This afternoon, I rode my bike to Fayetteville watch the conclusion of the Joe Martin Stage, which consisted of the men's and women's criteriums.
We are fortunate to have an event like this in our area. It is a four-day event. The initial event was a time trial. Following that, there were road races on Friday and Saturday over the same roads we ride in these parts. According to the announcer today and TV news reports, there were 700 cyclists from 20 countries and all 50 states competing.
I met four of these cyclists on my ride yesterday, and they were very courteous and engaging. I was duly impressed.
But back to the crits today, these people, the men and the women, are scary fast. They can ride uphill (in the big ring) faster than I can ride on the flats (and maybe even downhill). As I moved from one part of the course to another today, I found myself at the bottom of a hill where there is a 90-degree turn. Did I mention that these people are scary fast? I forgot to add that they can can corner, at speed, in a bunch, and make it look easy. It was slightly warm today, and when the peloton flew blew, it created a nice breeze.
As I was leaving to ride home, I noticed a truck with probably a dozen Pinarello Dogmas loaded and ready to move to the next venue. I rode past a wheel staging area with a plethora of Zipps leaning up against the vehicle and trailer. What a candy store! Those are just the ones that caught my eye. There were plenty of other high-end models from all of the big manufacturers.
This was the 35th year for the Joe Martin Stage Race.
If you ever have the opportunity to attend this race or one like it, go for it.