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Bust out the lube, because this Friday Isla Vista will play host to internationally-acclaimed cycling club Kroozer $kid Nation, who is visiting town as a new stop on their professional beach cruiser racing circuit. The event, evoking the memory of spirited rides through the mountains of France and Italy, has been dubbed the “Tour de Fuck”.
“The Tour de Fuck embodies Isla Vista as we see it,” K$N Chairman Cory Oleson said. “Tour de Fuck is all about destroying and mangling every bike and participant in the race.”
Local transient and regular attendee Todd Darsh proffered another viewpoint.
“It’s called ‘Tour de Fuck’ because we’re going to go fuck afterwards,” he said.
K$N held a preseason exhibition in Isla Vista in early January, and the success of that event — aptly named “Welcummm to Hell” — has convinced the leaders of the organization that Isla Vista is the perfect addition to their worldwide series of sprint races. The Tour de Fuck, stop number nine in this year’s K$N championship, is being slotted in right after the “Smuggler’s Run,” a narco-trafficking themed race held two weeks ago in Bogota. K$N Race Director Shane Bowen – a three-time champion – said that the club started small, but has expanded their brand of racing into international circles with ease. He views I.V. as a perfect addition to the K$N circuit.
“One day we thought we should have a race based around doing skids in the all the corners while drinking beer, and Kroozer $kid Nation was born,” Bowen said. “The first time there were 10 of us, and it just went from there. Isla Vista is good [for the race series] because of the number of people who have cruisers and can chug beers.”
K$N holds urban sprint races; rather than a multi-stage time trial of more pedestrian events, their riders must complete a number of laps around a city course. To elevate the level of competition, riders must complete certain tasks after every lap. These task range from rapidly finishing a beer – the staple of the competition – to spinning in circles or lighting opponent’s bikes on fire. K$N Publications Head Mitch “Dragon Slayer” Flexo said that K$N events are fueled by both the competitors and fans, creating an event that supports the mayhem they are known for.
“There’s an excess of bikes and fire, and an appetite for destruction,” Flexo said. “The liquor and testosterone- fueled environment leads to a Lord of the Flies situation. I think our sole tenets of ‘Dudes Only’ and ‘Get Bladed, Yell and Break $tuff’ appeal to a broad audience, which has helped build our empire.”
The intensity of the racing, combined with the heavy beer drinking required and oft-shoddy build quality of many entrant’s bicycles, produces a large amount of “carnage,” as one spectator said at a previous event. Therein lies the root of Kroozer $kid Nation’s worldwide success and reported heavy profitability, for the spectator-orientated nature of the races has led to a cultish following of dedicated fans.
“For six hours you get transported into the bowels of hell,” K$N Head Assistant Vice Chancellor of Evil Austin Andrews said. “You don’t see that shit everyday: 50 people in costume running into each other and vomiting on themselves. It’s not like you need a skill or anything. You just need to get bladed.”
Yet despite the shining success at the surface of K$N’s events, numerous people have spoken out against the aftermath of races. The complaints are varied, but revolve around the alleged misconduct of K$N’s touring riders. Anecdotal evidence of passersby getting verbally abused or vomited on is abundant. The poor condition and preparation of a large proportion of the bicycles used in the event is largely due to the fact that they had been stolen shortly prior to a race. Most disturbingly, post-race festivities – which often include piles of burning bikes billowing smoke plumes and punk or metal bands – have been described as “apocalyptic,” “consummate evil” and “purely Satanic.”
“Fuck these assholes,” an irate neighbor said earlier this year. “I’m tired of the screaming, beer cans hitting my cars, puke all over my fucking lawn. Last time I went over, there was so much smoke I couldn’t breathe, and I’m pretty sure they were sacrificing a lamb or something.”
Despite the criticisms sent their way, the organizers behind Kroozer $kid Nation are unconcerned. In their eyes, they are solely providing a healthy alternative in the realm of professional cycling.
Pre-race registration for the Tour de Fuck is slated for 6 p.m. Friday, with the race set to start at 7 p.m.