We're dudes. Total creatures of habit, but the ISCORP Downers Ave. weekend started without our normal announcing traditions. We passed on Kwik Trip for our 100% Columbian coffee and glazers, and didn't crank up the Katy Perry. The only think I can think of is that we were too damn excited to get to Milwaukee. Well, Bayview to be exact. Importantly, though, we didn't forget the bullhorn and we may have broken the talk trigger. Yeah, it received that kind of abuse. Truthfully, I was delightfully surprised to the hear so many people excited to see we had a bullhorn. Of course, this was before we started using it. That sound you hear coming from the bullhorn? That's regret. But you asked for it!
When the opportunity came up to be a part of any sort of stage time at Downers Avenue, we jumped all over it. I mean, we love to hear ourselves talk! Seriously, though, It's bicycle racing at it's finest, in an amazing neighborhood and it comes with what felt like an all-day party. How could we say no? And how can you not be so excited you forget a few things, like donuts and Katy Perry? Face it, we're lucky we showed up with pants on! (And so were you!)
The first thing we did is introduce ourselves to Nick from Fyxation since our job was to announce the men's and women's Fyxation Open fixed gear crits. We'd never met Nick, and all we could think was, "WOW! What is he doing working with us jokers?!" The Fyxation Open is an omnium point series, which is extremely well run and features two races during Tour of America's Dairyland (Milwaukeeland) and the Intelligentsia Cup (Chicagoland). These races are a brilliant idea! They're a little less serious than the average crit (or at least it seemed that way to us) and seemed to perfectly suit our style. The fixed gear races really gave the spectators an opportunity see a different kind of race and hear a little different style of announcing.
The races are similar to a crit and run on the same course as the rest of the day's racing at Downer Ave. Officials count down the laps, and there's a bell lap, but there is no free lap. So if you have trouble, you're done. Also no bow staffs, maces (the spikey ball kind, the spray is actually allowed), brass knuckles or whipping chains. Most importantly, no touching of the hair or face. And riders are required to keep their hands and head inside the vehicle at all times. Otherwise, everything else is a go.
Anyway, after meeting with Nick, we wanted to meet with some of the racers and spectators and hear some stories of race lore. We found a few people from the Fox Valley, where we're from, and heard about their races; and we found our friends Liz and Paul from Blue Steel Fabrication in La Cross, WI.
We had a few hours to get to know the racers, so we did the only thing we knew how to do: we became extremely aggressive in introducing ourselves and soliciting donations for creepy clown and cabbage patch piggy banks. Did it work!? You bet your ass it worked!
We met more people, and raised a significant amount of added cash, safety pins, crackers, and a bunch of other stuff, sweetening the pot for the racers.
Ashley Duban won the women's open race, and Emile Abraham won the men's. Look these two up, there really is no surprise they each won.
After our hour fun, we took to bull-horning the pro field like crazy. "SAINT PETER, MOVE UP. SAINT PETER MOVE UP. SAINT PETER MOVE UP". Saint Peter......You didn't move up. But that's ok, because you did show up. Which is all you really need to do most of the time. There are some words to live by for you. You're welcome.
Our time on the mics was short and sweet, and all we can hope for is to be invited back for next year. This is definitely one of the highlights of our illustrious fringe sport announcing careers. It was truly an honor. Although next time, we won't skip the Kwik Trip, 100% columbian, glazers and Katy Perry.