Ramble On

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Tour of Page County Road Race

Yesterday I mentioned all the events that went on in Page County over the weekend - today I'll post a bit on Saturday's bicycle road race, part of the Tour of Page County.  The Tour is a stage race that combines the road race, a time trial, and a criterium event.  It's promoted by our neighbor Chris, and benefits the community cause Choices (linked below).

During the first race of the day, I road in the wheel van with Ricky supporting the women's group.  Another local friend, Bill, also drove as a wheel van for one of the other groups - and there were quite a few of our other friends out volunteering in other roles.  We weren't more than a mile or two into the course when I realized that I wouldn't have even made it this far on a bicycle, with the undulating, but beautiful, terrain.

Hopefully some of my photos will do it justice.

We did have a situation during the women's race where we had to get out and help the riders a bit - an accident that involved about eight bikes.  Most of the riders were okay, but two were treated by an ambulance crew.  Their injuries weren't serious, and I understand that they are fine, but I was sorry to see these folks having to end their rides - they did seem more disappointed about that than concerned with their injuries!

The Pig Ahead sign (second photo) made an appearance in the road race - readers may recall I'd posted about this a couple of years ago when I volunteered on the Shenandoah Time Trial, which is another race in the Page County series.  I understand that the rider in this shot is a trained first responder, and was at the scene earlier helping out with the bike crash.

The pig - actually a breeding pair - is just ahead in the photo, near the barn just visible over the hill.

In the afternoon, Chris and Ricky asked me if I wouldn't mind providing wheel van service for the masters race. My third photo is a look back into the cargo space of the old Equinox, full of wheels.  Fortunately, none of these riders needed the spares, although there were a couple of calls for assistance with the other classes.

The race had a small world context I might make a note of - Ricky is an old neighbor of ours when we lived at the Vernon House in DC.  He's an avid cyclist these days, and he and Chris new each other.  In that great way Facebook has of reconnecting people, we got back in contact a few years ago after losing track of each other for 10 years.

The last photo today is of the Masters class group heading out, very close to the start of their race.  At this point they were still all together - not a single straggler yet. Eventually, the official here on the motorcycle instructed me to move up in front of this group and follow the Cat 3/4 group leaders.

After avidly watching those bike races on TV all those years, this was a great event to be part of.  I've written about how important the races are to "active tourism" in the Valley - I was glad to have a chance to contribute.

Here's the link to Choices if you'd like to check out this important organization in Page County:  http://choicesofpagecounty.org/
Here's the Facebook page for Hawksbill Bicycles, if you'd like to get in touch and learn more about the cycling events in Page County:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hawksbill-Bicycles/459334500719

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