Jason Clary just finished off a thrilling victory at this past weekend’s Red Bull Ride + Style Event (the track race portion). What will make it a particularly memorable victory was that it against some of the most well known athletes in fixed gear - some even coming from as far away as Japan. Jason has been representing Soma Fabrications the past 3 years and recently started riding for Pake Bikes. We took time to ask him a few questions.
State your name, age and city of birth for the record
Jason Clary, 28, Oakland CA
Did you ride other bikes before fixed gear?
My parents signed me up in the ABA(American Bicycle Association) when I was around 9. So I ended up BMX racing for about 7 years. I enjoy all kinds of bicycles. I have had a Hans Ray signature trials bike in the past and enjoy mountain biking as well.
What do you love about fixed gear riding?
I enjoy the simplicity of it. It truly is a great experience controlling the speed of your bike bombing down a hill without brakes.
You ride the streets , you race, and you are also a fair trick rider. In which do you feel you are most in your element?
I enjoy riding in the street the most. Nothing surpasses the feeling of riding in traffic and speeding down hills.
You weren't on the original invitation list for the Red Bull Ride+Style Event. How did you feel when you were asked to be an alternate?
As soon as I saw the original list for the Red Bull race I was interested in participating in it. Also kinda discouraged that I wasn't a first pick. I spent a good week talking to different people and trying to find a way into the event. Aaron Lutze who is the NorCal Red Bull marketing rep happened to be at AreaCycles last week. Kenji Iwahashi, the owner of AreaCycles and one of my sponsors, knew how much I wanted to ride in the event. So he pitched the idea to Aaron. It just so happened that Rainer Schaefer from Macaframa wasn't able to attend the race. So I found my in! Kenji reassured Aaron that I was a good fit for the event and that I wouldn't disappoint.
How did you feel on race day?
I went into the race with a lot of confidence. Once I was able to make a couple of laps and warm up I felt my chances were good to win.
Photo: Cog Magazine (used with permission) They have some
killer photos of the whole event online.
I noticed you had headphones on during your heats. What do you like to listen to when you compete?
I like any type of upbeat music. Usually instrumentals keep me focused and help me keep my cadence steady.
Next week is Bike To Work Week: Do you usually bike to work? What encouragement can you offer to those considering to use the bicycle for commuting and not just recreation? I work at a bike shop and ride mine to work all the time. Owning a car seems to get further and further out of my mind the more I ride. It's been 5 years since I have owned a car. My lifestyle has definitely changed and for the better. When I drove a car, it seemed I was always in a rush. When I ride I tend to enjoy what's around me a whole lot more. Most memorable ride you've been on
My most memorable ride has to be the Wolfpack Hustle Crash – the marathon race. I know you said "ride", but riding through L.A. at 4am with 300 bikes is pretty memorable.
Next week is Bike To Work Week: Do you usually bike to work?
What encouragement can you offer to those considering to use the bicycle for commuting and not just recreation?
I work at a bike shop and ride mine to work all the time. Owning a car seems to get further and further out of my mind the more I ride. It's been 5 years since I have owned a car. My lifestyle has definitely changed and for the better. When I drove a car, it seemed I was always in a rush. When I ride I tend to enjoy what's around me a whole lot more.
Most memorable ride you've been on
Where would you go first if you had a time machine?
Go back 10 years and give my 18 year old self some good words of advice!
You've had a rough couple of years recently. Do you feel 2011 is looking up?
Yes. 2011 has been a great year for me so far. It's so gratifying to see my hard work pay off. I plan to keep the positive vibe going and my bicycle wheels rolling!! I will continue to ride hard here and hope to travel and compete in events out of the Bay Area, too.
Who are your current sponsors?
Soma, Pake, AreaCycles, BoomBotix, Freedminds clothing, and Oakley.
Big shout out to Kenji at AreaCycles, Steve Blick at Oakley, Aaron Lutze at Red Bull for giving me a chance. And of course my fellow riders in the WOB crew, Kell, Ton, Jeremiah, Ej, Julien, Savanah, Robin, etc... I also can't forget my great girl friend Jayne Liu.
Photo: J. Liu