Wolfpack Hustle Marathon Crash Race
The Wolfpack Hustle
Now a semi-licensed three-event road-race series that stretches over the better part of a year, The Wolfpack Hustle, which began as a simple weekly night ride, is becoming something of a Los Angeles institution. The 2013 trifecta will wrap this Saturday with the 6th Street Drag Race, but the biggest draw tends to be the annual kickoff event: the Marathon Crash Race. (The middle event is the Civic Center Criterium, held June 23 this year.) This gallery gives you an overview of the Marathon Crash Race's four-year history, beginning here with the 2013 starting area and a portion of the estimated 4,000 racers who pedaled the L.A. Marathon course's 26.2 miles earlier this spring. (Don't worry -- they roll through in the wee hours of the morning, well before the trotters arrive.)
Wolfpack Hustle riders congregate in 2010 at Tang's, an all-night doughnut shop in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, after a night of high-velocity urban pedaling. The series began here in 2005 not as an organized race event, but as an informal Monday-night pedal amongst friends -- and the odd skateboarder.
Riders take a pit stop in the desert during the 17-hour Wolfpack Hustle Los Angeles to Las Vegas adventure in 2011. The Hustle takes many forms and has spread to locations close to and far-flung from the City of Angels.
2002 X Games Downhill BMX gold medalist Robbie Miranda, left, and Victor Rosales chatting during the 2011 Wolfpack Hustle Los Angeles to Las Vegas adventure. The Hustle attracts riders of all stripes, not just those enamored with skinny slicks.
The starting line of the Wolfpack Hustle Marathon Crash Race 2, in 2011. The Elliott Smith "Figure 8" wall -- so-called for its appearance on the cover of the late artist's record of that name -- is visible on the left side of the photo.
Participants at the end of the 2012 Wolfpack Hustle Marathon Crash Race. The event drew approximately 2,000 participants -- more than double the previous year's attendance.
The Marathon Crash Race "crashes" the L.A. Marathon course. For too many racers, unfortunately, the name is a double entendre. At left, Fabian Vasquez, a race favorite and the current leader of the weekly Wolfpack Hustle, after a fall near the finish of the 2013 event. At right, Lindsay's race wounds from the 2012 Marathon Crash Race.
Robbie Miranda is a former BMX race pro -- he even has a bunch of X Games entries (and one gold medal) to his name -- but his roots are with the courier scene in Washington, D.C. Youthful distractions paid off years later with a first-place overall Wolfpack finish in 2012.
The 2012 Wolfpack Hustle Marathon Crash Race didn't exactly go according to organizer Roadblock's plan: In the confusion that defines a mob of 2,000 amping cyclists, a grip of riders jumped the proverbial gun and headed out before the appointed start time. (Roadblock rounded 'em up and restarted the mission, though.)
They may not be proper trophies in the usual sense of the word, but these dog tags, awarded to the winner of each Wolfpack Hustle category, are coveted in many cycling circles.
Lamps from the rolling start of the 2013 Wolfpack Hustle Marathon Crash Race illuminate the still-dark early-morning streets of Silver Lake. Though the event remains not 100 percent legal, a few local squad cars still help manage traffic for the racers.
Trail -- Er, Road Boss
Event organizer Roadblock makes some announcements at the starting line of the 2013 Wolfpack Hustle Marathon Crash Race. Part of the original pack of Hustlers back in 2005, he did his first ride from Tang's on a skateboard.
Evan Stade (left) and Craig Streit, post-Wolfpack Hustle Marathon Crash Race 2013. Stade was first overall, while Streit came in second overall, but first in the fixed-gear category.