Australian Single Speed Nationals 2013

Words by Coutney Shinn | Images by Courtney Shinn, Leoni McDonald, John Ombiga,Wil Bird

I found myself at the most famous start line so far in my mountain biking career, ‘Where’s Wally’ on my left, and B1 on my right. The air-horn went off and 50 or so people dressed in hilariously random outfits ran down a hill, picked up their bikes, run back up the hill, jumped on their bikes and span like crazy.

What was this spectacle I found myself in, why the Single Speed Australian Championships of course!!

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At last year’s SS Champs, the Cairns MTB Club had kindly volunteered (possibly after one too many beers at the after-party) to host the event in 2013. Great news for us Victorians, an excellent reason to escape the cold winter! Wil and Jay had set up a ripping good course consisting of 3 significant climbs, flowing single track through the rain forest, over bridges, through a skills course, and down a cracker of a decent with epic berms. Bad news for us Victorians, the humidity was killer. People were stopped track side removing mullet wigs, bright pink leg warmers and banana skins due to severe over-heating.

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The race consisted of three laps, with a refreshment break in between each over at the Uni Bar. The first lap was approximately 8km in length and we all come back pretty cooked and very much in need of an ale to soothe our parched mouths. Discussions, solely on how much fun the course was. were had for the next 10 minutes until we were back on the start line once gain for a le mans start up and down a hill. This time one of the big climbs was left out much to the disgust of the race leaders- Where’s Wally and the Fluro Ballerina who were keen to try to increase their lead.

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Temperatures had dropped and the second lap was much more enjoyable, albeit no amazing decent that the now absent big climb had taken us to. Back to the Uni Bar for another refreshment and sigh of relief that the big climb would be taken out again for the third and final lap. Some people got too cosy in the bar and decided to remain put, whilst punk rocker chick and her sidekick snuck off before the race start giving themselves a handy advantage. Racing was tight in the mens race with only 4 seconds separating 1st and 2nd place.

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After the main race has concluded, we ventured to the car park for the “Huffy Toss” where crash test dummy launched the Huffy into orbit taking the win, much to the dismay of the crowd who feared for their lives when his technique leant itself to the possibility of launching it into them. Check out the vid! The Skid Comp was hotly contested, as was the track stand with records certainly being broken and thankfully no bones! The entourage of movie, television stars and cross dressers headed inside for dinner and continued chatting about gear ratios for the next 3 hours. And the winners; I think singlespeeding was the winner here!

Big thanks to Cairns Mountain Bike Club for putting on an awesome event and thanks to the crazy single speeders for being such cool dudes! So, where’s the road trip to next year????

I’ve already got my costume planned, do you?

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