On 15 Feb 2011, Lydia and Helen decided that after months of not sprinting it would be a fine idea to see what their legs would do in front of an audience. Essentially taking embarrassment and squeezing it hard in a bear hug.
Rollapaluza for those who don’t know is arguably* the best fun to be had on two wheels. Even though there is only one wheel on the bikes. Two riders race on fixed speed bikes secured to rollers over 500m. It is fast and fun, there’s music, shouting and loud noises. So much fun, in fact, I (Helen) get the giggles doing it.
There was great atmosphere as ever at the cafe, with the Rollapaluza drawing all sorts of cyclists out of their everyday habitats. From seasoned fixy riders, to lycra-clad roadies, to fearless downhillers (who I thought usually avoid pedalling at all costs, yet were surprisingly apt) all biking clans were admirably represented, and I heard lots of compliments being thrown around: “Hey great ride, that was fast man!” Kind of a cyclists’ Woodstock.
We caught up with GB’s youngest pro rider, Jake. When I say caught up I do not mean that we chased on bikes, too easy! (I am working on my trash talk) Rather that we took the mickey out of him being in a team that is currently ranked lower than us nationally (it’s not going to last so we had to make the most of it), whilst he reminded us that he has singularly got more points than any of our riders. Fair enough.
The Look Mum No Hands staff were worryingly good, and made us wonder if they should be in the team kit and us in the café t-shirts.
We knew Jake would do well, despite having spent the past X days racing and training hard. However, I think everyone was take aback by the increasingly fast times that followed.
The evening culminated in the breathtakingly fast performances by a lithe young man who quietly arrived during the evening and a man who goes by the name Hill Billy. Possibly now Hill Billy the Magnificent. The young man winning by a whisker….a Hill Billy whisker?
In the women’s races Lydia showed she was a natural and got in the hotly contested final with Rollapaluza ace, Anna G from Mule Bar Girls. With them both hitting speeds of over 42mph, it was a truly exciting match and hats off to them both.
Thanks to Rollapaluza and LMNH for a fantastic evening. Thanks to Jake for letting me ride against you, I can now tick the ‘race against a pro’ box. (Of course he beat me, what did you expect?)
*Nik argues the best fun to be had on a bike is polo. Further investigations will be carried out.
We didn’t take any photos so here are some library pictures: