Blog Entry

Cycling in the United States

Posted on: August 2, 2009 9:39 am
Over the past several years, I've become a casual Cycling fan. The Tour de France is so dang exciting to watch and it leads me to wonder how the sport could gain more popularity among United States fans.

Obviously, Lance Armstrong's success has lifted the sport to new heights in the States, and maybe the time is right to put together a "Tour of the U.S." How cool would it be to put together a 21-stage event that covers both ends of the United States?

The event, itself, could start on the Brooklyn Bridge, make its way west to Chicago, and then to St. Louis, and then from Colorado (Route 66) to Nevada.

The Pacific Coast Highway could also provide very scenic backdrops to a couple of stages.

On the trek back to the East coast, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, the Tennessee Mountains, among other great locales, would be challenging and beautiful sights to behold. The race would finish in D.C. as cyclists would do laps around the mall that connects the Capital building, the Washington monument, the White House, and the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials.

Okay, let's make it happen!

Since: Aug 22, 2009
Posted on: August 22, 2009 3:26 pm

Cycling in the United States

Very insightful comments from DAKE.

I also am an avid fan, being from Pennsylvania I often go to the Race in philadelphia.  It has had several names and sponsors over the years but is a hugely popular race with the biggest attraction being the Manayunk Wall.  The race was called the USPRO National Championship but that is now held elsewhere and not in Philly.

It reached its peak in 1993 when Armstrong (racing for Motorola) won the race and collected the Triple Crown of Cycling: the Thrift Drug Classic in , the K-Mart West Virginia Classic, and the in . Thrift Drug said it would award $1 million to a rider winning all three races, a feat previously unachieved.

Some other notable winners of the race were Eric Heiden in 85', George Hincappie in 98' and 06', and Tyler Hampton in '08.  The race took a huge hit this year as Corporate Sponsorship was limited due to the recession and only a short time before the actual race did the raise the adequate funds to even hold it.

A great venue for amateur cycling is the Multiple Schlerosis (MS 150) that are held in various locations throughout the country as a fund raiser for the MS society, and also the 5 boroughs Tour that is held yearly in New York City.

Since: Sep 18, 2007
Posted on: August 11, 2009 4:41 pm

Cycling in the United States

Welcome to the sport, Greg! I statred touring in '71 (age 13) and got into the now defunct Amateur Bicycle League of America. I still train to stay in shape, and make my own "works." Over the years, I've observed a few watershed marks that helped further promote the sport within the good ol' USA.

  • the advent of "Mountain Biking" by a few hipsters in Marin County, Calif. (notably: Gary Fisher, Tom Ritchey, Joe Breeze, ect...).
  • later, mountain bikes becoming wildly favorable because of wider rims, tires and seats, better braking, more gears and flat handlebars, making them more comfortable than the drop bar "euro" bikes (and also better suited for banging around the city!).
  • The L.A. Olympics which featured road and track events in prime time.
  • Greg Lamond WINNING the TdF...this was a huge deal in the cycling community. No American rider had even gotten anywhere near the top 50, much less win it all!
  • The advent of more high end accesories for bikes---mtb bikes got very high tech, time trial machines came on the scene,and the growth of carbon/fiber composites. Some say this was a "plowshares/peace dividend" of some kind with many aerospace engineers moving over to the sports industry.
  • The rapid growth of BMX into many sub-divisions (freestyle, air force, cruiser, ect.), bringing in a needed youth movement into the sport.
  • And of course, Lance's story.
As for the cross country race, there already is a which started as the There are also individual state races that now are viable challenges to the grand european tours and grand prix'. The best known are the tours of , and

It's a wonderful sport, and a great way to get (and stay) in shape. But as is in our wonderful land of freedoms, not everyone sees cycling as openly. My advice to the newcomers...

  • Get a bike that fits. A good fit can help, but a bad fit can hurt.
  • Before you go for a ride, plan your route. Sure, going out for a ride is enjoyable, but us older folks do have real time constraints and good route planning can get you the most out of your ride before you leave the driveway.
  • Ride friendly. Hard to imagine yes, but to many we are the enemy for some reason. Don't engage or taunt. If a driver cuts in front of you, sometimes it's best to just let them go (you really didn't want to have that garbage truck behind you anyway, did you?). Avoid the urge to slap or hit a vehicle! Even if you are "right" they're bigger than us, and there's no sense in being "dead right." And on rural routes (my favorite!), go ahead and wave to the may be sursprised at the results.
  • Learn about your bike. Learn about the operation of the cables and condition of your rubber. Learn to do roadside repairs. It's easy and kinda empowering in a way.
  • And smile. Be friendly. Remember, every rider is not only "one less car," but an ambassador to all other riders.
Glad to have you in the fold, Brother!

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