This coming Saturday, Arlington will play host to the 14th edition of the Air Force Cycling Classic Clarendon Cup. This pro cycling race takes place in the heart of Clarendon on a criterium course threaded along Wilson, Washington and Clarendon boulevards. The tight and twisty circuit is great for spectators, as the entire course is accessible in just a few steps. In fact, it can be enjoyed from the outdoor seating areas of a number of local restaurants (my nod for best views goes to those outside Liberty Tavern). The amateur races start at 8 a.m., the women's elite race starts at 10 a.m., and the men's pro race kicks off at noon.
There's a very popular children's "race" at 11:30 a.m. that is free and open to kids 9 and under (register here). The Clarendon Cup has attracted some of America's biggest names in pro cycling (current sprinting sensation Tyler Farrar was here in 2008), so don't miss your chance to see the next generation of cycling's international stars on our local streets.
If you miss Saturday's race, but still want to check out some pro racing (or get to the second kids' race), make some time to come down to Crystal City for the Air Force Cycling Classic on Crystal Drive. The kids' race is at 11:15 a.m., the men's pro race starts at 11:30 a.m., and the women's elite race starts at 1:30 p.m. This all happens after the Air Force Cycling Challenge Crystal Ride, which is a timed non-competitive ride open to all (who have registered) that starts at 7:30 a.m. You'll see many of the area's fastest amateur racers make eight trips around the closed circuit while plenty of participants will be thrilled just to make it to the end of one. A good time for all.
Finally, for those less interested in weekend racing and more interested in helping support a safe environment for everyday cycling, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association is holding Bikefest in Crystal City this Saturday at 8 p.m. Bikefest will include "carnival-cycle games, a silent auction and raffle, sideshow performances, [and] live music and dancing." There will also be a bike building contest between D.C. area shops, with Arlington's own Papillion Cycles competing. All proceeds from the evening will benefit WABA's advocacy, safety and education programs. Tickets here.
All the info you could want about the races here.
Bonus kids' race album from last year.
Unhappy with something I've written in Clarendon Cycles? Want to explain to me that roads are made for cars? Come talk to me at Bikefest.