Yesterday marked the fourth and final installment of the San Jose Fixed “It’s a W.R.A.P.” alleycat series as well as the grand opening celebration for iMiNUSD. Being that this was the last race to finish the series, we knew we had to end it with a bang. The first thing that came to mind was to route a grueling half century with the theme in mind. When I thought about what W.R.A.P. meant, I decided to choose points that would spell out this acronym. The check points were: West Gate Mall, The Ranch, Alum Rock Run, Piedmont Hills, and finishing at iMiNUSD for the Grand opening.
The morning began by filling balloons for the day’s festivities. We grouped together some of our friends to help set up and get ready for the big race. Everyone was excited to see who would be out racing to compete for all the big prizes. If you jump a few posts back, you’d see that we had many prizes to give away. After tallying the worth of the prizes, they were estimated to about $2,500 dollars! You would have to be crazy not to throw in a measly $5 for a chance at any of the prizes we had to offer. With that said, we knew people were gunnin’ for first place. It was just a matter of who wanted it more.
Registration started a bit early and saw that the competition was stiff. By the time we closed registration, we had a total of 50 people ready to race. In the past, we’ve amassed hundreds of racers, with a record high of close to 200 racers participating at our second race, Star Llam. Although we had a smaller count for this race, it made it a little more intense with a much smaller group. Seeing new faces race and participate was very pleasing, especially since the fixed gear community is a burgeoning facet of the South Bay cycling scene.
Registration closed, manifests were distributed, and the racers were ready. What they weren’t ready for was our little game of Red Light Green Light. It was perfect and well fitting as stop lights are one of the many challenges of any alleycat, and sometimes it is the deciding factor between first and second place. It was great to see everyone get into it and really participate. What we wanted was for everyone to have fun, and if you look at their faces, everyone was enjoying themselves so far.
While the race was going on, iMD rider Taylor Dwight brought over some wood to construct a ghetto quarter pipe. With the help of our very own “build stuff” guy, Jeff, and Raf, the three of them put together a solid ramp that everyone enjoyed. It was my first time hitting a ramp like that and I got the street cred to prove it. But the man of the hour goes to Taylor for doing damage and destroying that thing, gettin’ at least 6 feet off the ground and eventually putting a huge crack in the thing.
Two and a half hours had passed since the racers took off and these two riders finally came in. Hometown favorites, Tim “Tornado” Tsuruda and Maurice “MO-MO” Monge, came in first and second place, with Andrew “Fast One” Ho coming in third shortly after. These three guys beasted the route and finished with plenty of time to spare for the rest of the event. We still had a trick comp lined up and everyone was hangin’ about enjoying the food and drinks provided by our local eatery Tofoo Com Chay. When the race finally concluded, only 22 racers finished, a testament to the difficulty of the race. Dead Fucking Last honors goes to our man, Alex “Many Styles” Lai. Great job to all those wo raced and participated!
After the race was done, we had those ramps still set up. The cops made an appearance and responded to some complaints called in by the residents across the way. Sure, the ramps were loud, but it was only six o’ clock! The boys asked us to take the ramps down, twice. The first time, we simply moved them, and the second time, we actually propped them up. We understand, you guys are just doin’ your job. Thanks for letting us carry on and have fun while it lasted. Above is a picture of Gnarcotix rider, Daniel Ampere, who is from the Peninsula. He was catchin’ hella air of this ghetto rigged kicker. The Quantum Trick competition started right on the dot and we had 5 people compete. First place went to Taylor, second went to Daniel, and third went to iMD rider Dan Karl.
The entire day went off without a hitch. Not once did we run into any problems. Not once did we encounter any challenges that would disrupt our night. Everyone enjoyed themselves and even the cops were cool about the function we had going on. A lot of heart went into the making of this and this may be the one thing that I have trouble articulating. This all grew from a seed we planted six months ago. This community was at least three years in the making to arrive where we are today. From the initial concept of the flier, to the actual clean up after the party, we have worked hard on a daily basis to bring something new and timeless to our region. So I thank you all. I thank you all for being a part of this historic event. I thank all of our sponsors for the continued support and providing our community with something to look forward to. I especially thank Mark and Anna for making my dreams a reality. Thank you Azuki for helping us grow. I hope you all enjoyed yourself and know that this is simply the beginning. Below, you can find the official list of those who placed.
Ride simply. Simply ride.
1. Tim Tsuruda
3. Andrew Fast Ho
4. Rex Maximo
5. Bill Tran, Jon
6. Matt Devita
11. Mark Prado
17. Sean E
21. Nate cockring
DFL. ManJo Manystyles
1. Taylor Dwight
Photo Credit: Anna Marie