From BMX and other cycling enthusiasts to the typical Wynwood hipster, thousands gathered at Mana Studio in Wynwood to enjoy food trucks, live music and Red Bull Mini Drome on Saturday.
For those who don’t know what a “mini drome” is, think of the Olympic cycling races that are done on what is called a “velodrome,” (an oval track connected by two straights). Sounds like a typical running track, right? Wrong. While a track meant for running is flat, a velodrome is steeply banked, especially at the two turns on the ends. So, the “mini drome” is merely a scaled down version of a velodrome with dimensions of 46 ft. X 24 ft., with 8ft banks on the turns, making them even sharper.
“This is my first time coming to an event like this. My friend actually dragged me out. It’s so different,” attendee Lara Simon said about the event. “I never would’ve thought that watching these people race around a track on bikes would be so entertaining, but it is.”
Open to the general public, the event attracted a large crowd, including cyclists who biked from Jacksonville as well as event host Addison Zawada.
“You know, it’s amazing being around people who love the same sport and share the same enthusiasm for BMX as I do,” cyclist Alex Gonzalez said. “There are a lot of new people and guys who have been doing this for a while. It’s a mix and one I’m happy to be a part of.”
The event began with 64 fixed gear cyclists at the beginning of knockout stages on Saturday, all sharing the same energy and excitement. Each heat crowned a winner in one of three ways: the rider with the fastest combined laps times over ten laps, one rider catching up to the rear of another rider on the track and making the race unsafe, or if a rider should crash in any way, his or her opponent would win. With each progressing round, the stakes grew higher. By the last few rounds, the level of intensity pushed through the roof. Riders reached speeds up to 30 mph.
Ricky Compton, hailing from Manchester, England, won the Red Bull Mini Drome. For his win, Compton wore a checkered, neon-colored “aero-suit.” Compton previously won the Red Bull Mini Drome in Paris and Gent, Belgium.
The event goers deemed the coolest part about the event the level of passion all the riders had for cycling.
Though a winner was crowned, riders didn’t seem like they were there to win, but to instead take part in the spirit of competition.
“I came to ride and winning was a bonus,” Compton said.
words_mark cartier. additional reporting_dave pooja. photo_mark cartier and dave pooja.