Sunday, May 11, 2008


Day: 229
Ft. Collins to Ft. Collins
Time: 1:35

We did a figure 8 of sorts this morning on our singlespeeds. The trail was packed with runners and walkers, but we were some of the only cyclists enjoying the crisp spring morning. We tackled a hill during our ride that provides us with challenges galore on our geared bikes. Riding it on our singlespeeds proved to be even more challenging having to grind up an over the rocks and roots while having your lungs hanging out. We finished up the ride by 10:30 and made it back in time to run down Denver to sell Leslie’s road bike. There was a little sadness as she let go of her baby, but she did find solace in the fact that the bike went to ‘bike’ people. They commute by bike and only have one car between them. They were fun to talk to and the deal was quickly closed. We jumped back in the car and returned to Ft. Collins to catch the main event of the day.
Ft. Collins started a criterium or ‘crit’ for short that goes down on Sunday nights. Tonight was the first night, and the competitors and crowd were a buzz with excitement. The event is being used as a fundraiser to help fund a velodrome in the Ft. Collins area. Currently the only velodrome in Colorado is located at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. The first heats were straight up sprints around the oval at CSU. The races lasted from 1 lap for the 7-12 year old open division to 10 laps for the 18+ licensed road racer division. The second heats took on more of a track racing feel with a Danish format implemented to help riders enter the ‘pain cave’ a little faster. The winner of each lap got to drop out of the race and was awarded a prize. This gave the first 3 laps a lot of clout as the racers went all out to get the prize. What was the prize you ask? It was a can of Coke and a sandwich from a local deli. It is amazing how little motivation it takes people to get after it like that. I could do another musical blog by printing the lyrics to ‘Pretty, Pretty Pain Cave’ by Wayne and Garth from Wayne’s World fame, but I won’t. The race series attempts to parallel another track race called 6 day races. The local series lasts 6 Sundays, but the track 6 day races take place on 6 consecutive days. Check out this Wikipedia link to give the race details; It used to be 1 man per team and that guy would try and get as many laps in as possible in 6 days. Due to it being outlawed in several states from racers dying of exhaustion it now incorporates 2 man team who take turns racing throughout each day. They are still held in Europe and I think they hold the occasional one in the eastern US. All in all it was a fun day riding bikes, selling bikes, meeting bike people and watching bike racing.

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