The biggest party in the mountain bike universe is descending upon Anchorage, Alaska, this weekend, as the annual Singlespeed World Championship rolls into town. We’ve partnered with photographer Devon Balet to capture the action, the mischief and the mayhem for everyone who can’t be there, and everyone who was there but can’t remember.
If you’re not familiar, the Singlespeed World Championship isn’t like other races. First off: the men’s and women’s winners get a trophy they will never forget – because it’s tattooed on. Don’t want the tattoo? Don’t win. Second, no costume? You’re pretty much DQ’d. You’ve been warned.
After the “race” is over there are usually feats of strength to determine who will host the following year’s event. It’s truly an international spectacle, as the race has been held in Ireland, Italy, South Africa, New Zealand and beyond. It was first held, “unofficially” in 1995, and hosted by none other than Bob Seals. (Read our interview with the infamous Reverend Seals in Issue #178). Rather than Singlespeed Worlds, it was dubbed “W.H.I.R.L.E.D.” (Wasted Hairy Insanely Retro League of Enlightened Degenerates).
For 2014 we’ve tapped Balet as our photographer to represent Dirt Rag in Alaska. His work captures the best of cycling, winter sports, and the lifestyle that is so important to both. If you’ve read a mountain bike magazine in the last few years or seen an action photo in a product advertisement, you’ve likely seen his work.
So yeah, keep checking back in as we head to the 49th state for what promises to be an epic good time.