What a satisfying day! Greenville was all abuzz with the USA Cycling Road Race Championship. We learned that the race would return in 2010! That was just the platter… the cake and the icing was that George Hincapie won the Stars and Stripes jersey and will be representing as champion the US and his town, Greenville, for the next year.
It was fun to get out and see the action first hand, but you can be in an information hole when you are sitting up on top of Paris Mountain waiting for the peloton to come. How do you keep up the action going on downtown? Enter the age of Twitter!
Check out the action with these Twitter reporters (you’ll find that the more time that passes since this was published, the farther back you will have to go): BikeHugger, NeilRoad, PodiumInsight, WilliamDorn, DHMruz, USACPRO, and don’t forget BroomWagon. These were just a few of the fans along the route (and in the media cars and media room) keeping us fans on the course informed. You can also check out the hash tags – USPROS, USPRO, and USPROCYCLING.
Speaking with William Dorn last night, I mentioned it might be cool next year to organize things a bit more. We could post “reporters” and different strategic places around the course. We could all post to a common Twitter account – or probably best at hash tag – the information from that spot. Add that to the chase car stuff from the lucky guys able to follow the race from there, and you could have a great way for fans to follow the event.
I’m excited to know that the USA Cycling Professional Championships will be coming back in 2010. I think Greenville is on the cusp of really finding a niche for cycling on the east coast. It isn’t going to be without pain though. It is definitely a cultural shift for many people. That isn’t to say that cycling isn’t open to everyone. I’m certainly as straight-laced and conservative as they come. That isn’t the type of cultural shift I’m talking about.
What I am talking about is the willingness to accommodate bicycles in our community. It is obvious that the city leaders recognize this. Steps are being taken to win Greenville “bike friendly city” status. This is a great step. However, it is the willingness of the larger county region to accept – or at least tolerate – cyclist of all types that is needed.
Greenville is a natural place to ride a bike. Now when people say Greenville in relationship to cycling, they don’t tag on the South Carolina. A simple Greenville suffices. That isn’t going to change. Cycling will continue to grow here. With that growth will come some tension. Hopefully, the good of cycling will ultimately win the day.
Please, wear your helmet! While on Paris Mountain, I spent some time talking with a group of spectators. Soon after a couple of those in the group headed down the Furman side of Altamont Road. As they neared the end one of them got entangled with another rider. He went down and hit his head. He didn’t have a helmet. He did receive head trauma and had to be immobilized.
It shows the importance of wearing your helmet – even when you think you are just a spectator. When we start those two wheels rolling, we are no longer spectators – we are participants. We need to be prepared – our lives may depend on it.
Reliving the day!
- Hincapie wins championship at home – CyclingNews.com (Be sure to check out the photos. Greenville can’t buy this kind of publicity!)
- Hincapie wins U.S. pro road race – VeloNews.com (Some really great coverage of the role Craig Lewis played in George’s win.)
- George Hincapie wins USA Cycling title on his home turf – GreenvilleOnline.com
- Storybook Endings – Bicycling.com