Photo: The Gazette, Justin Edmonds
How have I not heard about this before? According to an article in the Colorado Springs Gazette there are pixie bike races all over the US every year, including pixie races at the US Air Force Academy and Stanford University. For the uninitiated, pixie bike races involve adults riding kids bikes in wanton disregard for the latest and greatest in bike technology. The rules are generally simple and require that riders use bikes with wheels 16″ or smaller in diameter with an appropriately sized frame.
Anyway, the Gazette article was about the Pixie Repack race that was held in Colorado Springs earlier this month. Racers careened down High Drive into Bear Creek Canyon on the tiny bikes and seemed to have a blast despite some nasty wipeouts. For those who don’t know, High Drive is a steep gravel road that’s only open to one-way vehicle traffic during the summer months and from the top it’s more than 1,000 feet of descending to the pavement. The sweeping turns and loose gravel make this a pretty gnarly course and it sounds like few of the pixie bikes survive the plunge. The Pixie Repack bike race is particularly interesting because it isn’t part of a larger mountain bike race or festival like the pixie races held at Downieville each year – the Pixie Repack in Colorado Springs is an event unto itself.
Obviously pixie bike races are just for fun but in some ways they point to the movement within the mountain bike community toward simplicity and comraderie over competition. Just as mountain bike pioneers like Gary Fisher and Charlie Kelly raced their clunkers down Mt. Tam in Marin County, the pixie bikers may just be onto something new. Or they could be completely crazy, only time will tell