Friday, January 27, 2012

Spinning Spokes and Telling Jokes

One of the challenges of riding on the trainer is finding entertaining video or movies to help with the boredom of riding in the same spot for more than a minute.  That was the case today as I searched through Netflix looking for the right mix of action without requiring too much effort of thought to follow the plot.

Nothing really jumped out at me until I got to the documentary section and saw a bikey looking title - To Live & Ride In LA.  Oooh, bikey and only 55 minutes long - just about right.  Hmm, what is it about?  The description read:

For fixed-gear cyclists, Los Angeles is a city that has it all. From the neon glow of Hollywood to the sun-drenched boardwalk of Venice Beach, fixed-gear has evolved into a vibrant street culture that is uniquely L.A.

From director David Rowe (Fast Friday) comes a new documentary feature that explores a side of L.A. few outsiders have seen. From races through rush-hour traffic to midnight loft parties, To Live & Ride in L.A. is a fast paced-trip through the busy streets and back-alleys of one of the world's largest cities.

Ok, I was hooked.  The movie depicted an eclectic group of fixed-gear riders as diverse in style as the bikes they ride.  Most have edgy street names like Roadblock, Tracko and Mr. Quick. The sound track was rough with a bunch of artists and songs I had never heard of and the 1st half was mostly glory shots of each rider on his bike doing tricks.  Pretty artsy, but it grew old pretty fast.

But when they all started hanging out and "spinning spokes and telling jokes" as one rider put it, you see how much we are all alike on bikes, regardless of what we ride.  We are all about being on the bike and enjoying that bond.  Some are just more tattooed and pierced than others.

I would have liked to know more about each rider personally and stuff about their background and why they chose the bike they currently ride, but that is me.  The second part of the movie was about these series of underground races that occur throughout the city and mostly at night.  The night series were mostly fixie criterium races designed to keep the action lively while dodging live traffic and running red lights.  Did I mention that they do not race on a closed course, but are mixing it up with cars while racing at night?

Sounds like an FBC ride without all the "pit stops".  The grand finale is the All City Race in late June which is a 30 mile point to point race with no defined route - just a start and a finish.  Each 5 person team chooses their preferred route - sort of like trying to pick the fastest checkout line at Costco.

The race begins, and immediately they are running red lights and picking their route of choice.  Apparently things like obeying the law and riding WITH traffic are frowned-upon in the below video and we do not condone such reckless riding.

The favored team is called Wolfpack Hustle, which I think would shrivel-up and die if they had to ride in some of the conditions we ride in on a regular basis.  I won't ruin the ending for you, but the All City Race and post beach party is worth the wait and made the trainer session almost bearable.

So here is my thought - I think that Spokane has some seriously legit fixed gear riders that could hold their own in the LA All City Race.  They would be at a disadvantage with respect to route selection and navigation, but if they tucked-in behind a group that knew what they are doing they would make us proud.  I bet we could come-up with Spokane specific street names like Pothole or Mr. Slushy - you get the idea.

Really, this is a matter of pride for the Spokane bike community.  If we all come together, we can each donate a little money to fly our fixie team down there, feed them Taco Bell for a few days and let them race for the honor of our City.  We could even send them down with a GoPro or two and they make a documentary of their experience to bring back for a big party and movie for the entire community to enjoy.

There is the challenge.  We have until June to make this happen - who is in?  Two Wheel Transit is ready to help.


  1. Whoa, I'd love to. I love my brakes, though.

  2. Pretty sure they have a category for that too!