On a windy Saturday at dusk, a group of “Bike Knights” sits in Ximending (西門町) tuning up their fixed gear bikes in order to draw out their highest performance. The atmosphere is like that of the calm before the storm, and when everyone is finally ready, they mount their bikes and head off towards Xinyi (信義區). The reason: tonight is the Redbull race “Street Knights,” a fixed gear race where “speed” is the central theme.
The mist floating off of the nearby mountains surrounds 101. The “tribes” of fixed gear teams seem as if they have been summoned by the call of a Shaman as the “Knights” gather around the Xinyi area. The gears and chains of bikes move together with riders’ blood and emotion, and a connection is made between all of those attending as they show off their hundreds of original custom fixed gear frames and builds. While everyone waits in anticipation of the race, the atmosphere is tense and thin like the surface tension on a bubble, only broken through as starting whistle is blown.
The riders take off like guerrillas, channeling through a maze of streets, lanes, and alleys, counting on their own experience and shortcuts as they race to the finish line. In this race there is only one rule, whoever makes it the the end first is the winner. Hence, at this moment all of the teams start their attack, showing off their skills as they reverse into tight spots, drift around corners, run through red lights and pull out other tricks. As they weave in and out of traffic as fast as possible, the tune of “Highway to Hell” may have been heard ever so faintly under the heavy breathing of one of the riders.*from Street Knights
The risk and thrill of riding along public streets causes an adrenaline rush straight to the head. The front-runner clenches his teeth and pulls out of one last shortcut right through a private-residence alley, coming out to the finish line and as the Street Knights Champion. A challenge against other top racers, and especially against oneself, the race is over with local team Nabiis taking both first and second places, until the next Redbull Street Knights race.