Burnaby wrap and return to Minnesota

The last night of racing in Burnaby was huge, as far as spectators go. About 600 came through the doors, and most of them took to the infield and beer garden. It was a good time.

Tuft and Bell of Symmetrics were the overall winners, but the racing was only part of the excitement on night 6.

If the strategy of getting lapped in a fashion that would allow Brad to sprint off against Friedman wasn't enough, things got even goofier. There had been talk of finding a rainbow clown wig. A rubber chicken accompanies Brad everywhere that he travels. And inspired by some highly fashionable teens in Starbucks, we decided that some oversized sunglasses would really complete the look. Inquiring with the barista, we found out that there was a costume shop just a block down the street! How lucky are we?

Andrew Armstrong, who stepped it up from the A's omnium to race with Brad when I had to abandon was warned that there would be some shenanigans going on, but that was it. No specifics. So when Brad pulled the rubber chicken out of his jersey in the first madison and tried to hand it off to Kirk O'Bee (he didn't accept), no one quite knew what to expect. Jeremy Storie, the organizer and announcer, took it all in stride, and actually seemed pleased and amused.
It probably would have been a good idea to clue Andrew in on what Brad was about to do. But where's the fun in that?

Bothered with nagging knee problems, Brad decided to call it a night after the first race. But what to do with the clown wig and giant sunglasses? Serendipity in finding them could not be denied, so despite the possibility of causing further bodily harm, he took the to rail, decked out in all his finery, with the intention of being the first out in the elimination. Well, he actually (and I believe accidently) was the second eliminated, but no one could match his mad style.

Brad taking to to rail for the elimination

This was probably the most educational few hours I've ever had about bike racing. The lesson: Don't take it so seriously. If you stop having fun with it, bike racing just sucks. You work your ass off, don't make squat, live out of a suitcase, and are usually either injured or recovering from an injury. If you can't throw on a rainbow wig and put on a show every now and then, it's probably not worth it.

That's the look of a true champion. And notice how good the wig and glasses look with the LA Lighting jersey. Just like it was meant to be!

I'd go as far as to say this could be applied to most jobs. If I ever have a job where I would be fired for showing up in oversized novelty sunglasses, I probably don't want to be working there. Try it. See what your boss and coworkers say. I'm curious to hear what happens.

Sunday was uneventful travel, save for a painful arm and lost luggage, but everything turned up the following night. I also went to the doctor and had a bunch of blood drained out of my arm. I don't know why the Canadian doctors were so reluctant to do this; the doctor here told me they could have gotten much more out, alleviated almost all of the swelling, and vastly sped up the recovery if they had drained it within the first 24 hours. Thanks for nothing, Canadian health care.

Check out the latest Bike Throw podcast, where I dropped in Tuesday morning to talk about the race. It was pretty fun.