Fixed Days, Berlin & The Rad Race
Wow, my life is pretty mental sometimes. I’m in Austria at the moment shooting snowboard photos for Redbull, and just last weekend I was in Berlin riding, racing and being photographed by Met Helmets. I’ve been dying to write something about the Berlin trip all week long as it was just so awesome, but I’ve literally not had a spare second!
So, last week I went over to Fixed Days, a fixed gear event (funnily enough!) that runs alongside the Berlin Bike Show. I always love visiting Berlin, it’s a great city to ride in, although you have to be careful if riding fixed brakeless – the cops are pretty on it and could nab your bike and fine you if they manage to catch you.Anyway, the first night, Dave and I decided to have a bash at the sprints that were taking place in a secret tunnel around the back of the show. There was a really good turn out so I was pretty chuffed to come second, and also to meet some of the other European fixed gear ladies who I’ve been in touch with over Facebook.On Saturday, Dave and I were up and at it really early to get cracking on Met Helmets catalogue shoot. The guys wanted to get a variety of shots on different bikes, so we ended up hiring some city bikes from the hotel to go for a cruise Later that afternoon, we headed down to the fixed gear crit, Rad Race. The guys at Rad Race have a few crits lined up this summer, but this was their first one and it was great to meet them and be involved from the start. They did such a superb job! My only complaint would be the fact we had to wear these really awful coloured ‘buffs’ on our helmets when we raced, so we all looked quite stupid!The race itself took place on a go kart course, and as enough of us ladies had entered, we had our own women’s category – thank god, because it sucks racing with the lads, and we don’t like being an after thought! The format saw eight riders go head to head on the course, with the last rider to cross the line being pulled out each lap. From there, the top four went through to the next round where they raced again under the same conditions. Despite the fact I was quite nervous – I’m not a natural racer – I made it through to the finals and lined up against the other seven qualifiers. You had to start with one foot on the ground, rather than trackstanding and my first concern was that I’d fail to get my foot clicked in first time. As the organisers counted down, we readied ourselves in anticipation, and then ‘boom,’ we were off! Only I wasn’t off, because I was knocked straight to the ground as everyone hustled to get going. As I hit the deck, I was absolutely gutted – the final was at 11pm and I’d been waiting all day, having arrived at 4pm so that Dave could have his practice laps. For one brief moment I thought, ‘balls! It’s all over!’ and felt really pissed off, but in a split second I’d changed my mind, thinking instead, ‘no it’s bloody well not!’ Though I was in eight/last place, I scrambled back on to my bike and blasted off in pursuit of the other riders. I knew that I had to overtake one rider in order to avoid being knocked out at the end of the first lap for crossing the line last. I just felt a huge surge of determination and knew that I was not going to allow myself to fail immediately.
As I blasted around the first corner, I realised my saddle had moved and was now pointing 90 degrees to the right which was making it nearly impossible to ride. Still in pursuit of the other riders, I kept sprinting whilst whacking my saddle back towards the centre with one hand. Once it was sort of back in the middle, I made it my mission to pick off a few of the riders in front of me. And I did! Sprinting my guts out, I managed to pass all the riders except for the first two, going from eight to third place. When I had the first and second riders in my sights, I was so winded from sprinting so hard after my fall that I didn’t have it in me to try and pass them as well, so I cruised round for my last lap, just super, super happy that I’d done as well as I did.So I came third! I could hardly speak afterwards I felt so done in, but I managed to regain my breath just enough to smile and say thank you for some AWESOME prizes, including a really nice cycle kit from eight bar and a jacket from Iriedaily. SWEET! The following day, it was back to shooting with Met Helmets. As I’d fallen to the right in the Rad Race, Dave took upon himself to knock me off to the left, just to even out my whiplash. God job I was wearing a helmet, as I didn’t have whack my head!After another full day of shooting, we headed up to Berlin velodrome for a few last shots before Jean Pierre from Met took us out to a restaurant, and a vegan one no less; I was pretty amped on that and really appreciated the gesture. On Monday, we went for bit of a cruise before flying home, and I couldn’t resist wearing my new absolutely fantastic favourite jacket of all time that Neza from Blind Chic gave me at the Berlin Bike Show. Thank you, I love it!