Howzit Chinas it's your Boi Zach (Aka @Brakeless_in_the_city Follow me, Cool, ok, Thanks), sorry still trying to get rid of the Joburg Lingo but here we go: It’s story time, grab your popcorn and crack open a cold one.
Recently the boys from Rapid Attack asked Rook Cycles to send some of their heavy hitters for the race they hosted called Rapid Attack Genesis, of course, the Rook Team is always on call waiting to get drafted into the front line like your American uncle Leeroy during Nam. (Not short for Namibia the other Nam).
With a month's notice, the team started doing some testing, we weren’t going to rock up to the city of Gold (it now has another meaning you’ll find out later) for nothing. Seeing that no one had done a race on a go-kart track before we needed to get acquainted with tight turns and heavy leans. So the boys set up a little testing track in a parking lot at an undisclosed location after the danger tape marking a track was set up the team had a few runs immediately we realized these Busline 3000 (a rad race in Cape Town, check it out) ratios and drop bars weren't going to cut it, after a solid slam from Charl and deliberation on ratios and set up's we called it a night, and got to tweaking our setups.
....Fast forward to Friday the 5th of July, Race day, The Race team assembled at HQ bright and early, ready to pack our noble race stallions up ready for the flight, after some final spice was added to the wheels in the form of fresh vinyl's to add that extra 50 watts they were ready to go. After a hero's farewell from the masses, we set off ready for battle.
Once at the Airport we lugged our bikes to check-in then all the way down to the dark underbelly of Cape Town International Airport for oversized goods.
3 hours later we were at our accommodation (Which was super palatial, nothing but the best from Rook Cycles, big ups to Luke) with bikes in pieces itching to be built we slowly opened the bike bags hoping and praying they weren't thrown around to much, but luckily all was groovy and we had the bikes built and ready to roll in a few minutes and after using Charl's small travel pump which took a while to get to the tires to optimal pressure we both had the right biceps of your classic Jozi Boets, ya no lekka!
With bikes ready to roll and luggage dropped off we went in search of some decent graze we were ravenous, we met up with the missing part of the Rook Cycles Race Team Trifecta Marvin (@Supermarvio), with the tanks full from a huge lunch at Smokey Daddy's (weird name I know but its Joburg, they do things differently up there), note to self don't eat so much before a race, with me ready to sleep we decided to sus out the track which conveniently was right below us. Upon arrival, we met the race organizer Dimitri and we immediately saw the passion and commitment he had for the race which was great to see. With registration done and our number on the bikes we set off for a few practice laps, which as we stood on the track we realized would be very interesting none of us realized how sticky the track would be almost broke my ankle a few times as if you stand too long your foot sticks to the floor like pigeon on a roof. The track was about 350m with three lefts and one right, most of the corners super tight but one banger of a sweeping left hand where you can go full gas and flex those sprinting muscles. After some practice laps, we were happy with our setups and ratios which we had been deliberating over for weeks.
The First race was mountain bikes which came with the first slam of the night, going into the first corner of the 3rd lap, a guy slipped out but quickly got up and carried on, this did make us all question how we were going to corner with slicks a third of the size but soon everyone forgot about that and carried on watching the shoulder to shoulder racing. The next race was road/freewheel also super good and yet again another slam in this race. Tim who we met just before slammed pretty hard and when you see someone stand up and walk away from their bike you know they're hurting, with a bloody mouth he came back to the pits turns out he bit his tongue on the fall but soon after Tim, got ready for the next race the Fixed and brakeless category.
So now we are at the point we have all been waiting for, we lined up ready for battle, I was shaking like a leaf and ready to chunder everywhere but this is how every race starts for me. The countdown starts and the tunnel vision sets in, its time, GO!... Marvin got one of the best starts I've seen at the beginning of a race he launched right into the first corner with Charl and myself behind, into turn three Charl and I took the inside line, bringing the standings to Charl in first, myself in second and Marvin in third. Right before the fourth corner I somehow managed to unclip but luckily managed to clip in just in time to take the corner, the rest of the race was pretty much stayed in this line up, was a constant battle of trying to push more and not slip out but luckily no one did and the race carried on smoothly after we crossed the line with Charl in first, myself second and Marvin third, we all had the biggest grins knowing we got a full Rook cycles Podium.
With the race completed, and the message was sent to HQ everyone was stoked with the result, but the night was still young and we had a few more hours on the track, with everyone still pumped and ready for action we decided to do a few hot laps and the pace was getting faster and faster until we were all drafting each other going full tilt into the corners, so after a few hot laps and trying the find the best lines it was time for course record attempt, the main man to beat on the night was Tim (@TimmyKock) and watching him go full send on his road bike around the course the fixed boys were feeling the heat, first up was Marvin setting a super good time showing the art of leaning into a corner while still pedalling, after setting a super-fast time for the night, just a few seconds off Tim's time, we sat by the screen watching some other peoples times sussing out the competition.
After a few others gave it a try Tim's time was still on the top of the leaderboard for the night, it was my turn I got the race chip and put it in my sock as one does, getting my first warm-up lap done it was time for full-gas, having to turn off all caution and push the bike and my skills to the breaking point, being mentally prepared to hit the deck harder than I have in my life I gave it horns and after coming out of the second last corner which is super long and wide that gives way to a great little sprint that ends over the finish line, using what's left in the tanks I went for it, I knew it was fast but didn't expect to shave a second or two off Tims time. Now it was time for Charl's turn the last contender and the last hope of smashing my time because Charl's a f*ckin Beast. Somehow when you're spectating it always looks a lot faster, as he flew past like a bat out of hell, we all watched the screen waiting for his lap time I was certain he had taken it but apparently not after that was over we did a few more laps before prize giving and we compared race lines and after combining the best of all of ours the team was flying around the course this was untimed tough but there's always a next time, Yaaaaaaass!!
So after a successful day of looting at the races from the RC Race Team, we settled down for the night disassembled the bikes and got ready to leave the next day. But all in all Rapid Attack was one of the most well-organized events with a fantastic atmosphere from people spectating and racing, everyone was encouraging each other and reminded me of the main reason I love the cycling community, it doesn't matter who you are, what you do or what skill level you have its all-inclusive and at the end everyone is there to have a drink and some friendly banter after. I really hope to see more of these events in the future and hopefully in Cape Town.
Special Thanks to:
Rook cycles and @luke_rides_fixed for sending the team.
The Rapid Attack Team and Dimitri for an amazing event.
And of course the dream Team racing trifecta Charl (@Charl_i_am) and Marvin (@Supermarvin)