WPH Midnight Drag Race 2012

Tonight 200 racers will smash, sprint and bear down with all their might in a high-stakes sprint through the DTLA's Second Street tunnel. Absent for the past couple years, the race quickly became the stuff of legends since inception. Cyclists hungry for speed and glory have long anticipated its resurrection, and the competition is guaranteed to be fierce.

 

Racers will sprint across a 1,000-foot straightaway on a slight incline, through the infamous tunnel (appearing in Blade Runner, Terminator, and Kill Bill) in a series of six heats. While the drag race once held notoriety as an underground event, this year’s race is a fully-permitted affair, with much thanks and gratitude owed to Dorothy Wong, Rick Kleinsmith, and Sara Hernandez, Downtown Director of Council District 14.

Wolfpack Hustle is teaming up with SoCalCross Precision Timing, to provide accuracy to the hundreth of a second in every heat. All racers will compete single-speed, and the top 16 men and women from all six heats will compete in a single-elimination battle until the fastest rider in each category remains the last one standing.

What’s at stake? First place man and woman each receive $100; throne occupants with the fastest time for each heat will be awarded various prizes; and of course, a set of prestigious Wolfpack dog tags awaits the fastest, fiercest racers.

The race begins at 8 p.m. Full race schedule can be found here. I’ll be racing in Heat 4, along with both the top-favored female, Beatriz Rodriguez, and top-favored male, Tim Mcgee. Sponsors include State Bicycle Co., City Grounds, Orange 20, TRAFIK, Jenson USA and many others.

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Thanks to CARMAGEDDON(!) Wolfpack Cyclists race Jetblue to Long Beach!

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ve mostly like heard by now that 99% of Los Angeles is FREAKING OUT because the 405 Freeway is closing this weekend for repairs. The attitude is worse than doomsday fears for Y2K and the rapture, and Angelenos dread this event like nothing else they’ve ever faced. I think it’s hilarious and awesome and awesomely hilarious.

While L.A.’s cyclists are given one more reason to laugh in the face of the absurdity and impracticability of car culture, some have also embraced this as an opportunity to have a whole lot of F.U.N. while making a statement about the awesome effectiveness of bikes as transportation: Bike vs. Plane. The contenders in this showdown are several of L.A.’s Wolfpack Hustle riders, who will be facing Jetblue’s $4 Carmageddon promotional flight from Burbank to Long Beach.

The showdown begins in just two hours (10:50a.m. PST), when the cyclists will depart from a North Hollywood home in conjunction with Joe Anthony, who will leave by car en route to the Burbank Airport and take his comped seat on the Jetblue 12:20p.m. flight.

And to think, it all started with an idle Tweet:

Tom Vanderbilt@tomvanderbiltTom Vanderbilt
Given airport travel time, security, runway delay, etc., I’d bet a good cyclist could travel BUR to LGB faster than Jet Blue.#carmageddon

The finish line is the Long Beach lighthouse. The cyclists and the driver who delivers Anthony to the airport have all agreed to obey all traffic laws. So, does traveling to a (small) airport, through check-in and security lines, boarding, flying 40 miles, and making your way through the airport and over to a landmark using more “traditional” means of transportation take less time than hopping on a steel pony and pushing the pedals the same distance? All I gotta say to that is: Ride on Wolves! I can already hear the pack’s howls.

Rachel Maddow’s semi-silly pre-coverage: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640