If you’ve been away for the past year (like my friends Minh and Allison), you might have been surprised last week by the eerie silence, followed by the clanging of cowbells and people screaming, as bikes took over the city of Richmond when the UCI Road World Championships came to town. (That’s big time bike races, for the uninitiated). The city did a great job alerting its citizens of the The Big Bike Race in Richmond, the tidal wave of international teams and visitors that would be here – and everyone heeded the warnings. Richmond was a ghost town for part of the week, especially around VCU’s campus, then visitation picked up near the end of the week as the big races started to get going. The whole week was a real blast, and VCU gave all of its employees the option to use Community Service time off to volunteer for the race. I took advantage of that and volunteered two days, and it was awesome to see and be part of the back end logistics of such a massive undertaking.
I shot with my phone for the first few days of the week, posting on social media and enjoying the view, and then took my camera to campus on Friday. I worked on getting some different angles of the mass of bikers traversing the course as it wound through campus, and even got a short video as the Men’s Under 23 rounded the Main Street corner on Belvidere.
I got a couple of shots of the Women’s Junior Race near the end of their laps, right before American Chloe Dygert won Gold, and American Emma White (pictured below) won Silver.
For the men’s Under 23 Race on Friday afternoon, I went for some different angles, going from high above, then including different signs that were installed for the race – “VELO,” which means “BIKE” in French, and the “LOVE” sign set up in Monroe Park.
I made some new Viking friends, who really knew how to get into the spirit of these international races.
I didn’t make it back to Richmond on Sunday for the Big Men’s Race, but was able to watch it on TV, and it looked amazing. I’m so proud of our city for winning the bid for this race and having the race on American soil for the first time in 30 years, and for putting in 2 full years of effort after winning the bid into preparing for it. The Richmond2015 team had an immense task, and they pulled it off, made it fun for everyone, and kept everyone safe. I can’t believe it’s over!
Did you watch any of the races? Tell me your favorite Bike Race memory in the comments!