Tuesday, 26 August 2008

discovering the inner lizard

Another year, another worlds...

Say to people that you're racing the singlespeed world champs and they'll assume you're an athlete. Jaffa skinsuits, french waitresses, 'vintage' lycra, large white pants and a gimpsuited batman probably don't figure in their picture of the deciding of who is the toppermostest singlespeeder of them all.

"Is it like the olympics?"


Because there is laughter and smiling. Meeting with once-a-year friends and longed-for faces that have and haven't changed and toasts to the absent ones too. Proper racing on a proper course that provokes severe fits of the giggles in the heat of the midday NoCal sun and probably vastly exceeds legal endorphin limits. There are cow bells and heckling and secret smiles for the missing but remembered refrain to the Outcast's "you're all winners" banner. Prizes for the slowest and oldest and longest travelled racers and bikes of every breed in the box and then some. There is a course marker playing bagpipes and enthusiastic noisemakers at every step and intersection waiting to jeer and cajole and scrape up the pieces all with equal helpings of cheer. Bottle hand ups and tongue-out concentration and conversations at the tops of hills. Legs and arms and faces caked in sweat-stuck dust, kilts and bruises, bloody knees and beer. Lazing in the cooler shade and good socks for every racer and the chance to ride your one-speed bike in a fastish way without really needing to care about how fast you really go.

A day for trail love, not race love. The sun shone and we loved it. Ta Napa.


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