Monday, May 19, 2008
Victory is a Big Red Bike
"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer."
We all need some beer. And we got some at the:
URBAN ASSAULT SEATTLE
My buddy Jeremy Gerking and I entered the Urban Assault bike race thinking it would be a good time. We didn't really consider that we would actually win the thing...
In the morning we were there pretty early; it was obvious from our early arrival, shaved legs, and shiny, high-octane bikes that we were not representative of the typical competitor. We had not the fixed-gear, bland-colored urban machine used by couriers and urban cyclists around town. We had our gear-ful triathlon geek bikes, toe clips and all, leaning ominously against the Fremont Open Theater screen. We thought we COULDN'T win, what with the knowledge of the city so many local bikers would have.
Little did we know we would end up with a pair of brand new bikes specially made by New Belgium Brewing?? It was a unique experience, to say the least, filled with some weird events, weird sights, and hard biking.
I stayed up the night before on the USATF Route Mapping tool, figuring out based on distance and time the best route to take from checkpoint to checkpoint. I figured it was still a long shot at best. When we got to the last mystery checkpoint and heard we were the first there, it became a realistic thought: we might just win this thing.
We hammered as fast as we could go from our final checkpoint, Bike Works in Ballard, back to Fremont, on Market and then Leary. When we arrived we had one last challenge--two laps around a course in a modified, adult sized big wheel. And then it was over. We did it.
Jan met us downtown and was at the finish line and watched us go through our last challenge. It was NOT a run-away victory, either. The second place team was behind us by only a couple of minutes, and it actually came down to a race on the big wheels. When we emerged from the course in first place, Jan was waiting and screamed when I told her we had won.
High fives all around.
Then we drank free New Belgium beer, ate some yummy free pizza and baked in the sun for a couple hours until they awarded us our new cruisers. I took mine for a spin yesterday afternoon--indeed it is a different but pleasant experience.
And now I can say I have jousted from the back of a BMX, thrown newspapers from the basket of a tiny, pink, banana seat bike, been a human wheelbarrow, and raced a bigwheel. All while riding as fast and hard as I could around Seattle with a great buddy. What a great day.