Published: Friday, February 8, 2008
By Phyl Newbeck
Burlington Free Press Correspondent
NORTH HERO -- During the winter, most bicycle racers content themselves with spinning in place indoors. However, Saturday, aspiring Lance Armstrongs will have the opportunity to race on the frozen surface of City Bay in North Hero.
The Frozen Chosen Regatta is the first such race in the area and, quite possibly, said Brian Costello of Local Motion, the first in Vermont. He's hoping the event will turn into an annual meet. Robert Camp of Hero's Welcome in North Hero is in charge of logistics. He is planning several events beginning at 10 a.m.
The Frozen Chosen Regatta will feature a NASCAR-style event that Camp refers to as NASKATE. That race will feature several laps around the oval that Camp will plow on City Bay.
There will also be a drag race from a standing start in which contestants travel a fixed distance of at least 200 yards.
The third event will be a speed trial. Contestants will get a running start, and be timed for their speed over several hundred feet on a set part of the course. Racers will start sequentially, and the fastest time wins. Camp says that in addition to prizes for the winners of the various events, there will be prizes, including for the coolest design and the oddest design.
Recognizing that this is a new event for Vermont and that not everyone will have the time to build a custom bike, Costello says the rules will be broadened. Entrants pushing sleds with studded boots will also be allowed, as will push scooters.
Camp and Frank Edmonds of South Alburgh took Camp's 21-speed bicycle and turned it upside down and backward. First, they removed the handlebars, front tire, front fork and seat. They welded a metal support on the new back of the bike onto which they attached blades fashioned from angle irons. The rear (now front) tire and blades are the three points of contact with the ice.
Camp said that anything goes for this first Vermont Frozen Chosen Regatta. As long as the vehicle has neither a motor nor a sail, it can be raced.