So its been settled what the first production SS frame was (Ventana El Toro, or Window The Bull in English) and the hunt for old SS pictures is underway. I took Fast Eddy's initial thread on a tangent when I wondered out loud when the first Singlespeed World Championships were held - I mighta' guessed it '96. I said I'd dig through my library of old Bike magazines.
Mike Ferrentino has always had his fingers on the pulse, and even I have to begrudgingly admit there's a whole lot of underground bikey stuff going on in NorCal. I thus skimmed the Northern California sections of "Local Knowledge" from the mag's first few years when I got home from work. Its a bluebird of a day here in Tucson and I could have gone riding instead, so you all had better appreciate this. Actually, I biked to and from work on my converted SS and no miles are bad miles, so I didn't really miss out. But I digress...
It looks like its July 1995 for the first self-proclaimed SSWC, or more accurately the first WSSC or WOSC. And I quote:
March 1995 - An announcement
"... the April Fool's Folly, over the 1st and 2nd. Put on by the inimitable Bob Seals and his heinous band of Cool Tool, Retrotecing pranksters, this little shindig will take place at the Cool Tool ranch, just outside Chico. The big news here will be the World Single Speed Championships, on the 2nd."
May 1995 - An update
"...The single speed Worlds, first reported to be held at Cool Tool Bob's house in Chico, have been moved. They're now going on at the Big Bear NCS race, in July...Gonna call it the Whirled One Speed Championship...so the UCI doesn't get their undies in a bundle..."
October 1995 - The results, or "result" because there's only one winner.
"The Whirled One Speed Championships came and went. The bulk of the 16 racers attending the venue in decidedly Southern California Big Bear were staunch NorCal types. Didn't help. In spite of a diversionary beer fight on the start line, we all got spanked by an Oregonian..."
Said Oregonian was one Adam Briggs, and he apparently went on to win the singlespeed class (or the whole race?) at the Humbug Hurryup in Yreka two days later. Core, man. No word on if the prize involved bodily disfigurement - I think tats started in Minneaopolis and of course 'ought-two in Downieville saw (and smelled) the searing of flesh.
Reading about what all was going on around a decade ago, I see that my convergent evolution of singlespeeding hypothesis tests out well. There was NorCal's Crusty Cruiser Cup, Flagstaff's Cruiser Nation, and the Road Apple Rally going on in Farmington NM, all around the same time - probabaly other stuff, too.
There you have it. This was a totally worthwhile exercise because now I can say I actually need to keep all those old magazines, just in case.
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