Wolfpack Hustle Shortline Crit
Words and photos by Kyle Kelley
There were three main reasons why I decided to go down to Long Beach for the Wolfpack Shortline Crit. The first was to shoot some photos for The Radavist. The second was to see three friends who had come down from San Francisco to race – Chas Christiansen, Marc Marino and Erica Schwanke. And the final reason was to watch my favorite Fixed Gear Freestyler, Christian from GSC, compete in his first road bike race…
I took the train down with my friend Akira, who was visiting from Japan, and arrived just as qualifiers were supposed to start. We rode over to the athlete zone and the first person I saw was Chas. He let me know that the qualifiers had been delayed by an hour, but that his hotel was right on the course and had a pool. While hanging out by a pool wasn’t originally a part of my plan, it sounded too good to pass up.
I checked in with Christian before heading over and he was riding wheelies instead of rollers to warm up so I knew he would be ok. When I got over to the hotel Chas, Marc and Erica were already in the pool so I immediately stripped down and jumped in. After a few laps I remembered my first objective – to document the crit.
I headed over with Marc to watch Christian’s qualifier and we found Akira laying banana peels on the course to wipe out Christian’s opponents. Little did he know all the road racers qualify to move forward.
It was around this time that I realized while all four of my friends are very capable on a bike, the tone for this race day was fun. Which is how I feel it should be because winning bike races isn’t the most important thing in the world. So I didn’t work as hard as I planned to document the crit and my friends didn’t land on the podium, but we all won at having fun that day.
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