Wednesday, June 02, 2004

CSC Invitational (Criterium Bicycle Racing)

The 2004 CSC Invitational (formerly the Clarendon Cup) just rolled through town this past weekend. I happened to be out in Clarendon looking to buy my first real bike when I noticed signs for this past Sunday's race.

I'll tell you what - these guys - the pros - HAUL ASS. There's no other way to put it. It was the first time I actually went to a road race and paid attention. The atmosphere was great. People were friendly. Lots of kids and family and dogs. Food. Beer. Lots of expensive-looking bikes. Great announcing. There are differing levels of competition for adults and there are age-group-based races for younger kids. Short, 1k track so you could literally see the 2-hour pro race from just about every corner of the track. I'm definitely going to be on the lookout for more of these.

A criterium road race, according to the 2004 U.S. Cycling Federation rulebook is a circuit race held on a small course entirely closed to traffic. The length of the course is between 800 m and 5 km. The minimum width throughout the course should be 7 m. The Claredon course is a short, 1k course, that touches three or four city blocks - that city being Arlington, VA.

This particular race was great b/c the Clarendon stop on the DC metro actually lets out in the middle of the track. Crazy convenient.

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