Sometimes as bike racers, we get too caught up in our own schedules and forget about all of the planning that goes into each race. The countless hours spent fighting for permits, searching for sponsors and securing volunteers often go unappreciated as we toe to the line. We’re in our own world, focused maybe not on winning, but just finishing the race. The time devoted to training, eating right, recovering and bike maintenance might be all that matters to us, but bicycling is bigger than just bike racing.
Bicycling is about commuting, exercise, camaraderie and a lot of other things. It’s about building relationships with city governments, helping to develop bike lanes and a greater awareness of cycling. It’s about creating bike sharing programs to make cycling not only more accessible, but also a viable form of transportation within the city. Life on two wheels is so much more than threshold power, carbon race wheels and leg shaving.
The city of Boston is making strides towards this goal by presenting the third annual Mayor’s Cup Professional Criterium. Nicole Freedman, often referred to as Boston’s bike czar, organizes a top level professional bicycle race coupled with the community focused Hub on Wheels event, turning Boston’s City Hall Plaza into an all day cycling celebration. At the start of this year’s event, the announcers revealed that the title sponsor, TD Bank, is committed to presenting the event for another three years, an eternity in the uncertain world of cycling sponsorships. So the next time you cross the finish line at a bike race, instead of socializing with your teammates and friends right away, remember to head over to the officials and the race promoter and tell them, “thanks.” Without all their hard work, you wouldn’t have been able to earn that mediocre mid-pack result.