First week into spring and fixed gear crowd of London already itching to rally. Not that it has ever stopped, but the number of events across London organised by shops, teams and social groups went on the low over the extended Christmas period. Solely pushbike couriers kept doggedly spurting out of Leather Lane once in blue moon.
Now we already saw a second Gnarpark race that was kindly organised by CyclePs, kicking off from their shop in Camberwell (South London).
The top floors of a multi storey car park in Peckham homed the circuit for folks from Full Denim Jacket, Pedlas Pursuit, London Bike And Beer Group; as well as pushbike couriers (City Sprint, Take Eat Easy and Omega Couriers) and many others.
Giving the tightness and technicality of the course, the racers competed in two’s which basically worked as an elimination race. From what we observed there were fixed gear, some single speed bikes and even a bmx. There was no gender category devision so everyone raced in one pot. And the only rule I overheard was: no physical contact. What did it really mean was that you were not supposed to headbutt, bite, kick or tug on your opponent.
The course turned out to be much more challenging than expected which considerably slowed down the riders. Following the track they were manoeuvring into narrow corners, hairpins and ramps; many trying their luck brakeless. Unavoidable crashes and slips happened but no major injuries sustained, apart from occasional pride.
Coincidentally, members of the team Pedlas Pursuit were put against each other on the first and second rounds.
Becca Lou from Omega couriers kept steadily moving through rounds eliminating one rider after another. Some sketchy tactics were spotted in snatching opponents’ lines and stop skidding, ousting others out of their course or even into a wall. Some were galled about this the other took the tips onboard. Either way it gained Becca the ultimate win, which was a real fun to watch.