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Old 01-19-09, 12:54 AM   #1
Tom Bombadil
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Olympics bike races could be in my neighborhood

Chicago is one of the cities vying for the 2016 Olympics. If chosen, their organizers have already struck a deal with Wisconsin to hold the road and mountain bike races in Wisconsin. Specifically the area around Madison and Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin, where I live and work.

The Road Race course would begin on the University of Wisconsin campus, just blocks from my office. It would then wind out through Mt. Horeb and around Blue Mound State Park, where I ride the Military Ridge Trail frequently. This course would likely run within 5 miles of my house.

The Mountain Bike Course would be carved out of the Tyrol Basin ski course, which is just a few miles outside of Mt. Horeb.

This area is already home to several significant races every year, including the:
Wisconsin Ironman http://www.ironmanwisconsin.com/bike.html
Horrible Hilly Hundreds: http://www.horriblyhilly.com/course.html
Dairyland Dare: http://www.dairylanddare.com/routes.php (roughly 22,000' of climbing over 300k course)

The entire area around Mt. Horeb and Blue Mounds is quite hilly. No huge climbs, the tallest climb is just over 900', but it is a sea of rollers. All of which I avoid by riding the rail trail.

However, I don't plan to still be living here in 2016, so even if Chicago lands the Olympics, I'll have to come back to visit if I want to see any of these events.
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Old 01-19-09, 04:57 AM   #2
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2016..................I don't even want to think out that far. We will be putting up with election frazzel then too. My racing age will be 70+. Dnvr will have started a 75+ thread. And Tom will have owned a drop bar bike!
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Old 01-19-09, 04:59 AM   #3
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Start training, Tom. You'll have that home field advantage!
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Old 01-19-09, 05:56 AM   #4
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Hey Tom, wasn't your company going to transfer you somewhere a long way away in 2015?

Richard
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Old 01-19-09, 11:47 AM   #5
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The variouis ride organizers around here are really pumped by this. Even if the Olympics never come to Chicago, the fact that the area has been designated as an Olympic-class road course, lends a certain prestige to the other events held here. They hope to build on that.

One of the current races here held, the Horribly Hilly Hundreds event that I noted above, opened registration yesterday. Registration was supposed to be open from 1/19 through 1/31. However, it closed 14 MINUTES after it opened, with all spots taken.

Their organizers are now adding a second event ... the Insane Terrain Challenge.
http://www.vikingbikingclub.com/
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Old 01-19-09, 11:51 AM   #6
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2016..................I don't even want to think out that far. We will be putting up with election frazzel then too. My racing age will be 70+. Dnvr will have started a 75+ thread. And Tom will have owned a drop bar bike!
But will I have ridden the drop bar bike?
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Old 01-19-09, 12:05 PM   #7
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One of my goals this year is to get out and see a few races. Thanks to Tom for putting some of these links out here.

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Old 01-19-09, 12:29 PM   #8
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One of my goals this year is to get out and see a few races. Thanks to Tom for putting some of these links out here.

I'm not much of a race spectator (or participant) but there are a number of events around the state. Here's a bunch of races that were run in 2008, I imagine nearly all will repeat in 2009:
http://www.wicycling.org/WisconsinCup/roadSchedule.htm
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Old 01-19-09, 02:44 PM   #9
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However, I don't plan to still be living here in 2016, so even if Chicago lands the Olympics, I'll have to come back to visit if I want to see any of these events.
The last season that my wife and I skied was '77-'78 and the Saranac Lake-Tupper Lake-Lake Placid triangle was just gearing up for the 1980 Winter Olympics. Prices on everything were starting to skyrocket and homes were already being advertised for rent for Olympic participants and spectators. From what I understand several area residents almost paid off their mortages with money earned before and especially during the Olympics. In reality the event was a great financial boon for the area not only through individual financial gains but also due to the many improvements made to the Sports Facilities and the general infrastructure of the area.

If you're located close enough to enough venues there might be potential for a nice financial windfall by something as simple as renting your house out for a few weeks.

Just sayin'.
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Old 01-19-09, 05:19 PM   #10
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The effects on business from the Wisconsin Ironman are interesting. Madison greatly benefits, as the swim and marathon, as well as the start and end of the bike race, are all in Madison. This is an official Ironman event and finishing high here adds points toward's national championship. So there is a large field ... I think around 2200 last year.

However the small towns that lie along the bike race path are hurt by the event. They race along some of the major traffic arteries, which pretty much shuts those towns down. They lose a summer Saturday of tourism. Nobody stays out there, as people cram into Madison for the event and nightlife.

I don't think this would be true for the Olympics, as the biking events run for several days. And the mountain bike events would be out in the Mt. Horeb area, so I think the small touristy towns out there would be overrun. There are several nice towns there, with artisans, craft shops, antiques, nice restaurants, etc. One town has a strong Norwegian heritage, another Swiss, and another Cornwall, England, and all still reflect those heritages.
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