Photos and text by Jun Nogami
It was a snowy evening at Icycle this year. The rink was cleared by Zamboni shortly before the event -- now in its twelfth year -- but by the time the first heat started, there was already a layer of snow on the ice. The benches were packed as usual, but there also were quite a few people watching from outside the fence. Despite the cold, a very large number stuck around for the entire event.
By the time the finals rolled around, the snow had let up. Four heats were run on both rinks. First was the women's final. It was an incredibly close race, with two riders trading the lead back and forth.
About four laps from the end of the 25-lap race, they crashed. The winner, Linda Shin, was able to remount her bike just a little quicker, and she won by a little under a quarter lap.
Next was a heat with the BMX guys, run in the reverse direction to the delight of the crowd. For some reason, three of them decided that the hot setup this year was dropbars on their BMXs. I think that Ray (the one with no shirt) was the winner; but he also spun out near the end.
The men's race was also close, with Sean Thompson holding off a charge at the finish to win by about a bike length. The final heat was the rubber race. By this time, I had lost a lot of feeling in my hands, and I took off for home, with the sounds of the crowded cheering on the racers, and reacting to the chaos on the ice.
The Ice Emperor (Albert De Ciccio, below) is always a crowd favourite.
Related on the dandyBLOG: