Monday, April 29, 2013

2013 Athens Twilight Races

Susan and I decided to head on over to Athens for the 2013 Athens Twilight bike races on Saturday, April 27th.  It was almost a 2 hour drive for us.  The return trip was even longer - dang GPS.  We had several friends who were competing and I hoped that I might get some good pictures to share with my fellow Southern Crescent Cycling club members before the day was done.  We had four riders in the racers earlier in the day.  A fifth rider got stuck in Los Angeles so he missed the race.  Dang Air Traffic Controller furloughs!  The twilight races, which started at 6pm, included only one remaining SCC'er, Modesto (Junior) Diaz.  Taylor Dunn, Heber Silva, and Marcelo Martino didn't make the cut.

Stephanie, Susan and Junior
Junior and Heber
Susan and I arrived in Athens at around 4pm.  Right away we ran into one of my FAA co-workers, Stephanie.  When I saw her last she had said that she might be there - she was.  She had ridden the gambler ride earlier in the day and was enjoying a beverage when we arrived.  We hung out and waited for the races to start.  We also ran into several other SCC'ers who were there to watch.
Joel in the red Georgia cap
Mission Source rider and friend Lino
Susan and I knew almost right away that we'd under dressed.  The sun that had warmed the downtown was replaced by cloudy skies and a light breeze.  We we wearing shorts.  I had a cycling jacket on and eventually covered that with my "Gordon's Fisherman" yellow raincoat.  Susan just had a raincoat.  I packed the car and apparently it was my fault that she didn't also have a jacket.  I didn't blame her the week before when I didn't have a suitcase for the Try Charlestion 70.3.  Just sayin'

The rain forecast for the day held off and the races started at 6pm.  The crowd lined the course with four turns.

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This was probably the most exciting cycling event I've every witnessed.  The racers complete each lap in just over a minute so it's fast paced.  There's a festival atmosphere on the side lines.  Of course, Athens has plenty of places to eat and drink during the day.

Next year we're definitely going the VIP route.  The $10 fee to have the best seat in the house, close to a Terrapin Beer tent is well worth it.  We spent part of the evening outside the "No Alcohol Beyond This Point" area and later in the evening paid $5 and moved.  They weren't serving Terrapin though.

I would definitely recommend this event for anyone interested in cycling.  It's very well done from the announcing, to the volunteers, to the huge crowd.  We sure are glad we went.

Thanks for reading.

Checkout all my pictures below.

2013 Athens Twilight