Simplicity and Comraderie Over Competition
Although it may have began as a goofy form of two-wheeled drunkenness, the sport of Pixie racing has evolved into a seriously humorous set of competitions that take place on a seasonal basis in Colorado Springs and other locations around the country and globe.
The X-Games has nothing on Pixie sports, which in its own right, should be included in ESPN’s annual extravaganza. Moreover, as difficult as it is to become a contestant at the X-Games, so it is to participate in a full blown afternoon of Pixie racing. The key to entering Pixie racing events is who you know and who to contact about race locations and times. Once a person muddles through the underground of logistics, they are ready to begin to learn and experience, from a very basic standpoint, an entirely new system of brainwashing that a normal bicyclist would never think rationally exists.
The first thing you’ll have to do is drop 10 bones at a garage sale for a kiddie bike or head to the nearest WalMart and pick up a new one for $35. Bring your crescent wrench to strip off the training wheels.
Next you will have to line up for a mass-start, full-contact ride down a mountainous dirt road. Yes, the guy next to you is wearing his purple and green jester suit, Unabomber sunglasses, and a motocross helmet with a four inch Mohawk, so what? He’s a really nice guy even though his pixie is sponsored by Old Milwaukee Beer, is made out of titanium, and he has just got done telling you with a snickering laugh that humiliating pain is the only thing you will achieve by racing your brand new “stock” pixie against his Raider Nation-like pixie killer.
It does not matter though. The honor of participating in such an experience will have you hooked forever into the belief that there is no greater achievement on two wheels then having competed in a Pixie Repack. “Repack” means that riders will have to overhaul their rear hubs once the high speeds cause the bearing grease go up in smoke during the race.
Jon Hurly is one of the founding fathers of Pixie Repacks in Colorado Springs and was once quoted saying, "It was a bad idea, but we seem to have a lot of people who are very good at it."
It began back in 2004 and the gang had such a good time getting together to spew-a-few and rip-a-doo that they just had to do it again the following year. The fan base spread throughout the county and caused a somewhat fanatical uprising with several racers and riders who began customizing their frames and adding extras, such as hand brakes.
Although fully grown, yet not completely mature, these adults return to the heart of what bicycling is all about. Fun! Yes, that pure unadulterated form of fun that keeps us out there on two wheels in the first place.
"It makes you feel like a kid again," one of a dozen racers said as they perched at the top of a hill, ready to bomb down.
"Yeah, a really dumb kid," another murmured.
The road is a good road, but it is the bikes that are so tough to handle. When the little things get up to speed, knees start banging handlebars, legs start cramping, brakes become death traps, and feet just act as skies for the torso to float atop. And, oh yeah, everybody falls. It is basically impossible not to wreck.
Repack’s in Colorado Springs average 1,700 vertical feet of descent on five miles of twisting gravel switchbacks that take in the neighborhood of 15 minutes to complete, if the Kamikazes make it that far. Crashes are the highlights and the main source of conversation material over an evening of barley pops and other fizzy beverages.
Other events occur at multiple host sites around town. A day of Pixie contests may begin at a BMX track on one side of town for a series of heats and then transfer to a downtown location for an early afternoon of jumping events on whoopty-doos and entrenched double jumps. One of the most exciting spectator events is the “Dizzydrome”. The Dizzydrome is a miniature version of a velodrome made out of dirt with a diameter of approximately 20 feet. The idea is to like, chug a beer, then drop into the Dizzydrome’s three foot tall berm and swirl off as many laps as possible without wrecking from hallucinations. The winner is usually offered another beer!!
Unfortunately, all good parties must come to an end and the Pixie Repack is usually the culminating event to a Pixie filled weekend. Just before sunset, the riders will gather for a 30 minute bullshit session atop High Drive’s summit parking lot and prepare themselves for the race (wreck). At the bottom there is no trophy to hand out. Just slaps on the back, more laughs to share, and blackish grey grease leaking out of hot wheeled hubs.
And at day’s end, the message is clearer than ever. Pixies have nothing to do with some tan, muscular man on the $6 million technological breakthrough bike from Italy or Waterloo on the cover of a magazine! They never will. No, Pixies are a reminder of what bicycling was to us when we too, were young, unadulterated, and fun. With that said, I hope I never get to mature for Pixies!