Tracklocross with Resistance Racing in the Bay Area
Photos and words by RJ Rabe
The Bay Area has long been a mecca for cycling. Road, trail, whatever. It’s here. Out your door, in any direction, and for as long as your legs can carry you. There’s a niche for everyone. A few niches probably. Enter Resistance Racing. A niche within a niche. Nick Keane and Jean Padilla, the founders of Resistance, combine their love for track bikes and the abundance of trails our city has to offer. Bummed on race fees, the travel time required for races, and the rarity of events, they decided to start hosting a series of their own in their backyard. Races take place in local parks and entry is donation-based. Courses are marked with lines drawn from bags of flour, fallen tree branches, and maybe a piece of trash or two.
Tracklocross is by no means a new idea and folks in San Francisco have been throwing DIY, underground cross races here for decades. The way has been paved and they’ve taken cues. Resistance stepped up to take tracklocross – racing track bikes or fixed gears with knobby tires – to the next level while adding their own spin. The rules are simple: Fixed gears only. If you’d like you can ride with a brake but with it you won’t be in contention to be city champion. Points are earned based on race results. The person with the most points at the end of the series wins. The rest of the race world could take note from Resistance. With equal pay-out for Men and WTF (women, trans, femme) racers, and WTF racers’ fees being waved, the organizers aim to push the envelope in their new sport and encourage everyone to come race regardless of their skill level or gender. With races currently taking place in The Bay Area, New York, Portland, Los Angeles, D.C., Japan, and with a finale in Minneapolis—Resistance is growing and hopes to expand their series even further next year.
One of my favorite aspects of the series is seeing a new generation of people being introduced to trail riding. Folks who, in the past, I’d only seen ripping around the city on track bikes are now out exploring beyond the streets. Resistance captures the spirit of what made track bikes fun and what makes racing exciting. I’m looking forward to seeing how Resistance grows their sport and to seeing more newcomers out there on trails.