Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Day at the Fortune 700 Fixed-Gear Stage Race...

First words: Those fixed gear guys need to invest in some watches. Holy 48-16 gearing, that was like the never-ending race. But more of that later. Once they got going, the racers were cranking around the loop, both the time trail course, and the longer road race course, at some impressive rates.

Alright, so Jason (of bicyclefriends.blogspot) and I, rode out to the Rose Bowl where this two-stage race was held. We picked up a third for the group, Kevin, enroute through Glendora. Following a zigging and zagging route we got there about a fifteen minutes after the race was supposed to start. Fifteen more minutes and the first stage time trial got underway. This was the first fixed-gear race I have ever been to, but my understanding has always been that they are a little bit different than what I have come to expect from, say a USA Cycling (or old USCF) race. Added to this mix was the venue itself. The Rose Bowl in a hectic place on a good day. Throw in an RV show, a lacrosse tournament, and it was pretty crazy.

The time trial had racers, either solo or as a two-rider team, racing circuits around the perimeter road - you know the one at the bottom of the Arroyo, same as used by the Tuesday/Thursday night training races. The afternoon circuit race (stage 2) added to this basic route, ascents of Salvia Canyon, and swift descents of Washington at the north end. Twenty miles for the circuit race comes out to about 6 times up Salvia, and as you may know Washington can be a screaming fast descent - all on a fixed gear bike. So props to all who did it; I, on my fixed-gear bike, am just not that talented. 

What I thought would be a quick 50-60 mile day, turned into a 74 mile one, after factoring in all that zigging and zagging. That circuit race which was supposed to start at 2:00, didn't get underway until 3:30, so it was near dark by the time I took the final turn to home. I'm pretty spent, but a link to the catalog of more photos is up and can be viewed as a slideshow here

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