Living Jackson

Benefits of cycling

Crashing at RedBull Minidrome – Cycle Stories EP1


I’m on my way to Wynnwood, Miami. The reason: YouTube happy hour. It’s my worst nightmare; a bunch of hip
Vloggers having hors d’oeuvres and socializing. But going to the Wynnwood reminds me of an
event from 2014 called Redbull Minidrome. Many of you have heard of fixed gear bikes
being referred to as “track bikes”. The “track” in question is called a velodrome. Velodromes are large tracks with huge banked
turns. The track is designed to conserve momentum. Well, someone had the genius idea to build
a comically small version of this with hairpin turns, appropriately named the minidrome. At Redbull’s event, riders face off head
to head in the minidrome for ten laps. Each race lasts from 45 seconds to over a
minute, unless one rider starts gaining on the other significantly. In that case, the race is halted for safety
reasons, with the faster rider being declared the winner. Elmo & Zoey from Two& agreed to build me a
fixie for the event. With a really low gear, wide ass bars, 26”
wheels, and SPD pedals, Elmo had created a purpose designed machine for the event. At qualifiers we got to ride the track for
the first time. I remember the track being very easy to ride
at moderate speed, but getting real hairy when you passed a certain threshold. Starting on the outside of the track and bombing
the inside of the turn was key. After a few laps, dizziness would set in,
and if you were going fast, exhaustion. If memory serves me correct, I qualified second
or third, with this dude who flew in from Europe having a significant lead. The next day, I headed to the track for the
main event. Race day went by instant elimination. You lose a race, you’re out. You crash, you’re out. A lot of the people who qualified were pretty
good, but didn’t have the experience that the top qualifiers did. The pool of riders shrunk quick, and the races
got more intense. Finally, I raced against this guy who was
wearing a jersey from another minidrome event. Aside from being a real nice guy, he was also
a total badass at riding a minidrome. I had my work cut out for me. In the end, nobody got seriously hurt. My opponent got to go on to the next race
since it was me that caused the crash, and I ended up placing 5th. You can see why they normally stop the race
when one rider gains too much on the other. Just look at my rear wheel. If minidrome were to come to Miami again,
I would definitely enter. Having learned a thing or two, I’d probably
opt for a slightly higher gear so I’d have more headroom against the top brass. I’d also use Maxxis Holy Rollers as tires
since they’re perfectly suited to this type of thing. Who knows? Maybe I’d even build a fixed gear mountain
bike. Anyway, I’m nearing the venue where YouTube
happy hour is being held. Wish me luck. Okay, I think I’m gonna head out. Although I should have stuck around for the
chicken and rice, small talk and socializing just isn’t my thing. Thanks for riding with me today, and I’ll
see you next time.

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