With the news of Lance dropping his case against the UCI, it seems that cyclists and non-cyclists are both drawing proverbial lines in the sand regarding their own opinions on his guilt or innocence. In all honesty, I couldn’t care less. I’ve never liked Armstrong (yeah, I said it); I know people that have known him for years and I hear he’s not the nicest of people. I’ve always been more of a Greg LeMond fan.
But I digress.
Despite my personal opinion of Armstrong, I still respect his accomplishments. Just like how I hate the music of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, but I respect what they did for pop rock, if that makes any sense since I hate pop rock too. Although I like Pop Rocks! Regardless of winning clean or riding dirty, Armstrong still won more Tours than anyone before him.
Let’s face it kids. Cycling has been the center of drug controversy for over 100 years. Cyclists have been creating performance enhancing concoctions since the 1880′s.
In the short time I’ve had this blog, I’ve received numerous comments, emails, etc from the stereotypical Spandex-clad yuppie cyclists who insist that what we’re doing on the streets is not “real racing.” They have implied that those racing alleycats are nothing more than hipsters riding fixies slowly and nourishing negative stereotypes of cycling.
One of them wrote me and said to “come to a real race and get dropped like a bad habit.”
Considering I don’t train and I spend more time at the pizza parlor than the gym, that is a very real possibility.
However, I know of a few local alleycat racers that are licensed, legitimate UCI racers, so if that guy wanted to race any of these guys, I’d have my money on the alleycat racers because if you can safely race on the streets during Friday night traffic, racing in a controlled environment should be a breeze.
The idea that we perpetuate a negative portrayal of cycling may be true. Sure a lot of racers drink whiskey and/or beer before, during and after the races. A lot of them smoke the weed. But I’ve never seen anyone blowing lines at an alleycat or shooting steroids at an alleycat.
And….I have to say, that once you get to know many of the alleycat racers, most of them are pretty nice people. Maybe a little stranger than your average yuppie cyclist, but they all stop to help out a fellow rider, they all look out for each other.
Which is more than I can say for the average yuppie Spandexman who “trains” furiously on the bike paths around town, yelling at people to move over so he can get through.
We’re not the bad guys here. We’re just out to have some fun.
If anything, the media exploitation of the sport of cycling is the evil at work.
Directly from Rob himself:
“What it is?
The Rebel without a Cog is a Three event Alleycat Omnium.
There will be two alleycats and a circut race over the course of two days.
You can only come out and play if you are riding a fixed gear.
It doesn’t matter if your bike is beat down butt ugly or a shinny stallion with new thompson shit.
I don’t care if you have a brake because you suck, or if you have a brake to be safe, or if you have a brake to go fast.
I don’t care if you ride brake-less you reckless fucks.
Any and all fixed gear bikes will be accepted.”
I’ve been looking to this race all summer. Not that I have any chance of winning, but it would have been cool as hell to get these guys on camera. Alas, the races are scheduled the same weekend as the Washington MS Ride, of which, I’ve already committed to.
If you’re like me, you can’t stop. Besides, why would you want to??
In celebration of all things bikes and some things Hollywood, we’re having an alleycat race ending with the movie Premium Rush. I can’t wait to see the guy from 3rd Rock From the Sun rippin’ through traffic on his brakelessfixie turned trials bike turned mountain bike.
From race organizer Jake:
“Premium Rush Race Friday, August 24th here in Seattle. It’s gonna be a fun quick race with a couple of twists for the opening night of this ever so epic bike messenger movie. The race is going to end a little after 8pm in the graffiti lot across from The Paramount Theatre at 8th and Pine St. Non racers and friends should meet everyone there to award the winners and go to the movie as a group shortly after. Movie times have yet to be released but we are shooting for a showing just after 9pm at the Pacific Place AMC (600 Pine St.). Hope to see you all there!
This race is to help fund the 2013 North American Cycle Courier Championships in Seattle next summer. For more info or if you would like to sponsor this or other NACCC fund raisers events email me : firstname.lastname@example.org”
On Saturday, August 4th, race organizers Alan Zian-Chen and Wade Schultz brought us their second race of the season, entitled “Rabbit Hole.” Due to a few factors, mainly being the day after the Dead Baby Downhill and record high temperatures in the Seattle area, only the hardest of core turned out for this. Or, on my case, gluttons for punishment.
In fact, Alan and Wade politely agreed to move the starting time back an hour to accommodate racers that were recovering from the previous night’s festivities.
So that set us back another half hour or so as the guys had to reset the check points.
Everyone huddled under the only tree in Cool Guy Park that was was not occupied by a homeless person to escape the baking sun. We’re fragile up here in the northwest.
The race consisted of a dozen or so unmanned checkpoints. The first stop was given to us on the manifest. From there, you had to find a sticker, write down the name of the corresponding Alice In Wonderland character and then proceed to the next stop (also written on the sticker). Keeping with the theme of the book, there were often two choices as to which stop to go to next (i.e Red pill, Blue pill….you get the idea).
With the exceptions of the start and finish lines, the stops were clustered around the downtown area….two were even literally right on top of each other. This made for a fun, and challenging ride given the topography of downtown Seattle. I don’t know that a short ride has tired me out that much in a long time. But then, it was my own stupid fault for bringing a single speed with an 80″ gear……”hey dummy.”
My legs blew up while climbing Capitol Hill for the second (or was it the third???) time of the day. That will teach me to run errands before a race. As I neared the finish line, I heard that all too familiar hiss of a leaking tire. Being that I was only a few blocks away, I decided to hoof it across the line, securing my spot for DFL.
All in all, the guys put on a great race with some creative stops. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
Big thanks to Wade and Alan for putting on a good race!
The Seattle institution known as The Dead Baby Downhill can only be described as a high speed rolling party….until the end, where it’s an actual party with live bands, activities and boozahol. This year marked the 16th year of the event in which hundreds of cyclists on all types of bikes (road bikes, MTBs, tall bikes, BMX bikes, fixies, some crazy Jeep thing made from two different bikes) bomb down the hills from Queen Anne to Georgetown through Friday night traffic.
In addition to the downhill ride/race whatever for normal folks like yours truly, the really bad ass riders went all out on a messenger style challenge that took them all over the city.
Good times were had!