Founded in 1989, Swami’s Cycling Club is one of the premier and most recognized clubs in southern California. We are composed of more than 200 male and female cyclists in the San Diego region who participate in the entire spectrum of cycling activities from the adrenalin-pumping action of racing to mountain bike and fitness rides. won the Masters Scratch World Championship. Throughout the year we also organize and participate in free and fun club races, organize the Carlsbad Grand Prix race and other cycling events in the community.
Please take a few minutes to browse through our interactive timeline below. We’ve shared some of the important milestones that the club has met over the years, along with some fun club facts!
Know a great detail, accolade or milestone about the club that’s missing below? Please send it to us – photos or video are a huge bonus!
Oldest continuing Sponsor
Furgerson’s Garage – supporting Swamis since 1992
Oldest returning Sponsor
Steve Hughes with Crown Circuits (’90) and now Hughes Circuits (’08)
First time “Gurus of Cycling” coined
(First Version) Swamis first UCSF event was a track event at the SD velodrome in 1989. At that race, Ralph Elliot was providing the Start/Finish. Hearing from Mark that the name of his team was Swamis, Ralph starting commenting about Swamis over the PA. He announced to the crowd that Swamis was the “Gurus of Cycling” and that “they did their winter training at the Taj Mahal.”1989 was the first year of the CA lottery, so primes were lotto tickets, and were announced as “4 Million Dollar Primes”
(Second Version – 1993?) Mark Thomas, Dougie Pomeranz, and Hylton Murphy sitting somewhere in Solana Beach. Mark looks around with that big smile on his face and said “You know what we are? We are the gurus of cycling”
First sighting of Swami Temple on Jersey
’95 AMC Jersey
First sighting of “Gurus” on a Jersey
– ’96 Jane Jersey
– Still need picture documentation
Steve Hegg @ Tour of Tucson
John W found this.
Olympic gold medalist returns to El Tour de Tucson
Posted: Nov 21, 2008 07:05 AM
Updated: Nov 21, 2008 03:23 PM
By Lauren Burgoyne – email
Athletes from all over the world are already starting to arrive in Tucson to hit the muscle to pedal at this year’s 26th Annual El Tour De Tucson.
More than 8,000 athletes from as far as Mexico and Japan come here to take part in the Tucson tradition that raised more than $1 million for local charities last year.
But it’s more than just a ride for Olympic gold medalist, Steve Hegg who has rode in El Tour at leat 10 times.
Before El Tour, Hegg took home the gold and silver medals in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Interestingly enough, he had trained his whole life as an avid downhill skier who stumbled across his talent as a cyclist while cross training.
Hegg lives in San Diego but says he’s addicted to El Tour De Tucson and rides knowing all of the good he’s doing for the kids in the community.
Stories of Henry “Changer” Chang
Thanks to Bret Clare for this…
Changer was a good training partner but brutal if you got on his wrong side. I had fun writing this up on Google’s RBR years ago. Henry would be the first to say it is Fredly to write up training rides…
Peter Knudsen is referenced below. He was at UCSD at the time and had been riding for a few months. He later rode for Swamis then professionally for Schroeder Iron and maybe NetZero. He is in/or just completed med school.
June of 2001 may have been your last race but, please check me on this, I believe the beginning of your demise was Sunday, December 17, 2000. Your memory is better than mine.
A group of eight to ten (Cady, Chang, Daggs, DeGrouchy, Jurgen Belgian(?), Knudsen, Clare, Glenn, (Fitzgerald out with dented mouth?), others) left Leucadia at 9am and rode east on Del Dios Highway in San Diego. Sixty minutes into the ride a rock in the road took out two riders. Injured parties turn around, bloodied but ok. We proceed. Up the Lake Wohlford climb and out, up, and down Valley Center Road into the, uh, valley. Coal Grade climb is next, everyone still pretty strong, regroup at top. Back through San Luis Rey and we have to go up the back side of Sleeping Indian. Short but steep, about 70 or 80 miles into a fairly hilly ride. Two riders punch the climb, descend the dirt/gravel road, and wait for the group. No show for about fifteen minutes. Turns out HC detonated spectacularly and gets a push over the rise.
Regroup, easy and gentle on River Road, about 30 miles home. Hit the bike trail with a cross/head wind and remaining riders sense a weak link. HChang is bonking. The pace was not so fast that anyone was dropped but fast enough to make you real uncomfortable if it wasn’t your day. About fifteen to twenty minutes of 25mph.
Regroup again in Oceanside. Wind our way to Carlsbad, sun out, joggers, man painted like Tin Man, Xmas shoppers. About fifteen miles to home of flat road with a cross/tailwind. Ramp it. Someone said “Henry is hurting, maybe we should slow down”. “No, he’d leave you in a second. Like he attacks you in construction zones on Saturdays and Wednesdays”.
Henry was buried in a shallow grave at the intersection of Tamarack and Coast Highway.
Fifteen minutes later I puncture. Group continues, we’re almost home. Beautiful day in Southern California in December, great ride but feeling pretty burnt myself. Fix the tire, Henry rolls up at about 11 mph. His mouth is moving but no sound is coming out. No water, no food. He eeks out something about taking the most direct way home.
6.25 hours, 118 miles roundtrip. A top five on the all time training ride-o-meter. I remember taking note that Knudsen was pretty strong for a new rider. I’m a prophet.
Start training now Henry, we’d like your company again. Serious. A few of us recounted this story yesterday on a ride independently of the posts above.
Origins of Fred Jersey
From Ryan Cady
I just thought I would clarify the Johnny/Axel jersey thing. Since Axel has never won the World Championship it was his official Belgium Team jersey that he wore in that race and I believe he finished a very impressive 4th that year in the jersey that Johnny crashed in. Still a major fred move although I probably would have worn the jersey too as it was pretty cool. I also think we should thank the founder of the UCSD fred jersey and the person most responsible for its transfer to swamis, Henry “Changer” Chang. He also was very involved with Johnny getting this dubios honor. Henry was always the key instigator of cycling fredliness ridicule in the San Diego Cycling community and we dearly miss his shenanigans. He even used to produce a cycling newsletter(if you could call it that) called “Da Fred” that he would distribute at races with all the latest gossip and slander within the racing community. I think his motto was something like “if it’s true print it and if it’s not then print it in bold letters”. Just in case anyone is interested this is what he is up to now check out www.soulinthemachine.com His new stage name is “Stainless H”. Awesome, long live the Changer!
Mark Lathrop interview
Thanks to Lisa Rothemund, Ryan Cady, Steve Cahill for updating info below
Met with Mark at Pannikin yesterday. It was good to talk to him about Swami History. As usual, new insight occurred …..
First there are corrections or different versions to Swami History.
Swamis was started in 1989 not 1986. This was also emailed to me on Saturday, by Steve Hughes. It must be correct for I had a phone call from Mark and an email from Steve within 30 minutes of the other.
Swamis first UCSF event was a track event at the SD velodrome in 1989. At that race, Ralph Elliot was providing the Start/Finish. Hearing from Mark that the name of his team was Swamis, Ralph starting commenting about Swamis over the PA. He announced to the crowd that Swamis was the “Gurus of Cycling” and that “they did their winter training at the Taj Mahal.”1989 was the first year of the CA lottery, so primes were lotto tickets, and were announced as “4 Million Dollar Primes”
Founding Members of Swamis
Mark Lathrop, Dano Rock, Charlie Meredith, Dan Jenkins, Adrew Lee, Pete Tholl, Steve “Zoomer” Zoumaras, “Marine Dan”, Steve Quartz, Steve Hughes
The only Team member that had raced before forming Swamis was Charlie Meredith. From what I here, Charlie was the original “Bike Nazi” of Swamis, making sure that the team road 2X2 and taught the rest how to race bikes.
The first Swami to become a contender was Pete Tholl. He went from a Cat 4 (there were no Cat 5 back then) to a Cat 2 in a little more than 1 year. Swamis first podium place was 3rd in the Cat 4 Boulevard race in 1989
Rich Meaker and a 19 year old Chris Horner (who was a Cat 3 at the time) joined Swamis in 1991 and it started to become clear to the other clubs on the West Coast that Swamis was becoming a contender. In later interviews, Chris Horner was quoted as saying that “He learned bike racing, riding with Swamis”.
Rich Meeker soon became the heart & soul of the Cat 2 team. Along with driving the team to a 3rd team place at Redland in 1992, Rich taught the team be friendly and give back to the general Swami membership.
All of the Swami racers, Elite & Masters, started hanging out together at races, watching and cheering each other on.
Lance Armstrong’s first ride with Swamis
Lance was on the Jr Olympic Team when he came out to Encinitas to train. Lance showed up in his Stars & Stripes Olympic Jersey. Riding up a long hill, Lance and Charlie M were in the front riding 2X2 with Lance 1/2 wheeling Charlie. After a while, Charlie could not take it any more and launched an attack with all his effort. Just as Charlie exhausted all his energy, Lance came flying by. Charlie & a strong master racer, Art Spar tried to catch lance rotating the front, but it was clear that the young Lance was toying with them. Lance showed Swamis, what a great cyclist he would become.
Swamis First Fred Award
Many European riders rode with Swamis through the years. Axel Merckx rode a lot with us and was a good friend of John Edwards. After winning Belgian Championship, Axel gave John his winning jersey. John proud of the gift, road the Saturday Swami ride with the jersey on and on the way back on Del Dios, hit a broom stick went down and ripped Axel’s Jersey.
John’s ripping Axel’s jersey also won him the Fred of the Year award in the next hear. With this John was the first Fred winner and the only Fred to win the award two years in a row.
Thanks Mark for the info.
– Dave Callender
Swami’s RAAM History
Hi Dave– here is the answer to your questions. Let me know if you need anything else. Here it is, near as I can remember.
There was an e-mail from Beast (Kam) to everyone on the mass email list about RAAM and the 24 Hour event. He was looking for teammates for this thing. I have organized 24 hour running events, but the thought of doing a moving one through the desert intriqued me. I have never been fast on the bike, but do love riding, and I called Kam and explained this. He explained that he was looking to put a fun team together, have a great time, and go for speed as we could. As I got to know Kam more, he started commenting that I harrassed him like no one else in his life. Apparently, Kam doesn’t have a lot of people who spar with him verballly. He kept making comment on this until, in the middle of a radio interview, on air, he introduced me as “the Jackal”. The name just stuck.
I helped him a little with organizing the first year, but that was mostly him bearing the work load; I helped where I could. I enlisted Fred Muir to ride with us after I met the rest of the squad. I asked Muir to come along because I was a little worried about the group Kam had gathered. We had a friefighter who had lit his own house on fire, a guy who was living in a trailer with plans to move to a “natural area” in Fiji, a clothing manufacturing rep. who cursed more than any marine I had EVER heard, and me, a school teacher. I figured I needed to bring Muir along for a little sanity in this group. Our crew consisted of GucciGirl/The Frau, Dawn Metrisin, Tinker/my dad, eHarmony/ Dave Callendar and Allhands, one of the greatest massage therapist/girlfriends a guy could have. We found out later that Allhands had a fever the whole race and never let on, kept feeding us, as well as get the kinks out of the muscles. The rest of us took turns driving. Crewing four yourself in on of these 24 hour races is crazy– can’t see how we thought that was going to be a good idea.
We raced, and raced hard. Far and away the worst road I have EVER encountered was the highway past Plaster City in El Centro. The cracks were 2-5 inches wide, and unevenly spaced 5-22 inches apart. With the spacing you could never really get a smooth cadence going. The temperature out past Glamis was 116 f., and in Prescott that year at 2 int he morning it got down to 46 f. We ended up with one guy in the hospital taking in bags and bags of fluid through the vein, and one guy delusional in the back of the follow vehicle. We also accrued a record number of time penalties for a wide variety of rule infractions. Still not sure what many of them were, but I do remember there were a lot. I mean, a lot.
The party that year in Flagstaff was at a place called the Beaver. The Clif Bar team took first from us, but we weren’t far behind for a second place finish. Everyone rode strong, left what they had out on the road, and we partied in Flagstaff. I am not sure the management of the Beaver wants to see us in their establishment again. And fortunately for us we had a “get out of jail free” card in one of our crew members.
The next few years were much smoother because the learning curve ont hat first route was HUGE. The subsequent years have been spent reclaiming Swami’s good name with the referees out on the road in this event. They love us now, but wer enot happy with us after that first year. Soemthing about some record set for time penalties. Anyway, the next two years I put together a different group of riders, placed second, one time tot he other Swami’s team. I am perpetually second plac ein this race, arrggghhh! Have made some great friends, gained some good memories and got to see some STUNNING parts of California and Arizona by bike. The logistics of setting up a squad of people to do this is crazy, but worth it. I hope the fun my teammates have had is worth the energy they put into it. I think it is. Biek racing is such a solitary sport most of the time, this is one race where you really rely on others to motivate you, keep you going at top speed and going and going. This is one place where we can be ourselves, not little clods of suffering ailments convinced that the world won’t go the way we want it to. There are no excuses out here, just your squad, suffering with you. The desert doesn’t care what kind of car you drive and the mountains don’t care what your income is– they just let you be.
My favorite part is after the race. Some of us ride part way home. We roll out of Flagstaff the next morning and head down hwy. 89. We ride downt o Sedona, then eat something and get back into the car. There is just something about that relaxed ride with the squad. Like returning home form battle. Win or lose, we were in the fight.- few people these days can say they gave something there all. I got to ride with some of those few, and I am a better person for it.
– Erik Conklin (Jackal)
Eyerman wins Pro Cycling event in 2001
Mercury Cycling Classic of Irvine
Carney, Eyerman win one for the ‘little guys’ at Mercury Cycling Classic of Irvine
By John Alsedek – Cycling News Sept 2001
Prime Alliance’s Jonas Carney and Jenny Eyerman of jane Cosmetics took advantage of golden opportunities to win the Mercury Cycling Classic of Irvine. With the Saturn Cycling Team virtually absent from both the Men’s and Women’s events, it opened the door for the duo to pick up the biggest victories of the season for their respective teams, and led to some highly exciting race action in the process.
The inaugural Mercury Cycling Classic of Irvine featured all the ingredients necessary to make it an immediate success: great weather, enthusiastic crowds, and, of course, a venue worthy of a Pro Cycling Tour event. Held on a 1.5-mile loop at the Irvine Spectrum – one of the most popular shopping areas in Orange County, attracting 35,000 visitors a day – with the Start/Finish area located in front of Mercury’s newly-opened International Headquarters, the race course included nine turns and an out-and-back section each lap.
(I cut away the men’s discussion – Dave C)
The absence of Saturn was felt more strongly in the Women’s event, given the way that the women in yellow have dominated the 2001 Pro Cycling Tour from the very beginning. While the field wasn’t quite as strong as usual, the racing was far more open, as there was no clear cut favourite for victory. The smart money was riding on the upstart Procter & Gamble squad, coming off a strong second in the San Rafael Grand Prix, to move one step further up on the podium.
However, with no breakaway attempt gaining more than a few seconds before being reeled back in, it came down to a group sprint – which meant it was anyone’s race. While Procter & Gamble did a good job of setting up team sprinter Joanne Kiesanowski, the young New Zealander, still recovering from a recent crash, wasn’t quite able to hold off the 25-year old Eyerman. Eyerman, the 1999 Collegiate National Criterium Champion, was almost in tears after the finish, as she celebrated the biggest victory of her four-year racing career.
“I don’t know what to say! I’ve come close in a couple of big races this year, but to win a Pro Cycling Tour event…..it’s just awesome! I’d like to thank my sponsor, jane Cosmetics, for making it possible – they’ve been a great benefactor to women’s cycling.”
Temecula native Sarah Hammer (Zero Wait) was third, with Pam Schuster (AutoTrader.com) and Theresa Nugent (South Bay Wheelmen) taking fourth and fifth.
There were no changes in the overall Pro Cycling Tour standings, as Men’s leader Trent Klasna (Saturn) and Women’s leader Anna Millward (Saturn) both retained their orange hats of series leadership. The 2001 Pro Cycling Tour concludes on October 22nd with the Miami Cycling Classic in Miami, Florida.
Fred Jersey Background – UCSD
From Zack Simkover (DET team member & former UCSD rider)
The Fred Jersey still resides with UCSD. They have a few skinsuits that are probably at least 10 years old that still get worn in races. Each week a rider is elected the dubious honor, “Fred of the Week.” The WCCC (Western Collegiate Cycling Conference) rule book states that all teams must race in team clothing, with the exception of UCSD, which may also race in the “Fred Suit.”
As I said, the UCSD team still uses and races in the Fred Jersey, it is one of the team’s oldest traditions. Back in 2003 I won my first 2 races I ever participated in, wearing the Fred (Boulevard and Red Trolley, both in Collegiate Men’s C’s.)
Most of this content was supplied from http://swamishistory.blogspot.com. We’ll continue to add new details as they are brought to us.