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10 October 2011 1 comment
Roller Racing, Spin Classes, Etc.Sports Cycling Curiosities Bicycles
"Slow down! You're going too fast!" Fun and games by Rollapaluza. In some parts of the world, autumn is a dangerously magnificent time to be out taking exercise on one's bike. In New Hampshire, for example, hyperventilation is common among riders new to the breathtaking-ness of the region's physical charms, encountered at their most charming over the course of a sunny October morning spin. In other parts of the world it can be somewhat less magnificent, and quantifiably more dangerous. So at Boultbee Towers we pass no moral judgement on those cyclists who, in the face of driving rain and ubiquitous slicks of wet leaves, decide that discretion might be the greater part of valour, and opt to stow their racing wheels for a month or two. Or four. But anybody who cycles a few miles with any sort of regularity will be familiar with the hunger pangs that cause legs to rumble when they're suddenly not getting fed the way they like to be. There are, fortunately, all sorts of ways to continue deriving physical and spiritual pleasure from the turning of two cranks, without rider or said cranks getting much of a change of scenery. Or getting wet. Or aquaplaning on leaves. Read on, Autumnal Traveler... It's amazing what film makers can do with Special Effects software these days. Rollapaluza have been pushing people's heart rates into borderline A&E territory for six years without a single complaint. Their rollers and giant clock have been generating good news all over the papers and television since the company's formation in 2006. As well as hosting competitions in bars and at charity events, they have begun in recent times to introduce lazy, sweet-toothed children to the joys of rapid physical exhaustion by bringing their equipment to schools around Britain and letting the kids have at it. On their site they have a selection of clips from their own events, as well as rare footage of 1999's "Gold Sprints", held during that year's Cycle Messenger World Championship in Zürich, and widely agreed to be the first incarnation in the Modern Era of explicitly competitive Hometrainer use. And for the uninitiated, the following video sums up the atmosphere of a well-run evening of roller racing nicely: Roller Racing Finals, Take 1 from Kathryn Aaker on Vimeo. If this isn't your sort of thing, however, maybe a trip to the human powered cinema is closer to your idea of a good night out. They've been springing up everywhere for the past couple of years, chiefly to help educate the general public in a tangible way about energy. Cycle In Cinema - Magnificent Revolution from culturehunter on Vimeo. An average Westerner's daily electricity requirements, for example, could theoretically be met by a Spin Class of 50 riders giving it "socks" for 24 hours. Of course, a less strenuous (and perhaps equally rewarding) way for any cycling enthusiast to do his or her bit for Sustainability is to ensure that the perch bolted to his or her seatpost has simply been built to last, and whose composite parts can each be replaced if worn or torn. In roller racing after all, at least for a fixed number of pedal turns, its all about Sustainability. A look that is hard to sustain.