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Pixie riders 'feel like kids again' on annual downhill free-for-all
Sunday was, as Colorado Springs cycling advocate Al Brody said, the perfect day for a bike ride.
Down the side of a mountain.
On a kiddie bike.
As is often the case, Brody wasn’t referring to your average afternoon social ride.
What started as a mostly crazy idea years ago became absurd reality again Sunday afternoon with the 9th annual running of the Pixie Repack — a social bike ride for adults on two-wheelers built for 5-year-olds.
No gears. No shocks. Just pedal like hell, lean into the turns and hold on like your life depends on it. Because it just might.
“Riding in this manner is not only dangerous, but also stupid!” organizers reminded riders before they set off for the shuttle ride to the mountain start. “We don’t encourage doing any of these rides.”
The riders aren’t totally crazy. Helmets are mandatory. Pads are strongly encouraged.
Still, the ride is, as custom bike frame-builder Eric Baar warned newbie Nate Andromeda, “primarily a ride of survival.”
Nearly two dozen men and one woman flew four miles down trails and roads of decomposing Pikes Peak granite and then a mile of asphalt, sliding through corners and popping over rocks on a bone-rattling, adrenaline-pumping ride to Bott Park in west Colorado Springs.
Twelve minutes after a crash-filled mass start, the ride was over.
“It was awesome,” said Trae Swofford, who drove from Denver to join the ride for the first time. “Normally I just ride around town. But to rip down a mountain? Amazing.”
Why not just take a spin on your mountain bike?
Pixies help you break out of the adult world for a few hours and ride like a kid again — symbolically and literally with their 16-inch or smaller wheels.
“I was hooked the day I first saw it” said Tom Brown, a veteran of the ride.
“It’s a really great feeling to be riding fast, just on the edge of control, a bit scared,” Brody said. “It’s... unbelievably fun.”
Was it Kris Godwin on his pink and lavender “Bitty Kitty,” purchased for $1 at a secondhand store? Brown, astride “Tropical Splash?”
Cal Farmer, a mountain biker who picked up his knee-high BMX-style bike a few days ago, reached the park ahead of a tight pack of five riders, but missed the final turn — a rookie mistake.
In the end, organizers agreed, “everyone got a ribbon” — for surviving.