30 Years of Evening Riding

Twilight 2007 BannerThis weekend, the 30th Annual Athens Twilight Criterium will once again thrill the crowds. Now I have lived in Athens nearly five years and have yet to manage a trip to the Criterium: either I’m working, or I have Girl Scouting events. It’s just that time of year, too much going on at once!

What’s a Criterium?, you ask? I wondered the same the first time I heard of it. According to Wikipedia:

A criterium, or crit, is a bike race held on a short course (usually less than 5 km), often run on closed-off city centre streets. ((Read the whole article on Wikipedia))

Unlike other pro races that are often long affairs lasting days, with courses going through up and down mountain passes, villages and cities, crits are one day races, one race events divided into categories ((ref:1)). The Athens Twilight is no exception. Imagine going full tilt, round and round three or four downtown blocks 80 times.

Now imagine doing it at twilight.

Lap OneRacers describe their own shadows going in four different directions as they go around the first turn, ((See the Flagpole’s write-up)) making that first turn a very intense (and dangerous) experience.

There are several events throughout the day, of course:

8:00 AM Twilight A.M.
8:30 AM 5K Run/Walk
11:30 AM Kid’s Criterium and Big Wheel Race
5:45PM Amateur Finals
6:30 PM Handcycle Criterium
7:45 PM Women’s Pro Criterium
8:45 PM Men’s Pro Criterium

Not to mention music and a festival atmosphere that basically kicks off the season.

If you happen to be in the area, consider stopping by. I’ll be out of town that day, so maybe I’ll get to live vicariously: if you go, let me know how it is, will ya?

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