Interview With Jack Lindquist

Last weekend at the DVSxCadence Fast Forward LA event at Encino Velodrome, this guy slaughtered the entire field and waltzed away with a brand new Giant Omnium frameset and $350 in cash ($250 for the main prize + $100 for the last race of the day prize). A couple weeks before that, the same guy won five Masters State Champion titles in his first year racing as a Master. On top of track racing, this guy competes in all kinds of events from fixed gear alleycats to tandem cyclocross to 24-hr mountain bike races. This guy is Jack Lindquist and he is fast. This week he slowed down just enough for me to catch up with him and ask a few questions…

[Photo by Ace Carretero]

RTBL: First of all, I noticed that you finally got your other piston tattoo filled in. Are you faster now?

JACK: The pistons started about 3 years ago and yes, now I am much faster. But I’m not sure how much the tattoo has had to do with that. I started training this season, with a coach and a purpose, and that has made a world of difference.

RTBL: So you just won the DVSxCadence Fast Forward event in LA. Are you going to represent LA at Fast Friday in SF?

JACK: I am planning on it. I’ve been looking for a good reason to head up North for a bit and racing bikes seems like an awesome one!

RTBL: Some folks thought the Fast Forward event in LA wasn’t fair because the racing was done at a velodrome and Fast Friday comes out of the street fixed gear scene. Others thought it was sketchy because there were a lot of riders who hadn’t raced on a track before. Where do you stand on that and how do you think the event went?

JACK: From what I understand, there were only a couple of kids that thought the event wasn’t fair. And honestly, I think that’s on them. I had a really good time and everyone else I spoke with did as well. As far as the winner coming from a track racer instead of a street racer, I think that’s completely ridiculous. The winner came from a faster bike racer. If it had been really close between some of the participants, that would have been one thing and tactics and experience could have made the difference.

RTBL: I know that you started racing fixed in the streets of LA doing alleycats as well as riding with Swarm! and Woflpack Hustle. How did that get you into track racing?

JACK: In 2007 [ed. note: I think this was actually in 2006] Squid, from CycleHawk NY, put on an event at 3 velodromes across the country. The goal was to get city bikers and messengers to take their track bikes from the streets to the track. I had just started messengering and was really excited about the grand prize: round trip airfare to Cycle Messenger World Championships in Sydney, Australia. So I came out to Encino Velodrome a few times and started to learn a bit about racing. I came in second place in the LA and Chicago events, then went to NY and won there. It was a great experience and I made a ton of friends and discovered how awesome track racing can be with the help of some amazing people — namely John ‘The Cat’ Campo from Kissena Velodrome and Al Nash from Encino Velodrome, who both helped Squid organize the racing at the events. When I got back from Australia, I kept racing track and got fast.

[Photo by Ace Carretero]

RTBL: Do you still do any alleycat races? Any favorites?

JACK: I really like the Wolfpack stuff. I haven’t done anything in a little while as my new job and training/recovering are taking a lot of time. I’m looking forward to going up north to race with some of those kids. It’s been a while since I’ve traveled for an alleycat/street race. Should be exciting!

RTBL: You also won five Masters State Champion titles a couple weeks ago. How does that feel for you?

JACK: I’m stoked. It was a nice result, validating all the hard work I’ve put in this year. Also, it got me really excited for some of the Elite State and National Championships that I’ve got coming up on the track.

RTBL: You are doing more racing on the road this year. How is it going and how do you like it compared to track racing?

JACK: The road racing is going very well. I’ve entered 5 crits, and won 4 of them. It’s not quite fair as I’m still a Cat 4 on the road and a Cat 2 on the track. But it’s fun and I’ve won some money and had a good time doing it. Winning is always a good feeling.

RTBL: What other races are you planning to do for the rest of the season?

JACK: I’m heading up to Portland for the Alpenrose Velodrome Challenge in a few weeks. I’m excited to race some keirins and do some elite level sprinting. Should be a good experience for me and it will be nice to go back to the track where I destroyed my first BMC track bike and get a little redemption. If you haven’t seen it, the promo video for this year’s avc has a clip of the crash. I’ll let you guess which one I am.

RTBL: Lastly, is there any gear or equipment that you’re really excited about right now?

JACK: Working at Shimano, I get to see all sorts of amazing new bike technology coming out and being developed. Some of the coolest stuff right now is actually the new XTR product. Some amazing stuff has been done to take advantage of material properties, not just for weight reduction or strength increases, but huge performance increases in temperature control and durability. Also, the ridiculously light track disc from PRO that I have is pretty cool. I’m a little nervous to ride it, as it is a tension disc and there are some reports of people seeing ripples in the surface when I’m sprinting on it. But it looks rad and sounds amazing when I’m going through the corners!

If you want to see Jack’s disc rippling through the corners, come to the next Bob Hansing Memorial Cup Omnium at Encino Velodrome on July 10th. Thanks for the chat, Jack. Congratulations and good luck!

[Photo by Sean Martin]

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