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Monday, March 10, 2014

15 Seconds To Nowhere: Goldsprints Bring Bikes To The Bar | NPR

Two racers compete at ArtsRiot in Burlington, Vt., during a recent goldsprints racing event.
Two racers compete at ArtsRiot in Burlington, Vt., during a recent goldsprints racing event.
Two cyclists walk into a bar. Then they get on stationary bikes and pedal like crazy.
It's called goldsprints, and it is as much a social event as it is an athletic one. Ingredients for a goldsprints event are simple: two bikes, front wheels removed and set into a metal frame, the back wheels on rollers, then add a little music and an emcee.
The sport started in Europe, and has spread to bars in most major U.S. cities. Goldsprints racing is both extremely intense and extremely informal. At a recent goldsprints event at ArtsRiot in in Burlington, Vt., all the racers were in jeans and sneakers, or winter boots. But when they get on stage and start madly pedaling, the competition definitely heats up.
A goldsprint is a short sprint, 250 meters. Since the riders aren't actually going anywhere, a computer program tracks their progress and a giant screen shows who is in the lead. The crowd can see it, but the riders can't.

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