Wednesday, July 31, 2013


We've enjoyed the Bicycle, Blues, and Barbecue event in Clear Lake, IA several times.  I even raced in it that one year when I thought I might be an awesome bike racer.  It didn't take long to prove otherwise... Anywho, it was extra fun this year because we brought a few friends down and shared the experience.

You may have seen some instagram shots during the weekend. If not, follow me on instagram!  Username greggmelissa.

The rain cleared up just in time for the kids race.  Noah rode it, of course.  Local celebrity Tom Zirbel (a real pro racer) led the slightly older group of kids out.  They had an option to race the full criterium lap or to do the 2 block stretch at the finish line.  Noah, so far as a bike racer, is more like Tom Zirbel than mom!

At the beginning of the road race we observed this cool set of wheels.  Kids and parents alike were fascinated.  It's a bike (well, trike really) that's enclosed with an electric assist and solar panels up top to keep the battery charged.  It even had a trunk sufficient for hauling groceries.  Too bad it doesn't seat more than one, or we'd probably have to get one!
 Clear Lake has some of the best playgrounds we've been to.  Noah played and played.  There is a larger playground right next to the criterium course, so when the bike racing got "too boring for 4 year olds", he was able to play right there.
The weekend might be called Bicycle, Blues, and Barbecue, but for us it was more bicycle, playgrounds, and beach.  It doesn't have nearly the same ring, does it?  We heard the music while we were hanging around at the beach, playgrounds, and watching the bike racing.  We had one meal from the food vendors bragging about their BBQ awesomeness.  To us it was pretty good, but overpriced.

One of my highlights from the weekend was getting our anti-bike racing friends to enjoy watching a bike race.  I brought enough cowbells and clappers to allow everyone the opportunity to make noise at the races.  Lexi thought is was a blast ringing the bell and seeing the bikes go by really fast.  Yes!

The other highlight was seeing all the people we know.  It's funny how small the bike community in our area is.  When there's a good event like this, they all come out.  We get to cheer for other bike team coaches and say hello to plenty of people we know.  And, as with most pro races, the celebrities are close enough at the event to say hello and good luck right to them - try that football fans!

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