by J. Dunn
"What happened to traditional crits? It seems like the fun fixie crits are taking over." This was a statement that was discussed at length just yesterday with a marketing director from a small bicycle company *coughRitchey." We marveled at the rise in popularity of these events and I told him how I had just gone down to check out the Bone Machine Crit a few weeks back.
Maybe it's one of those things where you show up because your one friend told you to come and check it out because it's so fun, and you don't make the cut the first time around. So, then you do a little more riding the next year — that thought jangling around in the back of your head — and show up again and make it through to the next round, but then get absolutely shelled in the final. Then, the whole process starts over again for the next year. And before you know it, the fixed gear crit has a whole following of riders surrounding it.
That was my response or something like it, but his retort was even better.
"Yeah, but that's what crits used to be for us."
Ohhh yeah, you're right, that's how the whole thing happened for us when we learned how to race bikes. They just had more gears.
But, let's back up for a minute.
My friend Dan took me out to the races at the beginning of July. This would be my first big bike ride back from my knee surgery and the prospect of watching a bunch of beefed out (or pretty beefed out) bike racers thrash themselves on a 90 degree day while drinking beers seemed pretty appealing at the time. And it was.
Not only was the racing at a higher level than expected (what? gears? anyone?) but the atmosphere was welcoming and fun in a way that hasn't applied to traditional bike racing in a while. Serious question: What happened to all the crits?
In any case, here are a few photos from the day. Excuse me for taking lots of photos of Lucas Strain. He's OBVIOUSLY the most handsome man with a mustache out there, so it's easy to do. Plus, the neon sleeves make him easy to spot when the pack is coming around the corner.
Also, those new All Over bottles from The Fridge were looking good as well. Evan was out being the Head Marshall for the course due to a tiny little baby finger injury, but that didn't prevent him from handing out water bottles to all who helped watch the corners. Make sure you go and check out his and Walton's art project because they come up with good stuff and then forget to tell anyone that it exists so it flies slightly under the radar.
If you're looking for some legit good photos from the day, check out Matt Reyes aka Slumworm's blog on the piece. I'm still holding my breath for the video that he was shooting... Wheel Talk Fixed - Bone Machine Race Day.
And shoe / sock / scar shots? I'm all about those these days.