I still remember when fixed gear racing was basically just bicycle street racing. Watching videos of riders weaving through traffic, just to claim the special spoke cards to say "I was a part of that event." Nobody even wore cycling kits. Nowadays, fixed gear racing is starting to blend in with more of the cycling community and mainstream events, like CBR.
This year we decided to take part in promoting fixed gear culture as an official form of racing and the turnout was great. We had around 45 riders at the first race which for a lot of riders was there first official USAC event. If you have never been to a USAC event like me, it’s a little different than showing up to your local fixed gear race. You’ll need to grab a one-day license or purchase a yearly license so they can track your progress. You’ll also have to pay for race day entry for the class you race. This can be pretty intimidating a lot of newer riders, so Aventon did the community a solid and covered half of the entry fee and their day license fee. After registering, there is time for riders to warm up on trainers, double check equipment, discuss the course conditions and much more. Even coming as a spectator to see these athletes race is exciting. If you ever get the chance to check out a pro 1-2 race I highly recommend it. The pace those guys run is insane and the fact they kept that in the downpour that was happening was awesome!
Tom and I were there to ensure that the racers were all set to go. We helped some riders with their bikes, and even loaned tools so riders could have their ride ready to dominate. The competition would be pretty stiff as the fixed gear class was open (meaning cat 1-5 raced together). You had seasoned racers such as our two team riders David Santos and Brandon Gritters, and first-timers like my good friend Aubery, who raced the pro 1-2 just before the fixed gear race! The fixed gear race was fast! Some riders were getting up to 38 mph on the downhill section of the track, and the pack stayed together as the playing field was fairly level. Even the completely new riders put up a fight and stayed in for the whole race. It was a close race, but in the end David came out in front with a fairly substantial gap. He also raced the 90 minute pro 1-2 race then sprinted to a huge gap to claim 1st place!
So if you do ever want to race fixed gear and you are in the LA/Socal area, go register for one of the CBR races. The team runs a great production. The announcer is full of energy, and you get awesome tacos! I also want to say "thanks" to all of the racers and spectators who came out to support one of the first Fixed gear USAC crits, you are all a huge part of the reason that fixed gear culture is where it's at today.
See you at the next race and push on!