18 August 2011

What a fan needs, what a fan wants

Fan Checklist
So you are going to a bike race. One of the best things about being a fan of cycling, is that you can put your wallet away. It is free! That doesn't mean you won't need a lot of stuff. How to be a cycling fan depends on how and where you are watching, but remember to bring some essentials with you and be ready to have some fun!
Riding and walking up the route on a day of the Tour de France in 2010  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Being a spectator/fan by bike: be sure to bring extra water, food, sunscreen, camera, rain jacket, map. You might also need: bug repellent, hat, flip flops, flags, banners, road chalk, phone, arm & leg warmers.
Being a spectator/fan by car on the road or on a mountain top: be sure to bring water, food, hat, sunscreen, camera, chairs, maps. You might also want to bring: bug repellent, large flags, banners, road chalk, phone, umbrella, rain jackets, warm clothes, table, gourmet picnic, music, games, costumes, trash bags, and extra water for cyclists!!!

Being a spectator at a stage start or Individual Time Trial: If you are attending a stage start or a time trial, it is helpful to bring a team roster with rider bib numbers (dossard #) so you can easily identify each rider. Print out the results list from the day before, the riders will be racing in reverse order of the results list. The last rider begins first, riders begin at 1-minute interval off the start ramp. Riders may pass each other by the time the reach the finish line but you will have a general idea of who the rider is if you (learn before you go) recognize the team jersey. The last 10-20 riders will begin at 2-minute interviews. The race Leader will begin last - exciting!
get creative in chalk, not paint
    Being a spectator at a stage in a city or town center: Enjoy the atmosphere! The Expo Lifestyle Festival will be open for much of the day in designated cities in which vendors and sponsors show and sell their products. Arrive early to make parking easy, spend the time in a local restaurant, coffee shop, or picnic in a park where entertainment, music, and sometime large screen TVs showing the race in progress are made available to fans. (Says thanks to the host town by spending your fan dollars).
    Relaxing before the race in Solvang, CA at the Bulldog Cafe  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
    More Fan info for the 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge (in Colorado):
    Know where you are going USA Pro Challenge Route Maps 
    Know how to get from here to there Camping and road closures 
    Know what time to show up Start and Finish times and maps 
    Know what you can and cannot do USA Pro Challenge - Spectator Guides 
    Know how to track it and watch it How to watch the USA Pro Cycling Challenge
    Know how to survive it Hello Altitude 
    Know who is riding in the race!  UPCC - Team Rosters Start List
    Know how to recognize a rider USA Pro Challenge - Team Jerseys
    Know how to recognize a team car Team cars and buses 
    Know how to dress the part Fan Frenzy - Characters of the Tour 
    Know what to do before and after the race Host Cities special events for the race
    Go forth - Wave your freak flag high!
    Fans on the Champs Elysees in Paris having fun before the race.   ©Photo by PedalDancer.com