June 18, 2006
The Bike Race in Stillwater
Today I went to see the pro bicycle race in Stillwater. It was really interesting and fun to watch. It was difficult to know who the riders were, with only a general idea based on their team colors. But the announcers down below the hill did a good job of announcing the race and filling us in on who the fast riders were, who was favored to win and who was keeping their overall lead even if they didn't win today's stage.
This race FELT brutal just watching it. I had trouble walking up that hill. I did get a chance to get all the way around the course during the woman's and men's races to watch it from different angles. The speeds on the downhills and cornering were incredible and the raw power going up the hills was impressive. I had greater respect for the bike racers after seeing this race. Even the ones that got dropped from the race have my respect. An hour-long ride at those speeds on this course would have killed me, haha. Well, actually, no, it wouldn't have killed me, I would have been dropped before that happened. Not saying I'm not a good bike rider, but I just know from trying bicycle racing myself how hard it really is and how well-prepared the the athletes have to be for races like this.
Then after the fun of seeing pro bicyle races, I got to ride my bicycle back and join my family for a Father's Day dinner. What an excellent day!
Oh by the way, bicycling the Gateway trail is a cool way to get to Stillwater. There were hundreds of bicycllists out there. It's almost exactly 6 miles from the end of the Gateway trail to downtown Stillwater at highway 36. Pretty soon though they are going to have to widen that bicycle highway to accomodate all the traffic, haha. I think the roller-bladers had the roughest time avoiding the bicylists that weren't sharing the trail very well. I don't know any statistics, but I've been on that trail several times in the past month and saw the same levels of use. Of course those were all during the weekends, but it's a hopeful sign to me that people really really like and use this trail.