Portland needs bicycle drag races

Portland needs bicycle drag races

Our friends at Portland Design Works shared a link to a 2010 YouTube video this morning with a simple exclamation of “YES!”

The video shows bicycle drag races being held in a California shopping mall parking lot in the 1970s. It’s amazing footage from the era of banana seats and ape hanger bars. One racer even has parachutes that deploy at the end of his run, just like a real NHRA funny car. Check it out…

When I was a kid my dad took me to the drag races at Pomona Raceway. I still remember the excitement of the races, the fun strolling through the pits, and those amazingly fast cars. It’s not too hard to imagine translating that atmosphere over to bike races (and you wouldn’t need earplugs). A savvy Portland race promoter should team up with Portland International Raceway (PIR) and bring bike drag races back!

In 2010, Team Ironclad hosted a “Street Sprints” competition in an industrial section of the Pearl District that was very similar to drag races. And PIR already hosts many bike events throughout the year — including road races that use the main track. How awesome would it be to hold bike drag races at PIR, complete with the starting-light tree, a timer for the fans to see, an announcer, popcorn and hot dogs, trophies, and more?!

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