Thursday, June 19, 2008

Street Drag Racing!

Tired of long hot races, long drives, high entry fee, too much Lycra and hi tech bikes?

Well let me introduce Street Drag racing. This is where the new age cyclists meets competition. This is the group of fixed gear riders, fixing up vintage bikes and making them fixed or single speed. No Lycra here, just tight jeans and t-shirts. Each Wednesday Night they meet and ride over to the street that has a straight, flat 215 meter road.

Complete with a variety of booze and smokes, they arrive, change out some handle bars and are ready to race. Don't let the sneakers and tattoos fool you, some of these guys are fast.

Also their skills on fixed gears are amazing from skid stops to one handed wheelies.....

Each riders does a time trial to be seated, then paired in one on one matches. You can use a road bike (but much stay in the same gear), fixed or single speed bike. You can choose your gear, anything that allows a good start and allows you still to have some gear so not to spin out.

After watching for a couple weeks I decided to give it a try. I modified my track bike with a lower gear and a front brake (I am not as crazy to go no brakes). I do my time trial in a respectable 21 + sec time. A couple guys broke 21 but no reason to bury yourself in the TT. My first match was against a tall thin kid. He was asking if I every road a fixed gear before. Well I omitted my ten years of track racing and said "not lately" We start and I get a one length lead and hold it and advance to the next round. Round 2, I get a guy with a silly looking bike with a narrow flat bar. I think, this one will be easy. We start and I gain easily off the line. I figure I have it and out of no where this guy is flying and we finish in a photo finish (Yes the have their digital cameras for pics) I barely hold him off. I advance to the finals, 3 up this time. I try a different tactic knowing the faster rider has a lower gear. I start off a bit slow to get in his draft but didn't have enough time to come around....

Definitely a good time, interesting culture and good group of guys just hanging around. At least they are hanging around and racing their bikes!

Everyone is welcome.

Dave Lettieri
FasTrack Bicycles
Santa Barbara, CA 93101


Chester said...

Thanks for the solid 411. Seth and I were doing a sprint work out last night and he was trying to get me roll down to this. He read about it on craigs list. Glad you had a blast. We'll see you there next week.

jen said...

Awesome story! :-)

I've always wanted a fixie...

Greg Knowles said...

So Dave, what was your prize?

Matt Renfro said...

I'm glad you had a good time Dave. It's great that fastrack/chicken ranch guys are coming out and putting some of us to the test. It is definitely motivation to train and push harder when you guys are around. I hope to see some more SB cyclists, regardless of bike type, come out to these events.
Here is Dave in round 2 I believe: