Bike riding in Seattle continues after Bicycle Month with a full weekend of racing in Ballard and Capitol Hill on June 10 and 11, 2017. Saturday marks the 24th running of the Ballard Criterium with the 50th anniversary Volunteer Park Criterium at Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill on Sunday, June 11.
Criteriums are fast paced events on a closed course that is usually short, from 1/2 to a mile in length, featuring cyclists matched by age or ability, and raced to time limit, usually a half hour to an hour in duration. They feature up to 100 bicyclists racing at the same time at speeds up to 40 mph. They are spectator friendly because the racers come around the course up to 50 times during a single race, allowing good viewing so that spectators feel like they are in the race themselves.
The Ballard Criterium has been a fixture in downtown Ballard for 24 years. This year’s event is sponsored by Carter VW/Subaru and runs in a rectangle on Ballard Avenue NW and Shilshole Avenue NW, starting at 2 pm. The Ballard event is known for its high speeds and hair raising turns. Restaurants are along the course that offer outdoor dining and beverages so spectators have a close and comfortable view of the races.
The Volunteer Park Criterium is sponsored for the second year in a row by Taco Time NW and is one of the longest running criteriums in the Pacific Northwest. This is its 50th year of continuous running in the park. The race has featured several local cyclists who have gone on to race internationally. Tyler Farrar, a Wenatchee native, raced Volunteer Park and went to to an international racing career, including a stage win at the Tour de France. Logan Owen, from Bremerton, raced VP before going to to race internationally.
The Taco Time Volunteer Park Criterium will feature a beer garden wtih proceeds going to support youth racing in the Pacific Northwest as well as two food trucks. Racing starts at 2 pm and runs until dark.
More information can be found at http://apexracing.org/ballard-criterium/#About and http://tacotimenw.bike/races-events-rides/volunteer-park-criterium/