Why we came...
Inspired. That’s how I feel right now. With SiS fresh in the rear-view mirrors I feel energized moving forward. In the sleepy little town of Weidenthal, over 400 hundred riders and many more spectators/ bike enthusiasts took up camp in one of the narrow valley-ends on a sportsplatz converted into some thing resembling the Burning-Man tent town.
This was the core of the single speed scene in Germany and included some from other countries in Europe. Spawned out of the Eingang Forum, Phaty and a well-organized crew provide not only a superb venue, but incredible support to the riders. This should have been the German Single Speed Championships.
People started rolling in on Friday to set up camp, meet with friends and hit some local rides. I was fortunate to be on one of them, although listed as the guide, I would have called it more guided discovery as we explored some great single track I have not even ridden. Our group swelled over 15 strong and was mainly made up of single speeders (myself NOT included)… I met some great people on the ride although the tempo was high at times, and the climbs long and steep, we did stop for some conversation along the way.
The best riding 29er I have ridden
I met a guy out of Baltimore who has the best 29er I have ever ridden, which also happened to be a Indy Fab. It was kitted out with KING all around, some powerful Avid Ultimate Juicy’s, a sweet sweeping back Seven Ti bar and an interesting Black Sheep Ti fork. Also on the ride was Mike aka. Wunnspeed whom I have been swapping comments on each others blogs with and it was finally great to meet him as well. He of course was on his Ti Black Sheep also dressed up in KING among other priceless jewels.
KING & IF of course
After the group ride, it was time for some good German Weizenbeir, and more conversation. A really bad coverband was warming up as the cool night air filled the valley. I wanted to stay, but had to get home.
I was back early and set up my IF booth and tent for the day. Immediately people came by to check out the bikes and goods I had on hand, often introducing themselves by their nickname from the EinGang Forum. Sandi’s bike was the hit. Two women would have walked off with it if I had turned my back long enough… actually there was a guy in a pink polo shirt who I think would have as well, but that is a whole another story. Friends were made, and I also got to see some sweet rides. Fixie was on hand, and had a sweet rusted, belt-drive fixed geared bike that was equally beautiful and amazing. Wood handlebar, polished bits rounded out a very nice ride. I wold later find out that they outsource their production to Twaiwan which I must admit wiped off some of the luster I had for them, but still two very awesome guys!
A stunning ride.
Sandi & I had to pull the cord on racing with full Ernst due to Colin needing her around at night. So we decided to approach the night race at a fun level. Sandi did kick everyone’s ass in the pre-race single speed race, including mine. Reeling in the leaders my asthma kicked in and shut me down. After only a few guys had picked me off, then Sandi went blasting by with none of the girls in sight.
The day continued on filled with great conversation and bike watching and then you could start to feel the buzz in the air with the imminent beginning of the night race rituals. Waridi provided illumination for Sandi & I, we both rode her single speed that evening. Sandi was enroute to bring Colin to bed and come back for her lap, as I lined up for the start. We blasted into the night at 20:52pm, I was amongst the single speeders and almost couldn’t stop myself from laughing at times. There were a couple of really fun sections in the course, but I tended to get hung up behind others not being able to let er really rip. After one lap, I had to get a light adjustment, and handed controls over to Sandi. By now it was dark, and the field was spread out. When Sandi made back from the darkness and I pulled another lap before retiring from riding for the evening.
Sandi went home to take care of Colin, I hung out talking more with others and soaking in the spectacle. Eventually I retired for the evening, setting the alarm for an early wake-up call. Before the alarm could ring, I was awaken by the second ambulance in the night, there was some carnage. So I slid back into what were now some cold, clammy and damp chamois', but luckily I had scored an UnSchaltbar (not shiftable) jersey, saving me from a totally cold wet experience.
I pulled two morning laps rolling in after the 5:59 finish time on the second. A crowd gathered at the finish area, sharing stories from the night, laughing at each other misfortunes or laziness. It was awesome. More stories were told over breakfast and some really bad coffee. After which we all slowly packed up our things, joined the ceremonies and bided each other fare well.
It was a super event in all ways, and was absolutely one of the best I have ever been too. What is reassuring for meis that I know we have found some great people over here, and our paths will certainly cross many more times in the future. This scene is great, there is a lot of positive energy coming out of these people and I am eager for more!