January 2009 marks the 1 year anniversary of the Loose Cannons Bike Race. For those not familiar, Loose Cannons is the brainchild of Joel Meinholz of IAmYourVillain (Chocolate Sundays @ Purdy). He initially started the race to get people out together on bicycles and open up the cycling community. The race starts at different locations but always ends at PS14 where Joel hosts a party. The winner receives a $50 bar tab & participants usually get free t-shirts, stickers, etc. courtesy of MIA Skate Shop. PS14 also offers $1 beers to cyclists from 10-12am on bike race nights and they have $5 all you can eat BBQ out back. The race has come a long way since it's inception. What started out as just a few friends has become something much bigger. The most recent races boast 50+ racers. The race was initially held on the first Wednesday of the month, but that has changed in recent months due to scheduling conflicts.

This is a video from the first Loose Cannons, you would never think this took place in Miami judging by everyone's attire. The video has a somber feel to, almost innocent. It captures the night's event without showing much race footage. I wish someone would come film more of our races in this fashion. Subtle music, good editing, etc.

video courtesy of The Killa Tapes

Unfortunately for me I missed the first Loose Cannons. I was in a broken down van in Ashburn, GA w/ Jacuzzi Boys while this race was taking place. It was freezing in Georgia & while watching the news in the motel it reported S. Florida was getting one of it's coldest nights in many years. A major cold snap had rolled through, 35°F degrees. That's cold for us Miami folk.

I recall calling my friend James that night and asking him how the race went. Keep in mind these type of races were new to most of us and no one knew really what to expect. James informed me that he was the winner and that it was lots of fun & really cold, but claimed he was cheated out of the prize by someone on a BMX. I later found out my friend Barrett was the culprit, he had put his bike inside a car and obviously got to the finish line before anyone else, kinda funny in retrospect. I felt bad for James though, he won and was totally gaffled of his $50 bar tab prize. James would prove himself again though the following month (Feb) by getting first place and sharing his beer tab with all of us.

The February '08 race had lots more people than the inaugural event, mostly due to better promotion and a general growing interest in bike culture. No one really had any routes planned, basically everyone dashed up Washington Ave to 17th st then west onto Venetian. The first 30 seconds of the race were very scary, it was my first Loose Cannons and halfway up Washington Ave I told myself "you know.. maybe this isn't a really good idea". The first few races actually had check points where we would have to drink a can of Colt 45 at a halfway stop. I remember a vehicle was parked on the side of the road giving everyone beers. I then told myself "yea.. this is a good idea", a few seconds later as I'm riding and beer is trying to spurt out my nose "nope.. bad idea". I kinda wish the checkpoints were reintroduced into the races though, they kept the party/wild vibe going which was the initial agenda of these races, but I realize it's a bad idea from a safety/liability point of view and makes it more difficult to organize. Oh well, you can always wait till the race is over & drink at PS14. Bikes, beers & BBQ... that is Loose Cannons.

I'm not going to write a month by month recollection of Loose Cannons, just wanted to blurb about the first race & the second since it was my first experience. Here's to another year of fun races.

Next Loose Cannons is supposed to be January 14th, 2008. No details yet on starting location, stay tuned.