Last Man Standing | GCN Take On The Fixed Gear Rad Race

October 18, 2019

(crowd cheering) (pants) (exhales) – Oh, what was that? There was I, thinking that
my fixed gear escapades ended at the Red Hook
Crit, but I was wrong. Oh, so very wrong. Si and Dan have decided to send me to an event that is commonly
known as the Rad Race. (phone ringing) Dan Lloyd. Hi, Dan. What do I have the pleasure of you? – [Dan] Hi. Uh, I’ve just got a
quick question for you. Are you doing anything this weekend? – Uh, no, not that I know of. – [Dan] Well, I’ve had an idea, and I wondered if you’d
fancy going over to Berlin to do something called the Rad Race. It’s an indoor fixed-gear race. (sighs) – Fixed-gear race? – [Dan] Yeah, you’d be great. – No! (metal music) Okay, well, I guess it’s time to pack my bags and head to Berlin. (chill music) So, I’m just gonna pick some Mont Blanc, because I am a legend. I think I put quite a lot on. (cameraman laughing) Whoo! (clapping along to guitar) (guitar player singing indistinctly) (bright electronic music) So, now I’ve made it
here, I should probably tell you what the Rad Race is all about, and it was set up by 11 friends from Munster, the German cycling capital. They’re all in cycling, from triathlon, road cycling, mountain
biking, and even bikepacking, but it was in 2013 where
Ingo, one of the founders, decided to set up the
Rad Race cycling events. They’ve got four
different types of events, from the Canyon Battle to
Fix42 and the Tour de Friends, and lastly, the Last Man Standing. Yeah, this one, the one
I’m gonna compete in, and I’m pretty nervous. And I should probably mention, I’m also quite early. Guys? I am competing in the
Last Man Standing event, an event that involves
racing around a go-cart track with a knockout star competition, with roughly 128 male and
40 female contestants, all ranging from amateur to trade teams. It’s done on a first
come, first serve basis. They start in heaps of eight riders, and every second lap an elimination lap. That last rider is kicked out. Yes, you heard me right. The four riders through
make it into the next round. In the final race, the last eight riders compete against each
other in the same format, until only one is left standing. Oh, and yeah, it’s fixed gear only. Oh and plus, there’s meant to be an off-the-charts after-party,
which sounds like fun. I wonder if Dan will turn up for that. (electronic music) Schindelhauer have lent me a bike to ride the Rad Race Last Man Standing, but it’s not just the bike I need. I also need the right
gear, and to be honest, it’s a race that I’ve never done before, and I don’t even have a clue what kind of gear I need to use. So here I’m gonna get
set up from the experts. (electronic music) So I’ve just come out
the Schindelhauer HQ, and they’ve kitted out
this Schindelhauer Hektor out with a 55 tooth on the front and 22 on the back,
which equates to a 47/19. I’ve gone for Conti tires, a 23 on the front and a 25 on the back, Speedplay pedals, so hopefully I’m gonna clip in as fast as possible. I’ve then gone for a 165 length crank, so also, I won’t be
clipping on the corners, ’cause there’s gonna be tight corners. 43 width bars, a Fizik Antares saddle, and then I’ve got GoPro on the bike, so you all can see how I
get on from my perspective. And last but not least, no brakes. It’s fixed gear, and there’s no brakes. Mental. (crowd cheering) So as I was doing my practice laps, I bumped into the founder. This is Ingo. He is basically responsible for setting up all the Rad Race races, and he’s brought cycling
to a go-cart track. I mean, mate, this is mental. – We’ll see about that, but you are mental
because you’re riding it. – Well, that’s true, yeah. – [Ingo] Starting with
it’s gonna be very crowded. Eight riders elbow to elbow, just like usually in a sprint final. So this we have on the starting line, so you have to make sure to be the first, or amongst the first, that
are around the first corner. – I’m super excited. What can we kind of, like,
expect later tonight? I mean, there’s going to be
a lot of energy, isn’t there? – Yeah, maybe you can just cut
now to a scene later tonight. (crowd cheering) And we’re back here for the training. Nothing’s happening. We’re still doing a little
bit of the build-up, set up all the cameras
and everything set up, but I think we’re good, so
riders are starting to get in. – [James] I mean, I’m feeling nervous now, and I don’t wanna know
what I’m gonna feel later. – But you know how it is. Once you hear the starting shot, and you hear me scream, “Kick it,” you’re gonna kick it. We have a thousand people, two thousand people here in this arena, so you’re riding into this wall of people, and with too much speed, because you’re so pumped with adrenaline, and then you have to slow it down here, and every second lap, the last rider is taken out of the race. – Well, let’s hope that’s not me. Ingo, thank you so much
for chatting to me, and I’ll see you later, brother. So the course is set
up on a go-cart track, with seven left and four right turns, and a lot of hairpins. Now, I thought it was gonna be difficult to do it on one of those, and now I’m doing it on one
of these, with no brakes. So I guess it’s gonna be all down to clippy and fast, and then holding on. I’d best go practice my clipping. Uh, yeah. Little bit boxed in. I guess I’m gonna have to ride that. So I picked up my race pack,
and I’ve got my numbers, so that goes on my jersey, number 111, and that goes on the bike. That’s my frame number. So I’ve also got my transponder here, so that makes sure there’s
no one missing laps. So as the warmup’s getting under way, I’ve grabbed Jonas,
who is the team manager of the Rad Pack, and the rider. He came in third last year, and has taken me on in a few laps. Can you give me two tips to
try and get through qualifying, because I’m bricking it, mate. Gotta be honest. – (laughs) Okay, first thing I would do is focus on the start,
because at the starting line, you wanna get first around this corner, and then just feel the
flow, feel the corners. It’s like riding a motorbike, just dipping to each
side, and then you get it. – I could ride a motorbike. Whether or not I could ride this on a fixed gear with no
brakes is another thing. Coming up to the first
hairpin, backing off the speed. Back up, around this corner. That’s where all the crashes happen. Building up speed round the back. Backing right off into a tight hairpin. Take a really wide berth
into that tight right-hander, and it’s out of the saddle if you want. Into the home stretch. Whoo. (low dramatic music) The first round is just about to kick off. Ooh! (dramatic instrumental music) (rock music) (crowd cheering) (chill electronic music) – [Ingo] Eight, seven. Kick it! (crowd cheering) (exciting electronic music) (someone shouts indistinctly) – That’s first round
done, qualified second, now I’ve got a two-hour
wait ’til the next round. Yeah. (electronic music) (crowd cheering) – [Other Biker] Whoo-hoo! – First clappy baby! Right. That’s the second qualifying done. Took a while to get clipped in, and now I kinda just gave everything, and I was like, “Yeah, just wanted to “finish that as hard as I can,” and finished it first, so that was good. I also got the fastest lap of the day, so yeah, pretty happy with that. Onto the quarters, yeah. (dramatic music) (exciting electronic music) Right. Only two rounds to go. Whoo! Sad second wind, and luckily, I had a really good rider in front of me, so I was just following his lines, but it took me a while to,
you know, gauge the rhythm, but once I was in the rhythm, I felt good. Two more rounds to go. (exciting electronic music) (crowd cheering) Whoo! That was a tough semis. Into the finals, come on! Right, I’m through to the finals. That was a really tough semis. I didn’t get clipped in for a lap, and then started from sixth back, and had to work my way forward. Ten minutes can be really hard, though. I don’t know if I could do that. (crowd cheering) Oh, it’s getting dark! (chill electronic music) – [Ingo] Okay, this is the
final race for tonight. (electronic music) Kick it! (slow ethereal music) (crowd cheering) (crowd applauding) – [Ingo] Keep it coming, keep it coming. – Right, and that’s the Rad Race 2019 Last Man Standing done and dusted. I came out with fourth,
one step off the podium, so a little bit gutted, but I am amazed with this event. It has been amazing. The atmosphere’s been electric. If you’ve liked it too, then give this video a big thumbs up, and if you wanna see what
some of the bikes are that we raced here at the Rad Race, then why don’t you
check out the tech video which is just there.

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