Get Ready. Get set.
Or, at least watch.
This isn’t the Olympics, and it’s not the Tour de France, but in its second year, Lakewood’s largest cycling event is gaining some serious momentum.
This Saturday, Lakewood’s West End will host the closed-course and 2nd annual Lakewood Criterium — a high-speed bike race geared specifically to riders, who max out their power and agility at speeds over 30 miles per hour.
Organized by Team Spin and supported by the city of Lakewood and the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, the afternoon of races will offer visitors “a multitude of opportunities for dining and refreshment, in addition to the thrill of watching high-speed competition,” according to a news release.
Race director Brian Limkemann said he expects between 200 to 300 participants.
That’s not counting the hundreds who will line their sidewalks to watch.
“Most people in the community are very supportive of the event,” Limkemann said. “Last year, no one in Lakewood had seen a bike race up close. After last year’s race, people were really supportive and told us how cool it was.”
He said that business in the area will remain open during the race.
“It might be a little inconvenient but, at the end of the day, we really need to encourage people to come down and watch this event,” Limkemann said. “If people aren’t watching, it really becomes sort of pointless.”
The race route is a circuit: Detroit Avenue to Sloane to West Clifton back to Detroit.
What really sets the Lakewood Criterium apart from other similarly aimed cycling events? The inclusive schedule of events (which offers multiple races to many age groups) suggests that this criterium could be a tradition in the making. Riders are encouraged to register while the getting’s good.