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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Peter James
Peter James
9 years ago

I love the parachutes that launch at the finish line! Such a great video and yes, Portland absolutely needs to do this. What kind of bikes would make the best drag racers? Same bikes used for road races? Perhaps one set of races for people with their own crazy bikes and other class where the exact same type of bike was used for each race so it was about the racer and not the bike.

Thanks for sharing.

Chris
Chris
9 years ago

So cool. Love the award of a ‘bicycle racing hat’ at the end.

armando
armando
9 years ago

awesome! i remember doing this as a kid, but not so organized. looks like the kid with the parachutes never stopped racing! http://www.mikedunnracing.com/profile.asp

TVCB
TVCB
9 years ago

Its only been over a year since the friday the 13th street sprints in NW.
and before that only a few months since the one previous.

Portland already has bike drag races, you just have to know where to look.

Johnny
Johnny
9 years ago

would be a good primer for the cirque de cycling crit on mississippi. awesome vid jm

Carl
Carl
9 years ago

I still have scars from the last time I drag raced in Portland:
http://foter.com/f/photo/394372794/1d93db03f0
http://foter.com/f/photo/394373723/fb4af553f3
…in which we dragged each other around on pieces of plywood, dragging on cigarettes, in drag.

Case
Case
9 years ago

Absolutely, Stock category and Modified category.

mabsf
mabsf
9 years ago

For the cargo bike mom crowd we could have a tractor pull… just so that they can show their thunder thighs…

Spiffy
Spiffy
9 years ago

bell-bottoms with no chain guards and not a helmet in sight (except the one he won as a prize as the end)… ah, the good ol’ days…

Michael P.
Michael P.
9 years ago

This reminds me of the now infamous Red Bull Hill Chasers event in London
http://vimeo.com/19406552

Murph
Murph
9 years ago

Brrrraa-aaaaa-aaaaaap!

E-Po Rider
E-Po Rider
9 years ago

OK Sure. But please include UPHILL drag races for us little guys. 🙂

Opus the Poet
9 years ago

Human Powered RaceAmerica sanctions bicycle drag racing (among other kinds of bike racing) with different classes for different kinds of bikes. Here’s their URL: http://www.recumbents.com/hpra/

Dabby
Dabby
9 years ago

We have been doing drag style races for many years here in Portland, I believe dating back to the mid 90’s.
From the messenger sprints (West Side Invite), to the tireless rim races behind the Paragon Bar (Noise Ride), sprints and drags have been a staple.
We had a raging messenger mini Bike Drag/sprint Race at NE 24th and Alberta I am pleased to say I won. Had to beat the Tall Joe the Aussie.

Kenji
9 years ago

Cargo class
BMX class
Cruiser class
Chopper class
Fixie class
Clyd/Athena
Skinny
Al/Peggy Bundy class (have to have full time job and at least two kids)
Bike racer class
Commuter class
Recreational class
Tandem
Open

😛

bunbun
bunbun
9 years ago

i always thought 3 speed drags would be cool. or flywheel assist drag bikes, but alas, bike fun is so 2002…

longgone
longgone
9 years ago

New Cat: Combo-GoldSprintRollerBunnyHopEighthMile !

moe
moe
8 years ago

this was from “Funny Car summer” ..I do believe