Wednesday, March 2, 2011

St. Patricks Day's Baddest: Introducing La Noche Miami Criterium

I was sitting back at the breakfast table this morning with my usual cup of joe. I was thinking back and relishing my days spent in Florida a couple weeks prior. I thought about South Beach and all the fun I had while visiting. I could easily say Miami, in general, wouldn't be the city I'd chose to define who I am as a person. But for some reason, I'm drawn like a magnet to the fine city every time I'm in the area. I think it's the fact that it South Beach goes against everything that typically makes me comfortable that gives me such a thrill while I'm there. The people-watching there is some of the best on earth, for sure! In the city's attempt to define it's style by allowing all that is superficial and pretentious to reign supreme, it kind of funny how actually reduces humanity to it's most primitive form. Life in South Beach boils down to a contest of the fabulous; hunters and the hunted, the survival of the fittest... literally.

Going back to my coffee table daydream. I started wondering if there were any races through any downtown areas of Miami. I thought the city would make an excellent backdrop for a criterium. I had no clue my Google search would yield such an interesting results. I found a race, billing one of the grittiest races on two wheels I've ever heard publicly pitched.

However, just a short jaunt from the glitz and glimmer of Ocean Blvd,  crossing over the Julia Tuttle Causeway will drop you into the Wynwood Art District of Miami. This is where vanity fades and irony takes over. It seems wherever there's art these days, a fixie loving hipster community won't be too far from it. It was in this neighborhood of the city that I would learn of a different brand of contest.

On March 17th, in conjunction with the Miami Bike Film Festival, La Noche Miami Criterium will consist of two races, one geared, one fixed (alleycat style) contest on a 4/5 mile four cornered flat and fast road course. As I read on, it only got better. Both of these contests will be held after dark. Needless to say, neither of the races are sanctioned. I so badly want to be there to see this play out in real-time. I hope to hell those putting the race on make sure the course stays well sealed off from outside traffic.

I know this race is a bit unconventional, but I think this is what I dig about it most. I love the attempt to combine a couple of cycling cliques that typically would not run side-by-side to have a clean and simple good time. Well.., maybe not so much "clean", you couldn't pay me enough to participate in the fixed gear race, OUCH! I've always thought organized amateur road and track cycling could benefit with closer ties to its urban dwelling underground fixed gear cousins. If anything, they could earn a greater appreciation for a vegan diet, PBR, and some badass Indie Rock.

 Coincidentally, the race runs immediately parallel to I-95, the nation's most dangerous stretch of highway! The  potential perils of this race could only be rivaled by that of an action movie set. I guess that plays perfectly into it's partnership with the Bike Film Fest. I wouldn't be surprised if this event becomes a documentary in next year's fest. I couldn't think of a better way to spend St. Patrick's Day. It's too bad my time down there is over for the year or I'd be there for sure! You can bet I'll keep my eyes peeled on YouTube on the days following. I'll be hoping to catch a few moments from the contest. Best of luck to the brave souls competing. This one could get interesting!

Articles / Ads Relating:

Bicycle Film Fest - Miami
The Miami Bike Scene


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