How do I cheer?
Clap like a spaz. If you don’t own a cowbell, craft a recession version using a wooden spoon and camping skillet and clang it like dinner time at the monkey exhibit. Yell only as a last resort. You’ll find out why when you call your mother on Sunday morning.
How do I look like I know what I’m cheering for?
Cheer for a USA Crit Championship Series leader. Impress the cutie next to you by asking them, “Did you know 8 of the top 20 men in the overall series are at the Hyde Park Blast today? And, by the way you look hot in those shorts and my van is parked around the corner.”
Luke Keough of Team Mountain Khakis is ranked 2nd overall. They’re the team wearing tan trousers with the zip in the front.
Aerocat’s Juan Pablo Dotti is in 3rd. His teammate Emile Abraham is in the top 10 and their kitty litter mate Serghei Tvetcov is in the top 20.
Clayton Barrows of Stans No Tubes is in the top 10. Plus, Clayton Barrows sounds like a millionaire’s name like Thurston Howell the Third.
Clay Murfet of RideClean won in Grafton, Wisconsin last Saturday and will be here. Grafton is the 9th planet in our solar system.
Lisban Quintero of the Foundation Team is in the top 20 and...what? STFU! According to this article posted Thursday 6/23 at NYVelocity.com he tested positive and has been removed from the Foundation Cycling New York team roster. I guess someone will move up into the top 20 and we can cross him off the Hyde Park Blast confirmed riders list. Okay. Well.
Cheer for Your Favorite Sponsor. If you have a name for your beer belly and lost track of your personal tattoo count, cheer for the XO/Harley Davidson team. Like drinking wine (you lush), cheer for Jamis/Sutter Home. If you like getting high at work, cheer for Kenda/5-Hour Energy.
Cheer for a Local Team. Our local Ohio Valley guys are fast, a few could go pro, a couple were, but lets face it the bulk of these guys with real jobs on Monday will be crying for mama between bouts of the pukes 45 minutes into the race. Local teams include: Panther, The Cleveland Clinic, Huntington Bank-Revolution Fitness, Alderfer Bergen, Indiebike, Ghisalo, Team Hungry and any guy getting his $5000 bike off the roof of his sweet TDI VW Jetta with low profile tires. So when cheering for the local/regional guys it’s a big deal for:
1: A local guy in a breakaway. If there’s a group of riders ahead of the main pack and there’s a local guy in it, that’s a pretty big deal for a yokel local to hang with the big pros. Give him lots of cowbell…this is the moment of stardom he’ll be telling his grand kids about.
2: A Prime lap. Throughout the race, officials will ring a bell and the first rider to cross the finish line on the next lap will win a prize, like a giant barrel of Cheetos or a couple hundred bucks. While the big teams are in it to win the race, the local guys will do anything for Cheetos.
3: The Dangler. When the race is near the 1 hour mark, no doubt some of the local guys will be dangling in danger of getting dropped from the pack and be out of the race. Like working one out on the toilet, give the dangler all the cowbell you got to keep him hanging on another lap. He’s giving it all he’s got Scotty!
Where’s a good spot to watch?
Where the beer is dummy. It’s best to change positions as the race progresses. On the hairpin near the pit is a great early spot. You’re close to the beer tent and can see the early riders come into the pit, fake having a mechanical issue and get a free lap (see below). After the first 10 laps or so, make your way up to the hill. That’s where the attacks are made, breakaways started and the less strong riders lose their lunch. You might even be able to bribe a neighborhood party to let you watch in their yard if you put a six pack in their cooler. Toward the end of the race, make your way down toward the start/finish to be closer to the beer wagon again and see the blistering sprint.
Why Are People Waving $20 Bills at the Riders on the Hill?
That’s because they owe the Aerocat riders for the good time in the van an hour ago. No really, that’s a spectator prime. Unofficial prizes, some neighbors pool their money and have their own race in their own backyard. The first guy to their driveway at the top of the climb wins $20! It’s for real.
Those guys were dropped. Why do they get a free lap?
According to the rules, a free lap may be granted for a mishap like a flat tire. The rider pulls into the pit and squishes his tire to make believe he has a flat in front of the official. The official “inspects the bike” and either grants the free lap or tells the rider to pack their bags. The free lap rule may only be in effect for a limited time as determined by officials. Historically, there are so many riders and the course of the Hyde Park Blast so technical that officials may grant a free lap to riders dropped early in the race who may have had a poor starting position to begin with. Watch the start of the race and you’ll notice while the guys in the front are powering up the straightaway close to 30mph, those at the back might be on the brakes going into the first corner. Those riders can be granted a free lap and re-enter the field for a second chance.