Frequently Asked Questions
This page provides practical assistance, reassuring information, and answers to commonly raised questions about Roller Racing International, and, on occasion, life in general. As usual, it is a mix of the serious, not-so-serious, and downright contentious (especially anything to do with our official rule book)
If you can't find what you are looking for here, or need more information about RRI, or anything else for that matter, please get in touch with us.
What is Roller Racing?
Roller racing is part sport and all party. Put simply, you get on a stationary (locked fork) bicycle and race opponent(s) to determine a winner. Then you yell and scream as other people do the same.
What is the history of roller racing?
Roller racing (sometimes called Goldsprints or Opensprints) isn’t new - in fact it has been around since the 1890s. There have been mechanical systems, ‘slot car’-style track systems - even this rather impressive Belgian contribution. All we’ve done is tweaked it, with an app and production platform that makes it even more fun and engaging. If you are interested, you can read more about the history of roller racing here.
Can anyone have a go?
Absolutely! It doesn’t matter if you're a seasoned pro - or have never ridden a bicycle before - hop up and have some fun. The bikes are super adjustable and can cater for almost anyone (see below). More to the point, the races are short - and you can control how much effort you exert. However, just in case you can’t control those competitive juices (and let’s face it, who can?), we ask you to, please, stay within your limits.
How tall do I need to be to ride?
The only guiding principle here is you must be able to safely reach the pedals. Everyone is slightly different, but as a rule of thumb, if you are over (or around) 155cm you should be fine.
Can kids have a go?
Absolutely - so long as they can safely touch the pedals, and a parent (and/or legal guardian) is in attendance.
Are the official rules published anywhere?
Yes, on the back of a napkin back at our office. Also, here.
How difficult is roller racing?
Roller racing is as hard or as easy as you make it. The bikes are locked to the rollers at the fork - so you don’t have to worry about balance. Similarly, the rollers offer very little friction/resistance, so pedalling is easy. From there it depends on how fast you want to go (i.e. how fast you want to spin your legs in pursuit of glory). We always recommend you stick to a pace that you feel comfortable with - and you’ll be just fine.
How long do races take?
That depends on how fast you go. Our elite athletes can cover 250m in under 10 seconds (I know, right?!?), however the average time is more like 15-20 seconds, all things considered. Feel like setting a new fastest time, or just taking it nice ‘n easy? We love you just the same.
Is there anything I need to bring?
No, just yourself. You can race in whatever you like - from your favourite suit to your favourite lycra. We run pedals with toe straps, so no cycling shoes are required. We have been known to give totally unjustified advantages to those brave souls who come in costume. Just sayin’...
Can I race my friends?
Absolutely. Depending on the format of the event (there are many) you can nominate the victim, eh, friend you want to race in the opening round – and get straight to the mind games (usually involving repeated, puffy-chested “‘sup?! ‘sup?!”). From there, however, your journey typically lies in the hands of fate.
Can I race my own, awesome bike?
No, sorry, that’s not the way we roll (literally…).
I don’t want to race, what’s in it for me?
Roller racing is full-body-contact kinda spectator sport. You are encouraged to cheer for your heroes, get in the faces of their opponents - make a lot of noise, dance to the tunes and generally have a whole lot of fun. Plus, there is usually a very well-stocked bar...
Will my results be published?
All results are recorded and stored through our app - and usually published on rollerracing.com. However, sometimes event partners ask us (nicely) to keep their events private, in which case you can always contact us for your own times/results.
About Roller Racing International (RRI)
Who is behind all this awesomeness?
Roller Racing International (RRI) is powered by The Spokes People, a not-for-profit social enterprise from Sydney, Australia, who curate cycling events in urban spaces.
So, is it only available in Sydney?
Hell no! Have bikes, will travel. Our proprietary equipment packs down into road cases, ready to ship to your next event, whether it be anywhere around Australia, or even, on occasion, around the globe. We’re like a travelling rock band, with impeccable personal hygiene (and mad event management skills).
Is it a real sports league?
Absolutely - well in our minds, anyway. We host elite racing events, have a set of official rules and a cool looking logo (that LOOKS like a real sports league). So yeah - but nah. (do you have to be Australian to get that joke?)
Is there an official RRI theme song?
Not yet. Perhaps you could write one. In the meantime, and unofficially, this seems about right. On so many levels.
How is RRI different to other roller racing products?
We built our own exclusive, interactive app to power the racing, allowing us to do a whole lot of new, and fun things. Then we spent all our pocket money on a custom production rig with monster LED screens and a light show/sound system (shout out to Event Lighting for all the support) to really curl your toes. It’s like an arcade game went on a date with a rock concert. Finally, we’ve partnered with the best in the business to bring amazing events to life. You can find out more about how we’ve reinvented the product here.
Can I hire your roller racing equipment?
No, sorry. Part of what makes RRI special is the experience - which is so much more than the sum of the parts (or equipment). We do all the work - so you can relax and enjoy the show.
Is the RRI app available for anyone to download (via an app store)?
Our racing app is still in early beta, so it is currently not available for download/use. We hope to expand the beta at some stage (all information will be made available here).
What is RRI FUND?
We’re putting the FUN back in fundraising! RRI FUND is a comprehensive fundraising platform that takes advantage of our all-too-human competitive instinct to raise big funds for great causes. Take that chuggers! More information coming soon.
Can I organise my own event(s)?
Yes. Yes. A thousand times yes. We built RRI as a platform, to empower you to run amazing events of your own. We help you every step of the way, from assisting in designing your event, to helping you promote it, to setting up and running it with you. We can re-brand any part of the setup, tweak the rules in the app, customise the visuals to suit your brand and much, much more. Whether you want to run a fundraising event (RRI FUND, see above), end of year rager, sporting challenge, or something we haven’t thought of yet - we’re there for you every step of the way. More information coming soon.
How much do events cost?
Contact us for pricing options. We offer discounts for fellow NGOs, charities and other do-gooders looking to make a difference.
Where can events be held?
Pretty much anywhere you can fit the crowd who’ve been counting down the sleeps until the racing starts. Pubs, halls, rooftops, club houses, warehouses and such. Add some flat, level space and a couple of accessible electrical circuits and we’re in business (we bring everything else). We can even customise our setup to suit your unique space. We think of RRI as pound-for-pound (or, more accurately, per square foot/metre) about the most engaging and interactive activation you can fit into a small space. We’re such proud parents.
Can we sponsor event(s)?
Absolutely. We even built a page just for you.
Do you need people to volunteer/help out at local events?
Yes, please. We have a core team who do the heavy lifting, but we couldn’t make these sweet events happen without our awesome TSP volunteer base. Volunteers get sweet swag, that good feeling of everyone thinking you’re awesome, as well as super-useful training by elite event producers (we are seriously good at what we do). Sound like your kind of thing? You can find out more about volunteering here - we’d love you to say hi.
Tell me more about The Spokes People (TSP)?
You can find out all you ever wanted to know about TSP (and more) here. Bringing the fun since approximately 2012.