Summer in the “City of Festivals” is a spectacular thing. There are street festivals, church festivals, Summerfest, the ethnic festivals, the State Fair, but, the lone event that blew me away this past July was the Riverwest 24. A festival of sorts, celebrating the bicycle, but what I found was a celebration of community camaraderie. A "neighborhood" event that draws participants and spectators from as far as Minneapolis and Chicago.
I don’t even know where to begin.
I should probably start with the organizers. Well done organizers. You have a great thing going that I hope will continue for years to come. The event was planned and executed flawlessly.
The volunteers are next! I applaud you! The event couldn’t have gone of so successfully without the hundreds of man-hours that were provided by you good folks. One of my favorite sayings is "Volunteers make shit happen!". Thankyou.
The participants. Nice effort. But, all you had to do was ride your bikes though a neighborhood jam packed with revellers and and block parties for a day. Some of you took it all in stride enjoying yourselves "responsibly", some of you were "in it to win it" (but nobpdy likes a "race-ist"), others of you were in it to win it and enjoy yourselves "responsibly". All of you deserve a pat on the ass for a job well done.
I have never seen such a great community response to a cycling event of this calibre. The outpouring of support the Riverwest neighborhood was truly impressive. Every block had front yards packed with festivities, competitors camped out, and kids and families cheering on the riders. I don’t know how you do it, but you definitely have something magical going on Riverwest. Keep it up.
I was very fortunate to be able to participate as the stoker on the Breakaway Couriers stereo and cooler of beer laden trike cargo bike for a number of laps throughout the event, where my duties included cheering on other riders (and heckling some), pushing up the occasional hill, keeping the beers in the cooler “rotated”, and snapping a few pictures of the happenings. That is, when I remembered to shoot, for I too was having a real gasser of a time, more often than not neglecting my photo documentation duties. But here we go with what I got.
High 5s all around!!
That ain't a gun he's reaching for!!
Which way did they go?
At the finish.
Say "shit" Jake!
These lads are always smiling anyway!
Special props go out to the 612 crew that came down and crushed it.I like your work!
I would also like to congratulate the Fat-Bike.com team that made the podium on a fat bike. An impressive feat.
Of course all of this was all a warm up to the CMWC 2012 Chicago. I'll be right back to fill you in on the good times had in the Windy City.
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