BPR Corporate Headquarters: Background & Disclaimer:
Background: Taz, BPR UK Founder & Leader assembled this report from The Field…. SSUK. Taz and his buddies organized the event. Sounds like one wicked good time.
Disclaimer: Taz takes full responsibility for The English to The American translation. Those freaks in The Old World kinda communicate in an Old World form. And us dudes in The New World just try to roll with this old skool lingo. It’s all cool.
SSUK14: The Story. The History. The Reality. Taz Style… Back of the Pack Style:
Well what can I say, I’m writing this in the kind of post orgasmic torpor that follows an amazing event. The fact that it was one that I had a major part in organising, just makes the weird, sleep deprived twitches and extreme caffeine dependency all the sweeter.
Going back in time to 2011 I was part of team that put a bid in to host the 2012 Single Speed UK champs and basically got told to fuck off as we were either too organised and not singlespeedy enough or we didn’t have the industry links and weren’t part of the “clique”. For whatever reason the cool kids that were organising the 2012 SSUK event fucked it up and cancelled it, pretty much killing it dead in the water, with the exception of a small crew of die-hard UK singlespeeders who got an Event together hosted by the 2 of the most brilliant people I’ve met in the cycling world, who ended up with a bunch of drunkards living in their house for the weekend (Dan and Jo are legends in my eyes)
2013 Charlie the Bike Monger Stepped up to the challenge and took the bull by the horns, the dog by bollocks and got the SSUK vibe re-birthed and pulled off a brilliantly mellow event, at which point fuelled by Absinthe and way too much beer, two idiots came up with the idea to get the UK champs back to being the EVENT of the year for UK single speedy types. Who were those two visionaries? None other than the Brummy ( a UK colloquialism for a person from the City of Birmingham, most easily identified by their accents and love of Ozzy Ozbourne) wonder that is Keef Onespeed and some tit called Taz, UK el Presidente of B.P.R UK (don’t know much about him, but he looks like one of Satan’s little grinning imps and I wouldn’t trust a word he types!) … Judd Edit. “el Presidente” is American for the Old World Term “The Leader”
So, there we have it, two people and a small crew of likeminded individuals with 12 months to plan something special.
The Race was to be held at Cannock Chase, which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the Midlands of the Britain
The Midlands is one of many English regions to be designed by Adolf Hitler, through clever use of bombing areas he didn’t like. When this failed and he lost the war, the Adolf got his revenge by designing nightmare concrete buildings, utterly miserable public transport and sadistic traffic systems.
The local speech is limited to only the simplest of words, consisting mainly of: “Foock” and “Bohlucks”. The dialect can also be thoroughly re-enacted by getting absolutely sloshed and punching oneself until on the verge of unconsciousness before attempting to speak.
If we regard the UK as a pool of congealing tramp’s vomit, the Midlands would be a half digested piece of carrot. Not terribly attractive, though not as bad as bile and possibly with some nutritional value.
Cannock Chase is in Staffordshire between Stafford and Birmingham (homes of good punk, great food and a funny regional dialect)
Cannock was also voted as best dogging* location 1996-2008 by the readers of “Shagging a swamp donkey in a Corsa (a very small car usually owned by the British equivalent of trailer trash), weekly”
It’s also the home of some stonkingly good singletrack and evil little rooty climbs, so was the perfect choice for making singlespeederists hurt.
*dogging- the art of having sex in car parks, usually with people so ugly that they are an advert for chlorinating the gene pool
We had worked our fucking assess off to get this thing bouncing, and with the social media build up, teasers of super ltd edition clothing to be on offer and even our own brewed beer (thanks Spence!) We were nearly ready.
There were folks wondering where and when the fuck up fairy would visit and jokingly we even had single speeders threatening to boycott as we were looking far too polished.
I can now candidly admit that the stress, swearing and general evasive manoeuvres needed to keep this ever growing beast of an event on track would have made riding a space hopper, blindfolded, through a mine field, look like a piece of piss. A massive thanks must go out to Col and Deaky and the WAGS for keeping me n Keef from imploding or from just hiding under the bed sheets until it all went away.
As luck would have it, one of the single speeders just happens to be part of the Church End Brewery and they had soon set us up with more real ale than a beer festival and a special SSUK beer for the beer stop/feed station.
It was decided by the local boys that no midlands event feed station would be complete without pork scratchings. A “food” that, on this occasion was served in bin bags?
WTF is a pork scratching??
For the folks further away than 5 miles of Birmingham , a pork scratching is a deep fried pig skin they make in the “black country”, in the west midlands. Seen as fine dining cuisine by the local folk they are about 60% fat and 40% salt. It is considered a real treat if you are lucky enough to get an identifiable bit, like a hairy nipple or a bit of ear with an tag number still visible. Usually finished with the licking the fingers and a shout of “Bostin*”
*I have no idea what this means, but I think Bostin is a local Deity that looks after fried foods, and the hardening of arteries
We arrived, panicked a bit, drank beer, panicked a bit more, discovered that I’d lost the stud from my brooks saddle, sulked, drove all the way home, found it, drove all the way back to campsite, fitted it, drank more beer, hmmmm the beer was good, drank beer, passed out
Awoke with a screaming headache and mouth like a bear and all its little bear friends had used face for a woodland sexytime party and left something behind on my tongue ( I do love a real ale hangover!).
Drank coffee and tried to feel a bit more human, then a quick guided ride with a few of the early birds that had arrived a night early on the way to do business with the Forestry Comission to get the course officially signed off and ready for lots of singlespeed idiots to play with.
By the time we’d got back to the campsite, it was filling up rapidly and to be honest I shat myself a bit at the thought that this was it, no going back now. Keef and I had a quick council of war, vagualey worked out who was doing what and then it was all a blur of happy people running around like a twat trying to be in three places at once.
By the evening it had all settled down, to beer, music and roller racing! A cigarette* 2 minutes before spinning your tits off for 500m is a sure fire way to feel like puking a lung and ensuring that you don’t go through to the next round and have to do it again.
*Sorry mum and Dad, the demon nicotine was a helper for the weekend. Your little boy is clean again now though xx
The Main Event
06:00 –Fucking hell we have to tape the course up, NOW!!
06:40 ish- watch big Jim being very ill whilst trying to help. Bless his little cotton socks, he’s back to helping after snotting sick out of his nose, that’s dedication.
08:00 – Meet the British Cycling Chap and go over all the serious stuff like risk assessments, first aiders and marshall points
09:00- finish taping (ish) leg it back to campsite 3 miles away to try and get stuff sorted out.
What then followed was some of the most stressful and damn right silly times I’ve ever head including forgetting my bike and having to run back all the way to get it. (I may have been a little over wrought at this point)
10:00- Start getting riders together for the mass ride out. Luckily organising singlespeeders is like herding cats and the extra time it took was a welcome bonus, told the marshals to ride them slowly to the race course.
11:00 back at race central, where the fuck have all these riders come from, that’s gotta be the fastest 3 miles some of these buggers have ever ridden, they must be desperate to get to the beer stop.
11:00 and bit- Riders leave their bikes at the start line and walk around the corner. Out little minions run around like the Muppets to a mental benny hill theme tune, to hide, move and generally re-arrange the bikes to cause as much carnage as possible, whilst I give the race briefing and Keef gets horny
11:00 and a little bit more- GOGOGOGOGOGOGOGO, the enthusiastic ones run like hell to find their bikes, most sort of saunter or bimble, working on the theory that it’s actually easier to spot your bike up a tree once 100 or so people have already got out of your way.
The Obligatory hiding of bikes at the start line
Where the hell is my bike?
What then followed was 4 laps of fantastic racing, with a few trials and tribulations on some technical, rooty, tight and bloody fast singletrack with no areas for a let up to see the closest finish we’ve witnessed in a singlespeed race with the top 5 riders coming through within 30 seconds of each other and the winner being decided by half a wheel.
Well done on a brilliant effort to Dave, Steve, Ian, Jules and Shaggy for making it such an awesome event to watch.
There may be a B.P.R collective building up around a couple of these damn fine chaps when their sponsored racing allows so Steve (Doris) Day and Jules (Race face Riverdance) may be coming to podium near you. (Judd Edit: Back of the Pack Racing is The Revolution… or Rebelution as Mad Rhino corrects. And we want to grow The Global Revolution -> back of the pack style!)
The proper fast boys coming in for First and Second and they had a beer every lap.
Brilliant effort to everyone else for having a great time, drinking the beer stop dry by the end of the race and a special thanks to the marshals who managed to direct a bunch of idiots on bikes around the woods, without losing any of them.
Some people liked the course so much, they gave it a cuddle
The After Party
What can I say, a brilliant after party, prizes galore. Someone won a stooge bike frame and forks, the winners got trophies, bags of goodies and a pair of goldtec hubs each (blingy, clickly,spinny hubs of wonder).
We nearly blinded or decapitated most of the crowd throwing literally hundreds of stickers, mud guards, chain lubes and other free shite at them.
Ringo won a fluffy saddle to reward him for racing with a bad case of the bleeding bum grapes and a young lad won a complete surly fat bike as it was his first SS event, he broke his bike on the course and both Keef and I felt that the bike couldn’t have gone to a better person to actually be a life improving thing.
Taz and Keef (the masters of mayhem)
We had live bands, we had free curry and we drank the beer tent empty and everyone partied like it was 1999.
And Finally, our last propper Act as SSUK 2014 masters of mayhem was to choose the poor bastards that would have to do it all next year.
It was an obvious choice and SSUK 2015 was awarded to Wayne Elliot from EDS bikes to host in some Grim northern hell hole called Yorkshire, which is most famous for being full of surly buggers, constantly raining and being powered by cups of weak tea.
Wayne is also as cool as fuck and one of the UK B.P.R contingent for next year, so expect to be seeing his little smiley beardy face all over the place.
Taz and a Wookie called Wayne.
A Gentle guided ride around the cheeky and secret trails. Nearly 18 miles with a massive hangover, no water and a singlespeed fat bike, I’m glad folks loved the trails, but shite, that hurt. I am pleased to say that I maintained my manliness and didn’t throw up on the climbs and just had a spitty lumpy bile, which doesn’t count sick and in sex terminology would just be pre-cum
So, Would I do it Again?
HELL YEAH! Not another SSUK, but I’ve got plans, watch this space for Single Speed Fight Club and Alley Cat Racing like never before.
The End Game
We had one minor race injury, one beer fuelled after party injury and 200+people with raging hangovers so all in all a success, but to finish it off I’ll leave it to the riders to have their say:
“I know it’s been said already loads of times, but Keef Onespeed & Taz Wadie total respect to you both and the others that helped behind the scene. That is the best cycle event I have been too, can’t wait for next years as I am sure EDS Bikes will continue the great vibe”
“Great weekend organization was immense, especially to do all that for£ 45.00 per head and still have Money to donate to charity”
“Awesome weekend guys. Taz and Keef you are legends! Thanks for taking us on some sweet singletrack this morning Taz.SSUK2014 beat SSEC2014 hands down. Best event of the year! Roll on SSUK 2015!!”
“Cheers Keef , Taz, and the rest of the SSUK team for hosting such a great event of the year.”
“Massive thanks to everyone who worked so hard to put this on, especially Messrs Taz & Keef. Course was ace, loved every lung busting minute of it.”
“I’d just like to say a huge thank you too Keef and taz for putting on one if the best events I’ve ever Been too. Plus all the helpers behind the scenes. Thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it you shonky cnuts. “
“Taz you are a fking sex god, take me now”
So a huge thanks to all involved in the planning and wonderful loons that make up the single speed community, I love you all, well most of you, there are a few whom I’d Like to bury in a shallow roadside grave, but hey, that’s life.
And Really Finally (This is it, I promise, has anyone actually read this far?)
A massive FUCK OFF to this Twat.
Who was the shouty swearing “pro race prima donna” that abused all marshals and acted like a prize prick? Just want to say man up sweet cheeks you were fucking shit anyway and no way would have caught up to the fast boys that also had the same detour as you and didn’t act like total cnuts. Maybe next time leave the ego at home and actually join in the whole event and learn what a single speed race is. X
We know what shop you ride for and won’t publicise it, as it’s unfair on them, but fuck me you need to learn some fucking manners, before someone scrapes your face off with a hammer drill.
SO THAT’S IT, THANKS FOR READING AND LOVE TO THE WORLD FROM TAZ AT B.P.R UK x
Damn that is a beautiful Black Sheep and….
some awesome BPR Colors
and for all you jackA$$es: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmUvQ6Hs0z8
and… just in case you wanna rock out… back of the pack style