The Burnaby Velodrome is hosting a great 4-Day series of racing from Dec. 27-30th. Not quite the six day races of old, where track riders rode-to-win continuously for 6 days until they became sunken-eyed, hallucinogenic, sleep-deprived zombies, but heck, Grand-Tours aren’t ridden fixed any longer either.
I’m no expert on six-day races, or in this case four-day, because I don’t live in Germany where 6-days have the most enduring popularity, and as a result have never seen one live myself. However, that’s all the more reason to support this event which features a great line-up of racers including Tyler Farrar and Svein Tuft. Historically, 6-day races were epic 24-hour events with non-stop racing for 6 days. The first ones in the late 1800’s were exactly that unthinkable torture, until the police got involved and mandated that no one rider could ride for more than 12 consecutive hours to avoid things like death and frequent strychnine abuse. Now, over a century later, events have been reduced to multiple disciplines throughout the night, generally from 8pm-2am, and in the case of this coming event in Burnaby, it will last only four days. As opposed to focusing solely on human endurance, points are awarded in the multiple competitions to determine winners. Take a peek at the Burnaby 4 schedule for the line-up of events here.
The last, major, 6 day event in North America was in Montreal in 1980 and before that in New York in 1961, which is unfortunate because the “Madison” track discipline takes its name from 6 day events in Madison Square Gardens. More recent 6 day’s cycle through a ten location circuit taking place in Dortmund, Munich, Bremen, Berlin, Stuttgart, Copenhagen, Ghent, Zurich, Amsterdam and Grenoble. It’s hugely popular in Germany, with five of the ten events held in the country and that’s mostly because of the non-stop Euro techno that plays during the race. Oh, and the beer. Lots of Beer.
Come out, check it out.
Ticket are available at Mighty Riders. $5 for one day, $15 for all four.