The Need for Speed

Saturday June 12, 2010
By

The Air Force Cycling Classic is going on this weekend in Arlington.   It features Amateur and Professional races on Saturday, and a non-competitive ride and more races on Sunday.  It also has free races for kids both days.

When Mike & I saw the bit about kid races, we knew we wanted to get our lil Lance (and Kristin) Armstrongs out on the course.   The kid races are broken out by heat, according to age/ability.   Older kids (7-9) rode in Heat 1, doing one lap around the course.  Heat 2 was designated for kids ages 6-7 and it was also one lap.  Heat 3 was ages 4-6 and was a half lap, and finally Heat 4 was for the 2-4 year olds and it was just 100 yards. When I signed the kids up at the tent, I decided to put both Sam & Wendy in Heat 2.  And since trikes and training wheels were okay, so we figured our little guy would tear it up on his glider in Heat 4.

You can tell this is an activity that Sam was excited about — he was willing to cheese for the camera.

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Getting a group shot with all 3 was more challenging.

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While we waited for the kids races to start, we watched some of the pro racers go by.  It was neat to see them flying around the course.  We were ~100m from the finish and in the final lap of one of the women’s races, the top two riders bumped handlebars and one crashed hard right in front of us (the kids were busy riding and didn’t notice).  The announcer said she was going 38mph when she went down (she seemed okay).

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While waiting for our race to start, the kids had fun riding around the plaza.

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Except for this guy.  He wasn’t too excited about the whole race day thing.

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Finally it was time to get ready.  Mike took Adam to the starting place for his heat, and I got Wendy & Sam in place for their heat.  I was glad I put Sam in the same heat as Wendy, otherwise his starting point would have been in a 3rd location (the halfway mark).

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This is the course for the Clarendon Cup.  I couldn’t figure out how long it one lap was, nor did I think to time the kids.

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After getting them situated, I moved into the inner circle, where the Metro entrance is.  When the riders took off, I scooted over to catch them as they came around Highland and turned onto Clarendon.  These are some of the Heat 1 kids:

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And soon after came our cyclists!  Sam was in the lead, but Wendy wasn’t far behind.

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Then I raced back over to catch them as the came up Wilson towards the finish.  Sam was still ahead of Wendy (in the green bike)

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But Wendy was pedaling hard behind him.

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After they went by, I realized we hadn’t talked about what to do after they finished.  Zoiks! I quickly tried to make my way to the finish line, where I found them patiently waiting for a responsible parent to show up.

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They each received a little medal on a red, white and blue ribbon, which they were tremendously proud of.   We got off the course and watched and waited to see the Heat 3 and Heat 4 riders finish.  The little guys were cute in their trikes and training wheels, but alas, no helmeted Adam glided by.

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It turns out, Mike had him on the course, but when the police motorcycle went by (they ride the course ahead of the riders), Adam freaked out about the loud noise, so Mike aborted the mission.

The older two kids had a great time and were so proud of their accomplishment, as were we.  I think Mike learned he’s not the only dad out there with a speed racer on 2 wheels.  We might have to find some more bike races!

The races continue on Sunday, so if you are looking for something to do – get your kids out there and ride!

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One Response to The Need for Speed

  1. 1
    Renee says:

    That looks like fun! I am glad your older two had a good time.

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