Saturday, February 11, 2006
Emma and I went to the bike ice races this morning. Not the Surly ice races, but the ones sponsored by the MnHPV folks. I've never been involved with this group, but after surfing their website for a bit, I can tell that these guys are serious builders.
My wife was kind enough to let me borrow her camera for the event. She let me leave the house with it for the first time ever. On my own. It's only the second time I've used it. She looked as nervous as a mother sending her only child off to school for the first time. So thanks to her, here's a shot of one of the homebrew ice specific bikes.
I was surprised by the number of non-traditional bikes there. During my evening commute yesterday I had half convinced myself that I should sign up and race in this thing. My confidence was boosted by the ease of bike handling after fixing the rear wheel. But, I talked myself out of it. Which is probably good. But, if I hadn't talked myself out of it I probably would have been pretty demoralized by the number of three wheelers out there. I figured for sure they had the advantage, since they could go hell bent for leather without worrying about tipping over. And then there were guys like these. One with the gigantor tires and the other so close to the ground that even if he did tip he might just bounce back up and keep riding.
But at the end of the drag races, it was two traditional triangle frame bikes racing for the title, as seen here.
And I even caught a glimpse of the elusive retro-direct bikes. I got a picture of this one because I never actually saw anybody ride it. There was another retro-direct recumbent too, but I never got a good shot of that one.
Based on pictures from previous years it sounds like the triangle frame upright bikes have the advantage on the straight course but the more stable three and four wheelers usually win the oval course mass start race. I didn't have time to stick around for that. But it was a beautiful day and a great way to spend a couple of hours outside with my daughter.
There are a few more photos on my flickr account if anybody wants to see them.