On Sunday, 27 August, The Freewheel is bringing Kent athletes and sports fans a new spectacle – Roller Racing.
Well, not exactly new, more of a revival. Roller Racing first appeared in the 1890s and was very popular until the 1950s. Some competitive Cycling Clubs still run Roller Racing Nights for their members and it’s a big hit with urban hipsters. However, at The Freewheel on Bank Holiday Sunday we’re running an Open Roller Racing Competition. Anyone can enter and try and beat off the competition to be The Best Sprinter . No special equipment is required. No special shoes or clothes – lycra or jeans will do.
It’s a really simple sport. Two cyclists sprint it out, side by side, on static fixed wheel bicycles strapped on to a set of rollers within a sturdy jig. When the riders ride, the rollers roll.
Each bike is wired up to a giant clock showing a simulated distance of 500 metres. Because each rider has their own clock hand, the ensuing head-to-head sprint is easy to watch. You can see exactly who is ahead as the red and blue clock hands chase each other round the dial.
It’s a recipe for a great atmosphere. You’re encouraged to cheer for your heroes and heckle their opponents. Make a lot of noise and have a lot of fun. There will be tension, adrenalin, winners and losers. There will be furious pedalling that seems to threaten to shake the entire roller jig apart. Because each race is so short, about 30 seconds, the racing is incredibly intense.
Competitor Registration from 2pm on Sunday 27 August and the Roller Racing Starts at 3pm.