What a race! I was wondering if the event was going to get off the ground as we pulled into the park on Roosevelt and 20th ST in Phoenix. The park is a little slice of the inner city that you don’t see too often living and working in Scottsdale. Riders started arriving at 7 and by 7:30 although there were about 30 riders there, no one from the race organizing group; Ill Squadron, had made an appearance yet. I took a nasty spill on the bike on the way home from work on Saturday, damaged my hand and the rest of me was pretty scraped up. Right up to the start of the race I was considering myself a maybe. Then a couple of guys/gals show up wearing doctors smocks and medical equipment and start signing people up for the race. Without hesitation I got in line and got my manifest and spoke card. The race was centered around a disease theme. Each stop was either a treatment or cause and although the order seemed workable on the sheet, the stops could be done in any order. The start is always a bit hectic, and this race was no exception. We started in an abandoned apartment building across the street from the park and were supposed to leave the bikes across the street and then run to them from around the back, no one was willing to leave the bikes much further than they could see so the start run was only a few yards. The first stop was only a few blocks from the park at a State run mental institution. The group arrived mostly intact and circled the outside not seeing anyone to sign the manifests then rode into the parking lot in masse’. It didn’t feel right, riding past the security guard into the facility and when I heard the squealing tires and slamming brakes I knew we were in the wrong place. The security guard went tilt, chasing down riders and hitting them with his van. He is screaming out the window at anyone he can get close enough to. “What the fuck do you think you are doing here? This is a State run institution! You are trespassing.” We all circled back towards the exit to find the gate we had rode through moments ago was now shut! It was a mad scramble throwing bikes over and then climbing up and over after them. The guard caught up to me just as I was clearing the gate and grabbed my shoulder. “Stop right there asshole.” He yells at me. I laugh and keep moving over the fence. He follows and kicks my bike as I mount up and ride off. Different situation, different night, I stop and teach this overweight short shit a lesson for kicking my ride, but tonight I had a race to do. I had to settle for a bird and a callous laugh. The rest of the stops went without incident, at least for me. Each stop had an interesting challenge. Chug a beer at the alcoholics stop, carry a “tumor” (a gallon of water) in your pack for the rest of the race. At the stop near the dorms at ASU if you couldn’t produce a condom, it was announced you now had Herpes and had to take a shot of Hot Sauce to get your manifest signed. One stop in Tempe seemed harmless enough at first, I got my manifest signed and then heard the girl announce “Here is your Anthrax!” before pelting me in the face with a hand full of flour. I rode the rest of the race, like everyone else, in white-face. I didn’t win the race but felt good the whole ride and was in contention until the last three stops. St. Paul got to the finish line third, but won the event with the completion of a time bonus; climbing a parking structure near the park. We all met up at Casey Moores for a few brews after and laughed and traded stories about the security guards and the different stops. What a night! My hand was bleeding, my bike got kicked, got flour thrown in my face, took a shooter of Tabasco sauce, and carried a leaking water bottle for about ten miles. I cant wait for the next one.
Check out AZFIXED.COM for everyone elses stories on the race. Good stuff