Fixed-wheel races, alleycats and general mayhem-inducing events are as popular as ever. yesterday saw the third ‘Hacksaws Challenge’. It’s an almost old-fashioned point to point race, the riders hurtle from bristol to bath and back, pushing as big a gear as they dare. i had planned to ride but my motivation took a nose dive since the National and I’ve also been struck down with a virulent cold/cough. i went along to watch instead, taking time out of my busy schedule of eating and drinking.
there were entrants from as far away as london’s famous london, lured no doubt by the lovely swag on offer. the prizes are always grand, in this case a musette from il soigneur and white duck for the top ten (stuffed with goodies, coffee and tea, ale) and a t shirt for every combatant.il soigneur’s musettes are lovely, especially the rather fetching tweed number.
charles coleman (adeo cadence) won, riding fairly old school, with an 84″ gear. Dan Burdbridge came second on a lovely Casati low-pro with ITM aerobars, and Kieran Ellis was third.
le mans start
Calme avant tempete
hipster light blur
this is occurring on the weekend after the nationals:
it’s a total blast. essentially, you have to get you and your fixed wheel bicycle to bath and back before everyone else in order to get mega prizes. i haven’t done it for a couple of years, but quite fancy the challenge this year. i was going to go total old school, 84″ and drop bars, nothing special, some proper gurning, a bit of a spin.
however, i recently heard on the hipster grapevine that certain other members of the “bristol fixed scene”® are involved in some sort of aero arms-race, buying up second hand aero weapons from underworld sources. i have heard tell of shady deals in back alleys behind the Mother’s Ruin pub, the epicentre of the hipster quake that has been shaking Bristol for some years now. I even hear that one character, known to his friends and adversaries as “Trotters”, “La Trottoir”, or even on occasions “Edvald Trotman Hagen” has been customising his bike with various illicit, and distinctly non-UCI compliant paraphernalia, some of it may even be classed as ‘alien weaponry’.
In light of these backroom deals, i am reconsidering my involvement in the sport and in this race. my participation in the hacksaws challenge may still take the form of an old-school, 84″ twiddleathon. it is perhaps more likely though that i will be riding some or all of the following: 95″ gear, deep drop (adjustable) stem, deda aero cockpit, trispoke, pete matthews aero rear wheel, skinsuit, overshoes, and a frankly pornographic giro selector helmet. this helmet is so ridiculously hardcore that Jeff Jones, the current National BBAR champion and 12 hour record holder filmed its unveiling as a significant moment in the history of time trialling.
as he says it neatly: ‘there’s been a lot of buzz about this helmet’, and ‘you wouldn’t look out of place on the deathstar with this on your head’.