I have been a cyclist (on and off) since college back in the ’70s. I enjoy the exercise (one of the few times I can say that) and it’s a great way to explore a larger area than I can easily walk. So it was kind of exciting to hear that the World Cycling Championships were coming to Richmond. Inevitably, a major road racing event (which lasts over a week) comes with challenges but it’s kind of cool for Richmond and the area. I took the opportunity on my mid-day exploration day to check it out.
The race began at King’s Dominion theme park in Doswell, VA which is about 24 miles away. So most of the race can only be seen on the big screen TV.
Once the racers arrive in the city they go by about one a minute. And they are flying!
The crowd for the race was really cool. It was diverse on age, gender, apparent economic status and nationality. Some folks were just taking a casual look at the “big event” but there were plenty of people who were into the race. They were checking the riders numbers and colors so they could track who was streaking by. Cowbells rang, people cheered and clapped for every single racer. My guess would be that about 80% of the crowd were taking photos or videos too. It was a fun, relaxed atmosphere, good for the whole family.
With many streets closed down during the racing some businesses have seen business take a hit. I would strongly recommend looking along the side streets that are cut off to one degree or another (I wandered along Grace) and spend a few dollars with the businesses. If we want to encourage other big events in RVA we need to make sure that it’s not too big a financial burden on the local businesses. I had a really nice lunch at Kenn Tico Cuban Bar & Grille. Nice folks and good food. Glad to support local business!
It was also kind of strange to realize that this was a big deal. There were networks filming and camera mounted motorcycles following the leaders and everything!
On the whole it was a great day. Lots of walking (about 6 miles), good food, some fun photos and a friendly crowd. Don’t miss the chance to check it out over the last couple days. Always something cool happening in RVA!