Last night was the opener for this years’ 6-days race in Munich. Bruno Risi and teammate Franco Marvulli were the big winners, taking both ‘die Große Jagd’ and the day’s win with a total of 60 points. Erik Zabel and Leif Lampater took second with 58 points.
Young upstarts Alex Rasmussen and Michael Mørkøv (Denmark) too the lap record with 10.31 while the record remained unbroken at 10.22 (I think…)
Now that THAT is out of the way, I can tell you the good stuff.
I decided to roll up with my fixie. It only seemed right as I was headed to a velodrome for one of the 6-days series. A light drizzle at near freezing temps made for a brisk and slippery ride across town to the Olympiapark, where the infamous 1972 debacle transpired. (Interesting side note, the housing is now used for students and low-rent families. Ugly concrete shithouses with low ceilings. Maybe that shit looked good in the 70’s but now it’s just ugly.)
Anyhow, after locking up, I headed inside to look for a refreshing beverage. Flyers, handouts, adverts… all that nonsense at the door. It’s like being at Eurobike, but there is less to see. This year it seemed there were quite a few less exhibitors showing their stuff. The usual vendors were there; Radl-Bauer, Zigi Ross, and a few others selling old stock and summer stuff at discount. I was looking for some fatter tires to run in winter, since it seemed my 23c’s were a bit on the skittish side on the way to the race. No luck. Conti’s in every color, Michelin as well… but all the super-skinny variety. Finally I found a beer stand. Orderred a Löwenbrau ‘Urtyp’, popped the top and enjoyed the taste.
One of the best things is you can walk right up to the track, take a seat and snap some photos. Once you’re in no one checks your sets; no one enforces the rules like back home. Sure, if it was sold out, then there might be more of a fuss, but it was deserted. (Check the open seats…)
Beer #1 finished, I strolled around the arena looking at all the various bikes and crap. It wasn’t so great. They did have a huge section for food. I passed for the time being. I saw a Specialized Langster (The NYC Cab model.) The police were there with their own little booth. 2 beers solidly inside my sponge-like gut, I got a third and headed over. “Is it true that track bikes are illegal on the streets of Germany?”
“Where there is a sign, you must ride with the other bikes, yes.”
(…uh… maybe my German isn’t as good as it should be. I try again.)
“I mean, is it illegal to ride on of those (pointing at the velodrome) on city streets?”
“No, you can ride where there is a bike lane.”
Obviously he cannot comprehend someone riding a track bike, let alone riding one outside. His buddy looked a bit more sober, so I directed my next clarification at him. “So If I take my fixie outside and ride around, obeying lights and all that, it’s ok, even though its a track bike.”
“Oh. No. that is illegal because it has no brakes.”
Question finally answered.
I decide tis time to get something to nosh. In the between-levels I find a nice long 2-footer with mustard calling my name. Hit the spot and just in time for beer #4. The opening ceremonies consisted of ‘We Will Rock You.’ blasting and a fireworks show that would not impress an 8-year old. Until the explosions. Think White Zombie meets Burning Man. Or something. Huge ass fireballs that made me feel like I had a sunburn for the next 20 minutes. Awesome.
Racing, pics, old people telling me to get out of the way. All-in-all it was a good night. Out to the bike, its rain-snowing. Great. Fucking great. I call the wife and tell her It will take longer since Im drunk and riding and its gross out. She asks me why am I not taking the subway. Because I’m a drunken belligerent badass who wants to break the law for a while. It comes out “Graaahhhwwwwlloooo boooduhhh. Mehnnnnoooo orr dunnnnk.” She gets it. Damage: 2 litres of beer, 3 scotches, one 2-footer and a conversation with the police.
More pics here. (Sorry, I took some of the fireworks, girls, and other nonsense, but after only 30 pics or so My camera said the card was full. Erase. Reset. Start over. So these few are the only ones worth posting. Apologies.)