So this is what happened last night when Scott and I MC’d a Red Bull sponsored roller racing event at Cartel on Caxton Street.
You know when you are in a public place somewhere and you think of something amusing and you just can’t help but laugh-out-loud and everyone looks at you like you are a mental patient? Well that happened to me today as I walked down the Queen Street Mall.
And the moment I was recalling was the moment last night where Scott and I raced on the rollers and at the start we had to chug these two mysterious shots. (I was later informed one was whisky and the other was pickle juice). But instead of handing the glasses back to someone I just dropped them on the ground and then I started smashing.
After the race Gypsy was shaking his head like, “Dave’s done something stupid again”. But he also had this big grin on his face as he told me, “Dude, you were supposed to hand the glasses back!”
“Oh.” I said, nodding. “Yeah – that makes sense.”
So I felt really bad for the bar dude who had to clean up my mess so I put 4 bucks in the tip jar. And it didn’t help that about an hour earlier Scott had turned around while addressing the crowd and knocked a glass of beer out of my hand — just when everyone was looking at us. Perfect!
Oh boy. Not my finest moment. In my defence I didn’t really know who to hand them on to and it was a race — I had to get moving! No mucking around! And although I beat Scott I think I got a bit of an advantage with my glass smashing spectacle. (It made for good THEATRE but!)
Anyway — it was a good night, a lot of people came and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Luckily Scott did 90% of the talking because I was such rubbish.
The whole event almost imploded after the very first race. Part of me and Scott’s official duties were to manage getting racers on and off the bikes, adjusting seat height, locking shoes into clips and generally making sure everything was safe. Scott was assigned the “blue” bike and I had the “yellow” bike. But after the first race the dude on Scott’s detail all of a sudden tried to get off in an absolute hurry by leaning the bike over — as you would do when you got off a normal bike you were riding on the street.
But of course this wasn’t the street, and these bikes had no front wheel and were locked in place by that tiny 5 cent piece sized bit of metal at the bottom of the front forks and so if you lean the bike over you are really attempting to warp that tiny bit of steel. And so after he got off we discovered a tiny crack in that delicate section of the fork. After some debate it was decided it seemed to be capable of staying together — at least for a little while. EEK.
So Scott had to keep a close eye on it and make sure it was super tight in the roller frame.
It’s actually quite amazing how much stress those bikes are put through in an event like this. It’s like putting them through 1000kms in one evening! I know for one the seatpost bolt on my bike was almost stripped by the end and you’d think the lifespan of the forks would be drastically reduced.
LOSING MY VOICE
During the races I got quite a bit excited shouting at riders to SPIN! There was lots of swearing and lots of notions that were definitely NSFW.
Consequently it feels like someone has poured acid down my throat. By the end of the evening I could barely talk. Even now almost 24 hours later I am squawking and husky (but not in a sexy way) and for a second cannot actually make my vocal cords work when I want to say something. Yay!
PROVISION FOR WOMEN
I don’t want to get up on a high horse here, but the evening wasn’t really structured for female contestants. They were essentially racing against eachother, but for the prizes, they were racing against men. And that wasn’t really fair.
At the meeting we had at the beginning I brought it up but there wasn’t much I could do. But as it turned out somehow at the last minute it got decided that the female winner could choose a bike too. And fortuitously the 3rd prize bike-helmet-trophy was awarded to the female winner after we couldn’t work out who came third — which isn’t ideal, but at least that felt the right thing to do at the time and the female riders were acknowledged. We need women riding bikes! It’s that simple.
Anyway — I am not sure I would do it again in a hurry. It was a lot of hard work — but lots of fun. Yes!