For the past few years I have heard about the Wolfpack Hustle races throughout LA. Whether it be the Marathon Crash Course, Civic Center Crit, or Drag Race, all I knew was there were a bunch of crazy dudes and dudets ripping around the city of LA on fixed gear bikes! I have been inches from going several times, but unfortunately there was always something that got in the way the very last minute. But then, September 7th, 2013 came around and the timing was finally right!
To be honest I had no idea what to expect of the event. I had my typical stereotypes of what the underground fixie scene was like, but had never taken the time to go out and see for myself. Needless to say I am glad I did because it was all I hoped for and more!
My buddy Ryan and I pulled up to the closed off 6th Street Bridge and were welcomed by over 1000 people on bikes whether racing or not. We walked the 300m drag strip to see what I was in for. Unlike the nicely manicured track I am used to riding on this was a bit more real! A group of guys working their way down the street patching cracks in the road assured me I was no longer at the Velo Sports Center. With an epic view of downtown LA, we approached the finish line where the crowds were gathering. It looked like things were about to get fun :)
With the event running a bit behind, due to some technical difficulties, Ryan and I used the time to meet a bunch of cool new people and receive lots of compliments on my faithful Felt steed. We were continuously entertained by the high rise bikes, people warming up, and of coarse Jesus... Yeah he came to watch!
My first race ended up not going off till about 10:00. A bit later than we expected, but all apart of the experience. With majority of the riders not knowing my background, it was nice to get up to the line with no expectations. Before I knew it the count down started and things got underway, QUICKLY! With a clean start and a freshly patched road I was able to have the fastest qualifying time witch put me in a good position for when the rounds that started later. Once everyone had gone and the top 16 were announced it was time to get ready for the heats. And once the heats started things went fast! 10-15 minutes rest in between each race made the event turn into a power endurance event. Since I am used to getting 30 minutes or more in between races it was a welcomed challenge.
After the time trial and 3 single elimination races, it was 1:00 am and time for the final! I was paired against the great rider and well respected racer, Edgar "Willow" Juarez. Both tired from the all the previous heats it was time to do what we showed up to do, COMPETE! The beeps started at 10 seconds and worked their way down, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, BEEEEP! We were off! 300 meters and counting. We both had solid starts and were neck and neck for the first stretch. I could feel my wheels gliding over the bumpy pavement and kept my sights on the finish line ahead. As the hundreds lining the street cheered us to the finish line it was official, I was the 2013 Wolfpack Hustle Drag Race Champ!
After I finally came to a stop and was able to turn myself around I was greeted by a crowed of excited fans and congratulations. A quick awards ceremony, a lil speech, and some awesome prizes (Aventon, Chrome, CInelli, Wolfpack Hustle) and we wrapped up a great night of racing just after 2:00 am!
Thanks again Wolfpack Hustle staff, volunteers, sponsors, fan, and racers for all making this such a memorable event! I am excited to work more with Wolfpack and be apart of many more great events!
If you ever wanna come and ride in circles with me I'll be at the StubHub Center in Carson!