The Kenai 250 is a 257-mile, self-supported mountain bike race in the Kenai peninsula, the only area in Alaska with a large network of singletrack trails maintained by the forest service. The race organizer, Michael Braun, stitched together a route that connects the trails with highway miles. It’s 60% singletrack and 40% pavement. The race has been going on since at least 2013. This year, with 36 starters, it’s a record setting year for participation. This will be my first time racing it. I grew up in Alaska. It’s amazing to have the opportunity to ride and race in my home state. A couple weeks ago, Rue and I went out to tour the trails– several of which I’d never ridden. In a single day, from my bike seat, I saw a moose cooling off in a pond and both a lynx and a grizzly bear crossed my path. Alaska is still very wild. I’m really looking forward to riding through the night and experiencing this full route in one go. It would make a great multi-day tour as well.
Today we’re pleased to share a wonderful essay by Cinthia Pedraza on bike racing, white privilege, and the Corona Virus. In these trying times, it’s important to adjust our optics, listen, and most importantly, learn from these experiences…
Bike racers have been sitting at home watching the increasingly violent protests happening around the nation thinking “What can I do to help support Black communities?” In my local Austin community, I have seen donations in support of Black Lives Matter on my teammates’ Instagram stories, racers (including myself) protesting in support of an end to police brutality, and a massive outcry for justice that includes cycling voices like Machines for Freedom and Tenspeed Hero. That being said most amateur bike racers are likely to be white upper middle-class liberals who have a work from home setup where they are not at risk of exposure to Covid 19 or the struggle of the Black community caused by Covid 19.
For the Love of Mud, the artistic glimpse into cyclocross racing is now available on a limited edition Blu Ray disc. Stock is dwindling though, so head over to For the Love of Mud quick to pick up a disc. Benedict is in town, here in Austin for a few weeks, so I’ll be trying to pull together an impromptu screening at the Radavist HQ. Stay tuned!
Keirin Bank and Groooove put together a short and sweet video from a recent track racing event in Japan. It’s been a while since something from Groooove has been posted here. More of this!
Flying into Far West Road / Portra 160NC Yashica T4
There’s a great story on Williamsburg Greenpoint News+Arts called “How I Learned to Ride a Straight Line“. Where the author, John D. Eustice (you NYC racers should know that name) relates his years of racing in Belgium to everyday cycling practices. Advice like “steer with your belly button” and “relax your jaw” are things we’ve all heard but the punch-line is a story about how an old Belgian woman taught him how to ride a straight line. It’s worth the read, especially the part about not riding like an asshole down the bridges of NYC…
Thanks for the heads up Affinity!