The 2014 edition of the Single Speed World Championships is less than a month away now. And just last week Dirty and I managed to herd all the cats together and finalize our plans for Alaska. However these things are never easy, or cheap. Plane tickets, hotels, bike fees, booze, time off work, condoms, costumes, more booze, inflatable animals, etc. But with each passing year the bar seems to be continually raised. It’s an opportunity for each new host community to showcase their best riding, and attempt to throw the best party. A gathering of the tribe like no other. I’ve met some of the strongest riders, wildest partiers, and created instant friendships that I otherwise would have missed. Doesn’t matter if it’s Worlds, SSUSA, SSAZ, or any other single speed event around the globe, here’s just a few examples of why we keep coming back for more.
Always a proper start line
…..that occasionally involves a scavenger hunt.
Ample parking at the bars
You get to play the banjo for old school legends
And always a Derby or two
Serious competition to host the next year’s event
Because there’s stocked aid stations, and we get to drink 40’s and chug maple syrup in Vermont
The winners are awarded beer and tattoos
Proper attire is required
Lots of great ideas in general
My favorite story from a SS race has to be from Worlds in Ireland in 2011. After the bus dropped us back in Kilfinane from the pre-party and hosting comp in Limerick, a small group gathered in the street after realizing all the pubs were dark. Someone proclaimed “we’re not done just because the bar closed!”. And right as we turned for camp to pillage whiskey, a local kid stumbles out of the kebab shop and yells “ya lads looking to party?!”. He leads us back to his flat and opens a fridge stocked entirely with fucking Budweiser. Good enough, any port in a storm. As we proceed to empty his stash, this Irish dude pops a goddamn porno into his TV just to get the party going. No joke. By now I’ve made friends with the only other American in the group. She would later earn the name Kerry Coldhands by asking us; “I’ve always wondered, do men prefer cold hands or warm hands?” The answer of course is that colds hands are better than no hands at all. That night slowly faded to morning and I awoke half in my tent with a bottle Jameson I didn’t have before. Point is I’ve stayed in touch with Ms. Coldhands over the years and she’s become good family to Dirty and I. So much so that I’m officiating her wedding this October. It’s an honor I don’t take lightly. And so now when people ask how I met the couple I’m marrying, I get to say I met them watching porn and drinking Budweiser at a mountain bike race in Ireland. And that’s fucking awesome.
If you’ll be joining in on this impending clown show next month, keep your eyes peeled. We’ve got some tricks up our sleeve as always. See you in Alaska kids!by