Set for September 7, 2013, the racing action begins at 9 a.m. and will take place in the Arts and Entertainment district all day. Race time for the pro women category is set for 3:15 p.m. with the pro men category at 4:25 p.m. Local riders who have never raced before can also take part in the competition. Adults and seniors can participate in various divisions. Youth ages 10 to 18 can take part in the Junior’s division beginning at 11:05 a.m. with medals awarded for the top three finishers in each category. Children ages 3 to 9 years old are invited to take part in a kid’s race at 4 p.m.
Race for Grace is part of the USA Cycling Road Development Race Series. As a part of this series, junior racers will have the opportunity to qualify for USA Cycling development camps and become part of the USA Cycling National Team.
All races will begin and end at the intersection of 2nd Avenue and Holly Street. From the starting line, riders will follow a course going south on 2nd Avenue, right turn on Moulton Street, right turn on 1st Avenue to Line Street, right turn on Cain Street NE, and right turn on Ferry Street NE.
According to event organizer Stuart Lamp of USA Cycling, approximately 300 cyclists from across Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, and Mississippi are expected to take part in the race. “Ideal spots to watch the racing action will be on 2nd Avenue between Lee Street all the way to the second turn from Moulton Street to 1st Avenue. Spectators are encouraged to bring a lawn chair and set up along this area for a prime viewing spot of the race,” said Lamp.
Downtown merchants and restaurants will also be open throughout the day allowing spectators to shop and dine during the race. “There are great restaurants along the course. Spectators can dine on the sidewalk at Vittones or on the patio at Mellow Mushroom and not miss any of the racing action,” said Lamp.
Additional activities lined up include a kids’ zone, group fitness classes, and a bike rodeo for kids to learn about bike safety. The kids’ zone will bet set up in the parking lot of the Alabama Center for the Arts. Plenty of parking will be available along the streets around the perimeter of the race or in any of the parking lots in the downtown area including areas across from The Brick Deli and Tavern and around People’s Bank off of Lee Street. “While spectactors may have to walk a block to get to the race, it will not impact the ability to park during the race for those who want to shop or visit any other business in the downtown area,” added Lamp.
There is no charge for admission to watch race activities or to watch the competition. However, there is a registration charge for the competitive races. Registration fees vary per category. Riders can pre-register at www.usacycling.org/register/2013-1560. Registration is also available the day of the event starting at 8 a.m.
Proceeds from the Race for Grace will benefit Refuge of Grace, a Decatur based Christian rehabilitative home for women in crisis and their children. For more information, visit www.therefugeofgrace.org.
For more information, call Lamp at 719-209-8211. Photos are available upon request.