Thursday, June 8, Pro bike racing came to Reading, PA. Since I just started ridng last year, I had to see. First impression is this sport is 80 pounds and 40 years behind me. So I'm strictly a spectator. I did ride bike in town to I could get around the 6.7 mile course. The pros managed to complete 71 miles in just under 3 hours, while my longest ride to date was 32 miles in over 3 hours. Don't think I'll be racing anytime soon, (actually never).
Reading has been trying to shake off it's status as one of the worst 100 small cities (drugs), so this Race is another attempt to do just that. The media claims a crowd of 15,000, which I suppose isn't half bad for a race held during the week when everybody should be working. And of course the Pro Race provides riders from every country so the Latino population had plenty to cheer about. A German gal won the girls race, a home grown American the Cat 1/2 race and Greg Henderson of New Zealand won the Pro race. I was wearing my Jelly Belly shirt and one of their team managed to lead race for a few laps. Many in the crowds had no idea what to expect and were quite blown away when 160 plus riders in a long drawn out peleton passed by. All the bikes and riders were so quiet as they went by, but you could pick up a distinct swoosh sound as the sliced thru the air. And rolling down Hill Road at 50 plus mph with other bikes just inches away is quite a site. I will certainly return next year.
Now hopefully the pics I have will load ok. More details at the local radio stations web site, the station had live coverage 0830 to 0430. http://www.weeu.com/sports.asp