It’s like I told him post-ride: now you’ve got something by which to measure yourself; and I guarantee, if you keep riding like this, you’re gonna see that time get faster and faster and your body turn into a lean, mean carving machine.
Bill agrees, I think. And that’s probably why he did it. It’s also one of the reasons I’m glad we staged the second-ever Lighthouse Uphill Challenge.
The Trikke world at large needs more competitive events, to grow the sport, to enrich our experience, and to measure ourselves and what we do.
As Gildo emphasized to me after CicLAvia: competition in the Trikke world can start small. People who live near one another can arrange to get together, say weekly or monthly, and start playing games with their Trikkes, experimenting on ways we can compete. From there the seeds will grow.
Here now: the seeds, that is, official results from Lighthouse Uphill Challenge 2, aka the LUC 2 at the LDR 3:
- Quincy Jeffries 46.9 (seconds)
- Andy Pliska 47.8
- Martin Vasileski 48.5
- Sean Tice 48.9
- Dan Marzon 58.0
- Gina Alo 58.0
- James D. 1:05.3 (minutes)
- Juan Ortega 1:13.0
- Basem A. 1:13.0
- Wilson Wong 1.14.8
- John McKeever 1:23.0
- Bill B. 4:40.0
Note: All participants rode T12s, except Quincy Jeffries (T6) and Basem A. (T8).
Results of the Lighthouse Uphill Challenge 1 (So Cal LSM in November, 2011):
- Quincy Jeffries 39.77 (seconds)
- Sarah Hoolihan 53.84
- Randy Boyd 55.55
- Martin Vasilevski 56.67
- Lisa Hoolihan 1:13.85 (minutes)
- Robert Drake 1:24.32
- Eddie Silveri 2:13.42
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