Thursday, 27 August 2015

The Little 100 Rulz: Laps in Protocol.

The dog days of summer have brought an end to crit season and the dawning of cross country, or cx. Right smack dab in the middle of the transition is the Vancruisers Little One Hundred, a one hundred lap drinking game relay race traditionally ridden on a cruiser bike.

Last year's Little 100 drinking game relay race left us the defending champions,

even if the administration didn't want to give us the first prize at the time because they didn't like the retro drop bars on our bike. It's funny, cause if you ask the race organizers for more details about the rules  around what sort of bike is eligible to race (ie cruiser bike frame, 26" wheels, single speed with coaster brake) they always reply "RULES?! There are no rules!" and yet somehow two years in a row now, our bikes have managed to break the rules. Last year they didn't like the handlebars, and they called us team drop bar. They wouldn't give us first prize along with the cup, despite a decisive win. This year they said that our 1.125 tires broke the unwritten rule that a 26" tire should be a minimum 1.5 inches wide, but like the year before, they let us ride the race on it anyway.

Never mind. That short, rough circuit taught us that the suspension advantages of a fatter, shock absorbing cruiser tire more than make up for the weight savings of going with something narrower.

That's one of the many trees responsible for the roots which are chewing up the track. It's fitting that this event should be held in between crit sesason and cross season, cause it's a bit of a hybrid of a course. Sure it's paved, but it's not like any other bit of asphalt in this town. People wonder why the Vancruisers hold it at this site, but maybe the oval is the best possible place for a cruiser race, because where else would a cruiser tire possibly be more useful than on a root rutted bit of pavement?

It's ironic that even though with this bike we attempted to follow the flexible criteria of what constitutes a legal entry, we managed to break the rules anyway. So this year we just skipped all of the whispers behind our backs and chose the name The Cheaters for ourselves. We could have just changed the handlebars on last year's lucky bike, but they didn't much like that frame, either, so this year's entry started from scratch. With this:

This blog's primary photographer, (who happens to be handy with a wrench) was rebuilding an old Schwinn for a friend. He picked up this used bike for its wheels, to replace the rusted out wheels on the old bike, and was left with an aluminum cruiser frame suitable for the Little 100.

So he stripped it.

Then it looked like this:

He found an adaptor to switch out the American style bottom bracket for an European one. Y'know. To allow for a better selection of chainrings.

We used the same gearing as on last year's winning bike. He wanted to find an aluminum fork, mostly for the asthetic reasons, but they are few and far between at 26". So crabon it is, thanks to Bike Trashbar.

Looks fast for a cruiser, doesn't it? Well, we did hope...

That's Rod, or Pappy, as he is known. He is the founder of this drinking game event.
It wasn't far into the drinking game race when the chain fell off the first time. It happened again, too. It happened several times before it became clear that the time wasted in a track-side adjustment would more than make up for all of the time we were spending putting it back on the sprockets.

Lee came with the Fat Freds, but rode for us.
By then we'd lost our advantage. We gave it a good go, but in the end we came in second place. These guys won the drinking game race.

But the Fat Freds were the most fun.

We weren't the only team with mechanical difficulties. The all-girl team had to carry their bike off the course to free up the back wheel. They handled it with aplomb. Great girls, the lot of em.

You'll always drink ride with a group of wonderful people at the Vancruiser events, though. That's what makes them so much fun. And you'll always find a whole bunch of great bikes, too!

 You like unusual components? Got em.

Classic bikes? Check.

You'll find choppers sometimes...

and hard to classify, futuristic retro bikes, too.

And all sorts of bikes with personality.

Well, it's all said and done for another year. We continued drinking racing even though maybe we should have re-tired. And chances are we'll do it all again next time round, too. Anyone who knows me already know that I'll be drinking training hard for next year's event for the next 51 weeks.


  1. Oh well, at least your gang's bike looked cool. Important, too, right?


    1. Yep. We had em quaking in their boots. Or we did till the chain fell off a few times... XX

  2. Looks like a good time! Nice welds on your bike, too.

    1. Thanks... :)
      and yep. It's a great drinking game. You can count on the Vancruisers for the best of them.

  3. Shoulda put some 180mm hollow one-piece cranks in that American BB. God Damn that would be mighty fine.
    Sounds like a good day out.

    1. Good thinking... it would be lighter, too. Next year, then - along with fatter tires!!

  4. vsk said ...

    My friend told me to train with a heavy bike and low gearing. I have to get my 56 Schwinn Corvette into occasional commuter duty. I got me some red ano BMX (1/2" axle) pedals that will accept toe clips.
    Do not go gently into the night!


  5. Babs,

    Do you know It's a great forum all about cruiser bikes.

  6. I keep coming back to pictures of this bike. It's inspiring me to do something similar for a "bike path bomber". Seems like it would be a super fun winter project.

    Also, the .gif of the Fat Freds makes me laugh every time I scroll by.


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