That’s because they have never witnessed a pack of cyclists whizzing down Roswell’s Canton Street at speeds up to 42 mph, dive into a corner at high speed and then power charge down the course to the next turn.
It’s a sight that can mesmerize spectators, and it’s ready to happen again for the 13th year in a row as professional and amateur riders take to the streets in the Historic Roswell Criterium Sunday.
The races are an integral part of the Roswell Cycling Festival, a day full of bicycle-related events and activities held in the heart of the city.
It includes a recreational family ride, a bicycle safety rodeo for youngsters, interactive displays and expo, a Kids Zone, food and a beer garden.
“The Roswell Cycling Festival is a wonderful home-grown event that was started in 2002. Our 13th edition will showcase all the great shops and restaurants in Historic Roswell along Canton Street with a full day of family-friendly activities,” said Tom Erdmanczyk, president of Bike Roswell, a nonprofit advocacy organization promoting safe cycling in the city and the event manager.
The day kicks off at 8 a.m. with the Mayor’s Ride, which starts and finishes at Roswell Area Park, 10495 Woodstock Road. There are four ride options: a free family six-mile ride on a flat course with a police escort, and 20-, 40- and 62-mile route options traveling rolling hills and flat sections next to the Chattahoochee River.
Roving mechanical and rider support will be available for the longer rides. All registered riders get a free post-ride lunch with the mayor.
The cost to register for the longer routes begins at $30 and information can be found at www.bikeroswell.com.
Roving mechanical and SAG support will be available for the longer rides and rest stops will be stocked with drinks and snacks.
The 10 elite cycling races of the Criterium attracts some of the most skilled riders in the country and is part of USA CRITS Speed Week, six races in six southeastern cities offering the biggest prize purse in American Criterium racing, $125,000.
Amateurs begin racing at 10 a.m. and the pro races start at 4 p.m. Some of the best spots to observe the action are the corners of Canton and Norcross streets and Woodstock Road and Canton Street. Live streaming of the Historic Roswell Criterium races will be broadcast at usacrits.com.
A free bicycle skills class and kid’s races is again offered by the Kiwanis Club of Historic Roswell. Registration begins at 2 p.m. in the Roswell United Methodist Church parking lot on the corner of Mimosa Boulevard and Magnolia Street. Rodeo riders will also get to test their skills and speed on the criterium race course in the Kid’s Races from 5 to 5:30 p.m., followed by a bicycle/tricycle parade for all family members.
State of the art bicycles and accessories will be on display, and for sale, at the Bicycle Expo Area. Roswell Bicycles is also selling $5 raffle tickets at the store for fans to win new bicycles. Winners will be announced just before the men’s pro race on Sunday. Proceeds go back to Bike Roswell!, a non-profit bicycle advocacy organization, to support the community.
“The Roswell Cycling Festival is a great spring tradition in Roswell for the entire family. The festival is the perfect time to get outside and support all the local businesses in Roswell,” said Craig Anderson, CFO for Hennessy Automobile Companies, a presenting sponsor of the festival, along with Roswell Bicycles.
For more information, go to www.roswellcyclingfestival.com or www.historicroswellcriterium.