Three months after entries for the 2010 Singlespeed World Championships, in Rotorua, New Zealand, opened and seven months before race day on October 23, the limit for New Zealand entries is just hours away from being reached.
"Rotorua's Whakarewarewa Forest trail network is pretty big, but there has to be a limit, so people can enjoy the race and our magnificent singletrack," said Dean Watson of the event organizing team. "There are nearly 700 entries at this stage. There are still places for international riders, but we've had over 200 from overseas, already."
There is no qualification to enter the Championships except a one-geared mountain bike and a good sense of humour.
"The biggest overseas contingents are from the USA and Australia, and there will be riders from all over Europe, and countries like Israel, Singapore and South Africa," said Watson of those already entered. "And there are most of the current New Zealand cross country national champions in the start list and the top Kiwi rider of the last decade, Kashi Leuchs, has also entered.
"We've had some interesting reports about the costumes some of them are planning to wear."
The competition for first place and the tattoos for the men's and women's winners will be fierce. However, even the top riders get dressed up, and the majority of the big race field will be in Rotorua for fun and a few laughs.
"We're planning a whole week of bike-related stuff," said Watson. "It' will be a real celebration of just what makes singlespeeding and cycling so great."
Heather Irmiger and Ross Schnell won the 2009 Singlespeed Championships.
For more information on Singlespeed worlds, including updated entry lists, visit www.sswc10nz.com.