So for those who haven't heard, some guys and gals have started up a racing series called Gastown Sprints. Once a month, they'll be running roller races inside Pub 340. The inaugural race was this very night!
Upon arriving, I was greeted by one of the most impressive examples of bike parking I've ever seen. Bikes were locked to every post, tree, parking meter and fence within a block of 340; the closest poles had bikes piled five deep, and up to three high. Taking this as a sign of a good turnout, I was not disappointed when I got inside.
The official racer tally was fifty-two. With all the spectators on top of this, there must have been well over a hundred people in attendance. Racing got started shortly before 10pm, and the first few heats were plagued by technical difficulties. Of the four bikes hooked up to the rollers, one was broken for a couple heats, and one worked intermittently. After three or four heats, however, all the kinks were worked out of the system, and the real racing began.
Everyone ran in groups of four, but how you did against the other three people in your heat was irrelevant to your placing, because qualification was based entirely on your 500m time. Top qualifiers came in under the 23 second mark (I ran a 23.83, netting myself the 5th spot).
Once everyone ran their qualifying heat, it was time for head-to-head, sudden death tournament racing! The top 8 qualifiers were paired up and pitted against each other, until only one remained. This one happened to be underage dynamo Travis aka. HustleJr, who walked away with some prize money and some champion status.
All in all it was a successful evening. I had a blast, and I think almost everyone else did, too. Thanks to all the dudes and ladies who threw this, with particular thanks to Moses, who seems to be the mastermind of the operation. Thanks also to Pub 340 for letting us fill their establishment with sweaty cyclists.
The next Gastown Sprint will be on July 8th. Same time same place. Be there!
ps: If anyone has pictures from tonight, send them to districtxii at gmail dot com. I will post them up for everyone's ogling pleasure.