Photos by Eric Stampfli
It’s early Saturday morning in Reno, Nev., on the second day of the mighty Tour de Nez, one of the best handcycle races on the West Coast. More than an hour before start time, one by one the racers pull in to the reserved parking area, unload and assemble their bikes. The morning quiet is broken by the sound of portable air compressors pushing the internal pressure of thin racing tires as high as 150 psi. You can feel the excitement for the upcoming Criterium, a .7-mile short course race that’s as exciting to watch as it is to ride. The race will begin soon with riders taking off en masse, turning the event into a nearly chaotic spectacle with riders pushing all-out down the narrow downtown streets, doing as many laps as possible in 35 minutes, hoping to win the day.