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Thank You

With about a month left in our 2015 road season, we reflect on what has made this past year so special. While some of our success stems from the efforts of our 8 man roster, there is no way we could do this without the love and support from all of you. In our latest blog we express our gratitude to the businesses and individuals who have made this season possible.


Bill George’s Olathe Subaru

We are a bit biased, but the guys and gals at Olathe Subaru are the best. Subaru’s have always been a great vehicle for anybody living an outdoor lifestyle, but the Olathe Subaru experience takes it to next level.
Where else are you going to find a car dealership that allows you to host roller races for a bunch of crazy cyclists? The Olathe Subaru Cyclefest was a great event that helped us raise money for local junior cyclists.

In the past two years quite a few people have chosen Olathe Subaru to purchase their new vehicles, and we couldn’t be more appreciative of all of you. By choosing Olathe Subaru you’re not only supporting a great community business, but also showing your support of our team and the growth of Kansas cycling.

Thank you!

#ridesubaru #drivesubaru #olathesubarusmash

Rider Kent Woermann and his girlfriend Kelly Skinner (Trek Women's Racing) with their brand new Subaru just before heading off to a race!

Rider Kent Woermann and his girlfriend Kelly Skinner (Trek Women’s Racing) with their brand new Subaru Crosstrek just before heading off to a race!


Trek Bicycle Stores

There are many cycling shops in the Kansas City area, but few that can offer the Trek Bicycle Stores experience. The staff is knowledgeable about everything from high end racing bikes to comfort cruisers and always make us feel at home.

The people working for Trek understand that cycling is more than just a hobby; it’s a lifestyle and a huge part of our daily lives. They understand that when we purchase a bike we’re investing our hard earned cash and expect a product that will perform to our standards. Fortunately, Trek’s standards are high and our Trek bikes have been glorious.

We’ve raced our Emondas’ in the rain, through mountains, around the sketchiest of criterium corners, and even through gravel roads. In every situation the Emonda has delivered us to the podium with confidence – and more importantly – style.

In addition, the Bontrager accessories available at the Trek Store are at the top of their game. In the past few years they made huge improvements in their clothing line and accessory gear. Everything from their socks to their wheels has impressed us this year. The quality is solid and you would never guess by looking at our Bontrager equipment how much hell it’s been through this season. This stuff is made to last!

Thank you!

#trekbikes #trekmidwest

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Most of the team after Garrick wins the overall at Tour of Kansas City aboard his Trek Emonda.


Louis Garneau

The very first time wearing LG clothing – “This is the nicest stuff I’ve ever worn!”

After nearly 6000 miles of wearing LG clothing – “This is the nicest stuff I’ve ever worn!”

Our favorite piece this season was the Course Skinsuit. Skinsuits are infamous for their lack of versatility, usually only ideal for time trials or shorter races like criteriums. The LG skinsuit is a game changer, with the addition of pockets and a new zipper design, you can now comfortably wear the skinsuit in all types of races. The breathability of them is a surprise as well since most skinsuits we’ve worn in the past can feel a bit claustrophobic on a hot/humid day. This piece was ridden to the top step of the podium in a number of long road races this year, a testament to the versatility of the Course.

Next up on our favorites list was the LG Course Helmet. We never verified the aerodynamic claims (although Bike Radar did and it scored very well – check it out here), but the breathability and feel of the helmet was undoubtedly awesome. These helmets were so light with a much small profile that you can barely tell you’re wearing a helmet at all.

Thank you!

#louisgarneau

 Rider Michael Allison wore the LG Course Skinsuit and LG Course Helmet to victory during 110 mile road race at this years Joe Martin Stage Race. Photo: Ethan Glading


Rider Michael Allison wore the LG Course Skinsuit and LG Course Helmet to victory during 110 mile road race at this years Joe Martin Stage Race.
Photo: Ethan Glading


GP Velotek

The Velotek crew has been a great supporter of our endeavors and a huge part of our initial growth as a team. The professional help we’ve received from many of it’s members has been instrumental in our success, and we are very thankful for all they have done.

In 2016 we’ll be taking on many new ventures. Our strength as a team can be used to benefit the greater cycling community and help out in many aspects, ranging from junior development, supporting women’s cycling, and performing community service with various other organizations. In 2016 we will no longer have a formal partnership with VeloTek, but we will continue to be active with the cycling community as a whole with the goal of growing the sport.

Thank you!

#gpvelotek

The Olathe Subaru guys riding with some of the Velotek juniors to help teach them some riding/racing skills.

The Olathe Subaru guys riding with some of the Velotek juniors to help teach them some riding/racing skills.


Chamois Butt’r

What can we say… Butt’r makes it better! We put in a lot of hard miles every season and for years Chamois Butt’r has been there to ensure our butts are comfortable on the saddle.

In recent years the Butt’r brand has expanded their product line to include some other great products that we’ve used regularly throughout the season. Skin Wash, Kit Wash, and even embrocation for winter training and spring racing!

Rider Kent Woermann applying some embrocation before a chilly spring race.

Rider Kent Woermann applying some embrocation before a chilly spring race. He also has the Skin Wash ready for his post race shower.

One of the team favorites has been the Skin Wash. After a hard race we usually (always) smell horrible and feel gross from all the sweat, sports drink, road grime, and whatever else we managed to get ourselves into. This isn’t good when you need to grab some food and drive a few hours home. To help resolve the issue we developed the “Skin Wash Shower”. This involves dousing ourselves with Skin Wash then rinsing off with a little water and finishing with a quick towel dry. The water and towel aren’t necessary, and you might argue the Skin Wash isn’t either, but the combo of the three leaves you feeling fresh enough that you might forget you need a shower when you finally get home.

Thank you!

#buttrmakesitbetter

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Lawrence Bicycle Club

This was our second year working with Lawrence Bicycle Club. They are a huge staple within the Lawrence cycling community, hosting some of some of the best weekly group rides and events such as Lizard Under the Skillet and Octaginta. They are great advocates for the sport and our partnership with them is an effort to bridge the gap between recreational cyclists and racers.

Thank you!

#LBC #lawrencebikeclub

The team joined the fun at the Lawrence Community bike ride.

The team joined the fun at the Lawrence Community bike ride.


Move Up Endurance Coaching

Kent Woermann of Move Up Endurance Coaching came on this year as a rider for our team, and sponsor for our team’s coaching needs. Kent has a true passion to help athletes achieve their goals. This is apparent not only through his work with the team, but with his involvement with other cyclists in the community. We’re happy to be a part of Move Up Endurance Coaching and excited to see Kent’s impact on cyclist’s development in the future!

Thanks Kent!

#moveupcoaching

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Topeka Ear, Nose, and Throat / Callahan Creek / Wirken Photography

Doug Barnes of Topeka, Ear, Nose, and Throat has been a tremendous help in getting our team off the ground. He is a local cyclist in Topeka and has been so generous to our team the past two seasons. Thanks Doug!

If you have ridden with us, or seen us out at races, chances are you have noticed our stripey kits and possibly even commented on them. Frankie Andreu coined us the “Striped-Boys” at this year’s Tulsa Tough. Chris Ralston was the artist behind our look this season, and we have received nothing but positive feedback. At Joe Martin, one team commented saying they were the coolest kits they had ever seen. We agree. You’re a true artist Chris. Thank you!

If you ride bikes in Kansas, you probably know David Tjiptogarsono. He is one of the friendliest guys in the sport, and is the best cycling photographer we know- not to mention he is a nationally ranked wedding photographer. Many of the photos you see on our website, social media, and promotional items are because of this awesome dude. You’re a wizard behind the camera lens, David. Thank you!


Our Friends and Family in the Community

There are plenty of folks not named in this list who have played a huge role in what we are doing. We are fortunate to have so many supportive friends and family members who have been so important in our team’s progression this season. From January to September we spend hundreds of hours riding and racing our bikes, traveling across the country eating Chipotle, all in the name of this sport, and we are continually amazed by the love and encouragement that we receive from so many of you. Thank you so much, and we can’t wait to see what is possible next year.

#midwestcycling #thankyou

Olathe Subaru Collage

Joe Martin Stage Race Part 2

Saturday: Stage 3- 87 mile Road Race

By Garrick Valverde

Saturday was the 87-mile road race with just over 5,000 feet of climbing, which is pretty significant. There’s an 8-mile trek out to a 25-mile course that we do three laps of. The stage started with a neutral roll out of about four miles. During this roll out, I was trying to convince myself that everyone’s legs were feeling as stiff as mine. Once the moto gave us the green flag, attacks were rapid. Benn and Kent got in several of these early moves. The temp was a bit hot, like 80 degrees or so. I haven’t done many hot races this year, so I wasn’t sure how my body would react. I was tentative in these early miles because I knew if I went too far into the red too early, I might have a hard time recovering.

The first major climb is about ten miles in. The pace was nearly full gas every time up this climb, and it was here where most riders were dropped. I knew I had decent legs after the first time up, which allowed me to shake off any concern that I hadn’t recovered well from the day before. By the first hour, the pace was very high, and our team had already lost two riders, Benn and Scott. But the worst event by far was that Michael flatted about hallway through the lap while I was in a small break. I had no idea until about a lap later when a rider asked me if Michael had made it back on. “Made it back on?” I thought, “Oh crap.” So I spent the next ten minutes wondering if I was the only one left, as I had also not seen Kent in a while. To my great relief, Michael eventually did end up making it back on.

Lap three, and the group is mostly all suffering. We’ve lost nearly half of the 100 starters. On the climbs, guys are grimacing, some actually cramping and grunting. It’s ugly. I’m able to stay top ten up these climbs, and I’m feeling better and better. With about 20 miles to go, I’m starting to think about the finish. I just want to be at the front. I wasn’t sure exactly how it would go down. The finish is different than years past with a 90-degree turn about 300 meters to the line, and the road is ever so slightly up hill.

With ten miles to go, riders are starting to get fidgety. There’s a break of 3 just up the road that are destined to be caught. Riders are already starting to bump with one another, and I’m just trying to move up every chance I get. There’s a major crash about 8 miles to go to my left. I hear tires popping and carbon colliding. I frantically look for Michael and Kent. Michael is in 2nd, so if he’s not with us, I’d need to go back right away and help him bridge back on. It’s one of those times where I really wish we had radios. Thankfully, I spot him and Kent. At this point, my adrenaline is high. I’m entirely focused on being at the front. Kent graciously moves me up, and takes a long pull with about 5 miles to go. I’m sitting 3rd wheel. I tell myself I’m not moving out of the top ten, but I keep getting swarmed.

Bike racing to me is kind of like a language you’re trying to decipher. Or maybe it’s like a complex math equation, or rather dozens of equations going on at the same time. Our brains are taking in huge volumes of information, analyzing it, and then deciding ok; take this riders spot, move up now, this guy isn’t going to let you in, try to take the spot of the guy in front of him. The rider on your left is trying to pass, move a few inches over, don’t let him in, let this guy in, he’ll keep the pace high; he’s working for so and so. Brake, let go of brakes, now move up again. It’s very frantic and a little stressful, but it’s maybe one of the most exciting aspects of bike racing.

With about a kilometer to go, I’m top ten. A few riders on the front peel off, and I’m going into the final turn in about 7th. I see an opening to my left, and I gun it. I’m passing riders one by one. An Arapahoe Resources rider veers into my line and we collide shoulders briefly. I have one more rider ahead. A few more pedal strokes and I come by him just before the line. I couldn’t believe I just won. I look back, almost in disbelief, and find Michael whose first words are “Duuuude!” with a massive grin on his face.

Sunday: Stage 4- 50 minute Criterium

By: Michael Allison

I came in to Sunday’s stage with two very strong, very different emotions. On the one hand, we had won the two road stages at the biggest stage race in the Midwest- super pumped! On the other, Kent and I had lost our 2nd and 15th placings in the GC, and I was gutted. The day before, when I flatted my rear wheel, Kent and Austin waited with me to help pace me back to the field. The wheel change took slightly longer than we would have hoped, but the moto ref waited with us, and I was expecting a nice, short TTT effort up to the field. It wasn’t a minute into the chase that I realized we were screwed. The moto had very clearly never motor paced before and we were doing 350-400 watts just to try to catch his wheel. Fast forward 20 minutes. My avg pwr from the chase is 310 watts. The field is in sight, but I’m about to blow. My HR is 190. Kent and Austin are both gone having wasted themselves to try to get me back to the pack. After making it up the wall, the moto ref leaves me, and I think my race is done. Shortly after my raced is saved, at least it seemed that way at the time. A cop pulls up alongside me, and I get a sticky bottle that allows me to rejoin the pack. Garrick wins the stage, I finish 11th, Kent gets same time. However, we quickly realized the consequences of the race saving scenario Kent and I had found ourselves in. There were protests, and we were relegated to the back of the front group. Kent and I were both penalized two minutes in GC. Really sad, but it was a lose-lose situation. Still, Garrick took the win, and that softened the blow big time.

So, Sunday’s race. My plan was to be as aggressive as possible. Partly out of frustration. But also to continue the previous three days efforts to showcase our team. The crit was only 50 minutes. The course is basically a short .1 mile steep climb to the finish, followed by two long descents, and two short flats leading into the finishing hill. I didn’t get a very good starting position, but I put in some hard efforts in the first half lap to move up quickly, knowing it wouldn’t take long for the early move to go. On the 2nd lap, the first move came from Luis Galaviz (Fayetteville Wheelman). I went with, hoping to bring along a couple other riders, however it was just me and him. The next lap around was a cash prime lap, and I suggested we work smoothly and split the money. I made the mistake of not looking back to see where the field was after the 2nd to last turn, and didn’t see the lone chaser that came up on us too fast after the final turn to react. Luis and I lost the prime, but I quickly jumped up to the other rider and went around him to keep the field off. The next four or five laps I was solo, but was quickly reeled in after being joined by 2 other riders. I was able to get a lap of recovery in the field before another group went off. The effort this new group put in to distance ourselves from the field hurt, and I was beginning to really feel the previous effort. We made it a few laps just the three of us, and were then somehow joined by another group of about 10 that had many of the GC favorites. I briefly thought that this large group might be the winning move however, it was too close to the finish and we were caught. I was fried anyways, and the rest of the race was a blur. There were 3 or 4 laps to go, and a suicide move went off the front, and I tried following. I couldn’t really pull, but the field wasn’t far off and this move had no chance anyways.

This final break got caught with two to go going up the finishing climb. I was shot. Garrick was in great position as the field came by. The group had been reduced to about 30 riders, and there were many smaller groups that passed in the final lap. I saw Kent, and tried to hang on to the group he was in, but I could hardly turn over the pedals. I finished the crit by myself, the moto ref behind me, meaning I was the last person on the course. I found Garrick, who had placed fifth, and the rest of the team and we sat near the finish reminiscing on the memories that we created from the weekend. The final lap of the race was an opportunity for me to reflect on our huge accomplishments, and it was clear to me that despite some of the setbacks and making some mistakes, we still were able to ride strong as a team and get major results at each stage of one of the biggest races on our calendar. Joe Martin was a stepping stone for us as we head into the summer calendar and the rest of the season.

We are so grateful for everyone’s support. Our next race is Quad Cities in Iowa over Memorial Day Weekend.

 

Garrick wins Stage 3 Road Race; Photo: Dean Warren

Michael in the break on Sundays stage; Photo: Dean Warren

Garrick and Kent in the field; Photo: Dean Warren

Garrick and Kent in the field; Photo: Dean Warren

Kent in the field on Stage 4; Photo: Dean Warren

Kent in the field on Stage 4; Photo: Dean Warren

Jason Waddell (Tulsa Wheelmen) won Stage 4, Garrick Valverde sprinted to 5th place; Photo: Dean Warren

Jason Waddell (Tulsa Wheelmen) won Stage 4, Garrick Valverde sprinted to 5th place; Photo: Dean Warren

Joe Martin Stage Race Part 1

Thursday: Stage 1- Devils Den Time Trial

By Kent Woermann

Everybody’s pre-race game is a little different. Most of the team blast techno and fist pump their way through their morning, while I prefer a more relaxed approach, starting with a nice quiet breakfast, maybe a little Mumford and Sons, then taking a little more time than necessary to pin my number, get dressed, and start my race warm-up. The start of today’s stage didn’t involve any techno, but nothing else seemed to be going well, or at least I didn’t think so.

We got to the venue with plenty of time, but parking was a little different than years past and we had to walk about 3-4 minutes up a hill to the registration table. I know it’s pitiful to complain about a little walking, but I knew what was in store for me this weekend and saving every step I could was important.

Scott and I got the the registration table and they needed to see our race license before they would hand over our packets. Scott was already logged into the USAC app and got his right away but I left my phone at the car and since I went ‘green’ this year that was my only option. I tried logging into the app from Scott’s phone but the internet connection was shaky at best. After a few login attempts I gave up, walked back to the car, and walked back. My nice time cushion for number pinning and warming up was rapidly fading.

Getting back to the car I had 3 things that needed to happen; pin number, get dressed, and change out brake pads. I won’t get into the details, but getting these three tasks accomplished didn’t go smoothly – although they didn’t go that bad either. My race brain was making events seem slower than they actually were.

So I got dressed and rode down to the starting gate to check on my start time. I still had 40 minutes left which was more than enough. I used the climb on the other side of the race venue and went up and down it a few times. I felt pretty good.

On to the race…

My goal was to pace the first 1:15 at around threshold. My power meter fizzled out earlier that week so I had to do this by feel. I had specific power goals for the entire course but that mostly got thrown out the window. I can gauge what my threshold feels like when I’m fresh, but when the pain starts to creep in a few minutes into a time trial everything just feels hard. My goal after 1:15 was to push to the burn, embrace the burn, then push harder.

As I was nearing the end I saw the top of the hill where the race used to finish and I unleashed my final kick. As I got closer I realized the vehicle and the guy at the ‘finish line’ was just a photographer and I had to keep going. I had just given everything I had to finish and my legs were shot. I went from being super happy because my time was the best it’s ever been to really frustrated.

I did what I could to keep my speed up and when I saw the real 200 meter to-go sign I tried sprinting again, only this time it was really slow and twice as painful as the first. I crossed with a finishing time of 9:40ish.

I was really disappointed with this time because I’ve been training hard, eating better, and lighter and stronger than I’d been in a few years. To only shave a few seconds off my PR for this course after doing all the right things was discouraging to say the least. I even said to Michael and Scott afterwards, “I could lose another 20 pounds and I would still suck on this course”. It hadn’t dawned on me at this point that the course was longer than in years past.

So it turns out that the course was actually about 600 meters longer than previous years and I finished 12th overall. Had it been the course from years past I would have finished with a time of ~ 8:59 which would have been 45 seconds faster than I’ve ever done. Needless to say I was very happy to learn this.

It was a good start to the weekend, but we had our work cut out for us. Michael was :50 down, and Garrick was 1:08 down due to dropping his chain.

Friday: Stage 2- 110 mile Road Race

By Michael Allison

We went into Friday’s stage with the intention of protecting Kent’s position in the GC and possibly moving him up. There wasn’t a specific game plan going into the stage. Kent wasn’t high enough in the GC where we felt like we needed to send someone in the early break, and it is such a long race that it is difficult to anticipate how the tactics will play out. For 110 miles, a lot of it comes down to attrition. My personal game plan was to survive over Mt. Gaylor, assess how I felt, and maybe if I still had legs going into town I would get in a move.

The first 47 miles or so were like any race. Fast, jumpy, and aggressive until the early break finally forms. At about mile 30, Jacob White (Arapahoe Resources) jumped off the front, and in the next 5 or 10 miles a few others jumped to him to make it a 5 man move up the road. It began raining at about mile 50. We were going at a moderate pace, and Garrick came up to me shivering, commenting on how cold it was getting. I was getting cold as well, and it didn’t help that I could barely see what was ahead. The only thought running through my head was to get through the race and get into some warm clothes.

Thankfully, the rain began to die down as we headed into the 10-mile climb up Gaylor. My legs felt decent and I was drinking and eating as much as I could, saving as much energy as possible sitting towards the back of the pack. Before the ascent, I had Scott bring me up into the top 20 of the field and I hung in around there for most of the climb.

After the feed zone at the top, it is basically downhill for the rest of the race. Attacks started to go, and I was following almost everything that went. The attacks continued for 5 miles, but at mile 95 the group reset and Ricky Randall (Arapahoe Resources) was the lone rider out in front. I jumped to him, hoping I was dragging one or two others with me, but turned around and realized it was just the two of us.

For the next 2 miles it was just us, but we were then joined by his teammate Evan Bybee and Evan East (Hincapie Development). 13 miles to go. We had about 15 seconds on the group. About 2 miles later we were joined by another Hincapie rider, Ian Garrison, as well as Bill Mulligan (LAPT-Wilde Subaru). Our gap was still roughly 15 seconds, but with six of us my confidence in the break sticking was increasing.

I don’t know when it was that the group let our gap increase, but with about 6 miles to go I turned around and realized our gap had increased significantly. With 3km to go, I stopped pulling. With two other teams in the break having the advantage, I left it to them to set the pace.

With 1.5 km to go, there is a steep pitch just after a right hand turn. We weren’t taking risks into the corners, so we were slightly spread out. Evan East was a couple seconds ahead of us having gone into the right hander first, so I punched it as hard as I could over the top of the hill. I looked back to see East on my wheel and a decent gap to the rest of our breakaway companions. I signaled for him to pull through, but he shouted to keep going, that he was only looking for GC time. I didn’t trust him completely and was prepared to sprint coming to the line, but with 100m to go realized I would take the win. I wasn’t focused on what the announcer was saying, but as I threw my hands up I could very clearly hear him shout “from Kansas!”, almost in a surprised tone.

 

Garrick dropped his chain in Stage 1; Photo: Dean Warren

Garrick dropped his chain in Stage 1; Photo: Dean Warren

Garrick remains calm after an unfortunate chain drop. Photo: Dean Warren

Garrick remains calm after an unfortunate chain drop. Photo: Dean Warren

Kent Woermann powered his way to 12th place in Stage 1; Photo: Dean Warren

Kent Woermann powered his way to 12th place in Stage 1; Photo: Dean Warren

Austin Elser in Thursdays TT; Photo: Dean Warren

Austin Elser in Thursdays TT; Photo: Dean Warren

Benn Stover in the Devil's Den TT; Photo: Dean Warren

Benn Stover in the Devil’s Den TT; Photo: Dean Warren

Scott Williamson in Thursday's TT; Photo: Dean Warren

Scott Williamson in Thursday’s TT; Photo: Dean Warren

Michael near the end of the 2.5 mile TT; Photo: Biff Stephens

Michael near the end of the 2.5 mile TT; Photo: Biff Stephens

Michael takes the victory in stage 2; Photo: Ethan Glading

Michael takes the victory in stage 2; Photo: Ethan Glading

Louis Garneau Course Helmet Review

We are so happy (and thankful) to be riding some of the best equipment for this upcoming 2015 season. One of which is the Course Helmet from Louis Garneau. This is our rider review for this beauty. Enjoy!

garneau-course-helmet-side

LG Course

First off I am willing to bet that most of us are attracted to a product because of aesthetics reasons first, not function. We must applaud LG for their killer design. I personally think its one of the most visually pleasing helmets on the market. It carries a clean look on and off the rider. When worn the straps lay flush on the head, which only enhances the compact look.

How about the functionality of the helmet? LG spent much of their R&D in the wind tunnel. The Course helmet was created and critiqued with a rider in many riding position. Makes sense developing a helmet that way to me, but to my understanding LG was ahead of the curve on this one.  In short, when you change position from hoods to the drops the helmet is working harder for you to minimize the drag. When it was all said and done, they came up with an original design, that looks great, has an aerodynamic quality that is almost unrivaled by any other road helmet, and most importantly offers large vents to keep your noggin cool during the hot Summer Midwest days. And when you are sweating during those hot days, the anti-microbial padding inside the helmet will prevent you and your helmet from stinking.

LG takes a unique approach when addressing the safety, and comfort features of their innovative top tier helmet as well. All helmets in the U.S. must pass Department of Transportation Standards, which is good for all of us, but LG takes it one step farther by providing a safety light that attaches to the back by Velcro to the ratcheting system. It is a cool perk and it works great for those dusk/night rides! I know what you’re thinking, the light gets in the way of the comfort/and adjustment of the helmet? But that is not at all the case. The light stays out of the way, and you forget that its there protecting your rear from meeting a solid piece of steel. Even with the light attached the ratcheting system is still accessible and offers a wide range of micro-adjustments right at your finger tips. It gives a solid and snug placement on your head and all of these features only add 250 grams to your race day dress.

All in all, Louis Garneau offers great protection from the dangers of the open road that looks great, is aero, and is very breathable. If you are interested in riding the LG Course this year or click on the link below:

Check out the LG Course Helmet!

Thanks for Reading!