Saturday, July 13, 2013

USA Cycling National Championships - Madison

Now and then it is fun when you are at the right place at the right time.  We went to see the Wisconsin State Capitol and happened upon the U.S. Cycling National Championships!  We've never been close to an event like this so it was quite interesting.
Before every race they have a warm up period and I believe we saw three races.

The course is 1km and the races were around the 1 square block course of the State Capitol building.
It was fascinating to see these guys go for it!

They lined up and took off after last minute instructions.
 We got a different vantage point and some them zoom by!
 I have never seen a cycling race except the Tour de France.  This was pretty exciting though!
 One thing you hear as they round the corners in a pack is the noise of the gears and the sprocket action.
Now and then you can tell there are a few on a team and they jockey for position helping each other.  But mostly it seems like the strategy is hanging near the front and being able to sprint to the finish.

And then the inevitable - a crash
Four or five riders rounded the corner and hit the ground.  They got some help and got back on their bikes (except for one guy whose bike was messed up) and finished the race.

I am not sure about the different categories of races, but we saw one that was a C3 para-cycling race.  Some guys have obvious situations that put them in the category:
It looked like there were some ladies competing with the men in the para-cycling race?  Like I said, I really don't know too much about it so I had a lot of questions.
During the warmups, the booth announcer had time to interview some officials in the National Cycling organization.
As we were watching the warm up, I chatted with this guy who was a competitor.  He is from Indiana and 16 years old.  His sister had just won the national championship for her age group.  His race was later in the day.  Talk about pressure!
He said his bike and gear cost in the $5000 range.

Years ago our son was into cycling and worked as a bike mechanic at a couple of bike shops in Washington D.C.  He got to where he could assemble and tune those bikes in no time.  Actually it took him in about 20 minutes from box/crate to road ready.

I have had a road bike but nothing that high tech or expensive.  15 years ago I think my whole setup with gear and the bike was in the $500 range.  I enjoyed recreational non-competitive rides in Virginia. They have some great trails.  For me 20-30 miles was a long ride.  I was looking for an alternative to long distance running.  I ran lots of fun runs, 1/2 marathons and finished four marathons before my body broke down and I had to find something else.  Biking/cycling seems to work for me now.

Though we hadn't planned on seeing the bike race (and certainly not a National Championship) it was great fun to get a glimpse of these special athletes in competition!

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the blog on the cycling. I would love to see one of those in person. We enjoy cycling, but certainly not at that level.