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Gold Sprint Races: Indoor Winter Bike Shenanigans at Their Best

Wednesday, January 28, 2015



Gold Sprints: More fun than a barrel of drunken monkeys riding until they puke. If you've never been to see—or compete at—a Gold Sprints race, mark your calendars for Western Bike Works' Gold Sprints series scheduled for Friday, February 27th and Friday, March 27th.

Gold Sprints are sometimes referred to as "roller races". Both race road bikes indoors on trainers—with one key difference: Gold Sprints use fork mounted stands which don't require riders to have to balance the bike, whereas roller races are performed completely on drum rollers.

In Gold Sprints, riders pedal as fast as they can against a single opponent, for a fixed distance or length of time. The effect of riders sprinting all out from a dead stop can provide hilarious and stimulating viewing—and heckling—for spectators.

Racers work their way through numerous heats until the final pair of riders compete for the ultimate win. As each race occurs, results are shown on a large screen monitor above the riders, with racing status bars showing real-time standings.

The real-time progress display and frenetic leg-pumping fury of the racers incites the crowd to a frenzy as well. It's virtually impossible to not get caught up going crazy rooting for racers as they hammer at the pedals.

The Western Bike Works Gold Sprints are being offered as a points series as well as a timed event. The points help determine who gets prizes with each night, and who moves on to finals. Prizes are awarded four deep for both men's and women's categories. 

As with most bike events in Portland, there will be beer available for purchase at the event. Free snacks will be provided by Western Bike Works.

The events are free and open to the public; anyone can sign up to race.

One caveat if you're thinking about racing: Intense sprinting is often responsible for what's known as the "vomit comet" reaction. Often people assume it's the beer, but it's actually due to the sudden and intense shift of blood flow away from the gut and toward the legs, causing gut motility to suddenly shut down, briefly. PRO TIP: Drink up, save the snacks for after the sprints, and of course…ride it like you stole it!


Friday 2/27 6pm race at Western Bikeworks, Pearl District location, 1015 Northwest 17th Avenue, Portland
Friday 3/27 6pm finals at Western Bikeworks, Tigard location, 7295 SW Dartmouth, Tigard

For more information, contact [email protected]

Üma Kleppinger is a Portland-based copy writer, author and bike addict. A recovering sesquipedalian who blogs about life in the saddle and outdoor adventure, she is also the author of Bike Yoga, a flexibility and recovery program for cyclists. When not writing, she can be found throwing herself down the mountain on two wheels. If you have cycling-related news to share, events to promote, or deep thoughts about this or any that, shoot her a nice email. Follow:  facebook  |  instagram  |  twitter


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