100 laps, 50-year-old bikes: Vancouver’s annual vintage cruiser cycle race
Bike culture in Vancouver continues to thrive and grow. I’ve been involved with the vintage cruiser scene for almost 20 years, led by the indomitable Rod “Pappy” Kirkham. Rod has run a few bike shops—Mountain and Beach, 6th Avenue Cycles—but he’s best known for two things: his passionate past in supporting mountain biking in Vancouver’s early days; and his enduring love of finding, restoring, riding and partying on 1950s-era fat tire Schwinns.
Fellow enthusiasts Jack (of vancruisers.ca) and event planner Holly (of Events by Detail) organizes an annual bike race of the one-speed clunkers. 2015 marked the 13th year of the summer race, with 6 teams competing.
What is a “Little 100” bike race?
Vancouver’s Little 100 is based on the Little 500 in the film Breaking Away. In that 1979 cycling cult classic, a team of local guys, the “Cutters”, take on the high technology and big attitudes of the campus cycling team. The relay race requires a team of four to circle the oval track 500—or in our case, 100—times.