Lately, it has become more evident that the next generation of bike nuts are upon us. Whether we like it or not. It would appear that they have pushed through the awkward puberty phase of full blown hipster-ness and emerged with a fair amount of legitimate shredders. One such shredder is my buddy Bryan (aka: B-Hard). He isn’t all that young and I’m not all that old, but it is pretty clear that we are from two different generations. He breaks my balls for being old and dirty and I break his for wearing his sister’s pants…then we drink whiskey. Come to find out, Bryan gets around just about as much as I do, only he is out filming or racing alleycats while representing his sponsor (and local Tempe, AZ company), State Bicycle Co.
I heard that he was traveling to San Francisco to do one such race and I asked him if he would file a report for us. It’s not quite our normal race coverage, but it’s good to mix it up every once and a while. This guy is drunkcyclist to the bone, plus he even sneaks DC socks into his sponsor’s catalog shoots:
So here is a glimpse at a fixed gear event through the eyes of drunkcyclist:
During the weekend of May 4th I had the pleasure of competing in the Red Bull Ride and Style Event in beautiful San Francisco, CA. Yes, this write-up is super late. Let us also remember that most of the drunken, knobby-tired land sloths that frequent this site have no idea what event I’m talking about. So try not worry about the details. What’s important is that Red Bull noticed that fixed gear riding has grown beyond your “love to hate” hipsters. The event not only drew a huge crowd from the city but riders from all over the world came to compete…and party.
First off let me answer your question, “What the fuck is the Red Bull Ride & Style?” The event combines fixed gear RIDING while Red Bull brings a few selected artists to add their own personal STYLE to the course and ramps (See what they did there?). The whole event took place in the normally elusive Justin Herman Plaza which the city opened up for a day full of shredding. The riding was divided into two portions: The racers and the freestyle riders. The first half of the event is spent with riders racing around a small circuit full of obstacles and even a gnarly embankment to carve around. The second portion is where all of the fixed gear freestyle riders let loose and hurl their bikes and bodies all over the ramps. Far beyond the early videos (example 1 and example 2) that made fixed gears popular, this event hosts a course for some of the best riders in the world to show how well they can manipulate a bike.
I arrived with the rest of the State Bicycle Co. crew in SF Friday afternoon and set off to register for the race at the Chrome Store. Upon arriving we found ourselves gifted with custom Chrome bags full of swag for all of the competitors. It should also go without saying that we consumed a lifetime’s amount of free Red Bull in one short weekend.
Across the street from the store was an art space that played home to the athlete’s and artist’s “meet and greet”. More importantly there was an open bar of beer, redbull, and vodka. Needless to say the weekend got started off with a good time. They also had a photobooth and in true DC fashion I made sure bad decisions were made.
On Saturday morning we made sure to get to the course early. Not knowing exactly what it would include, we wanted to be sure to get some practice runs in. The racing course was originally going to feature this motherfucker appropriately nicknamed “The wave” but after watching me overshoot the entire landing ramp and eating shit, the race officials decided against it
The race went like this: All competitors would do a one-lap time trial. From there the top 32 were bracketed down to one-on-one races tournament style. I made it past qualifying but unfortunately got knocked out in the first round. Oh well, more time for partying I suppose. The rest of the races included faceplants, people flying over the embankment, some upsets, and a lot of racers rubbing shoulders against one another. In the end there could only be one and Jason Clary went home with the title.