I’ve been hearing a lot of chatter lately about possible changes to Beer Bike, about which I honestly have no opinion. It’s striking as a historical matter, though, how complicated the thing has gotten over the years. It really was an inspired idea and in the beginning was both much simpler and more dangerous. Here’s a look at 1961:
If you don’t have anything else to do, zoom in and check out the outfits on the crowd. There’s some great stuff, especially footwear.
Loafers and collared shirts. Definitely not current Beer Bike fashion.
Having the races in the parking lot is certainly safer, but also certainly has caused the loss of a lot of the spectator appeal and drama of racing around the quad.
There is a photo in the 1966 Campanile of the first moment of a bike crash in the race. The rear wheel is sliding out on the corner and you can see that the sew-up tire has rolled off the rim. The rider is still trying to control it, but he’s going down. One girl in the crowd is reacting. It is a great photo.
Speaking of 1966. My roomie and I discovered an unlocked gate at the stadium and decided racing around the course at 10 o’clock would be great practice for the Hanszen bike team
Turns out it wasn’t a great idea. Rice PD showed up. No way could he catch on our racing bikes. But he could and did lock the gate. My roomie, now a lawyer in Austin, negotiated our release
Didn’t come close to making the team. No where near making the team