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Bike Gears in Motion: Hamburg Race Weekend is returning

Bike Race Weekend, which was last held in Hamburg in 2011, will return in 2013 as races will be held on Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9.
Hundreds of bicycles will cruise at top speed up and down the streets and hills of Hamburg this weekend and when the cyclists end their race, many will walk on tired limbs thoroughly enjoying the deep burn and exhaustion. The Hamburg Race Weekend, an annual local bike race, returns this week after a one year hiatus.

The Buffalo Bicycle Club is working in conjunction to put on this event which has become a sanctioned race by the USA Cycling organization.

The event has taken place for five years but was cancelled last year due to unfortunate conflicts with overbooking. The Hamburg Race Weekend has grown exponentially since the beginning; it has doubled in number of attendees.

There are two races to take place; one will be on Saturday, the other on Sunday. On Saturday, Jun. 8, bikers will ride a 14 mile loop otherwise known as “the Boston Hills race.” It will be a rigorous test for each of the riders’ strength.

“By the end of it people are throwing up, then they say, “we loved it!” said Greg Wichlacz, one of the coordinators of the event. Intensely hilly the course is high-rated and known for the strenuous elevation. Many people make specific trips to the hills for training. Popular amongst more than just Buffalonians, of the 150 riders or so who will gather for the race, many are traveling from all over the North East including states such as Maine, Delaware and Virginia.

Similar to a runners marathon those who participate are seeking a thrill. However, unlike a foot race many of these cyclists are putting themselves in a little bit more danger. They will reach speeds of around 40 mph winding down the Hamburg hills.

“It’s NASCAR on two wheels with spandex,” Wichlacz said as he chuckled.

Interested spectators are not to be discouraged from checking out the action. Safety percautions deter any serious chaotic mishaps for the cyclists and keep onlookers safe; the organizers of the event are thankful for the help from the local police, fire department and multiple EMTs that will be on standby. West Herr Auto Group, located in Hamburg, will be providing pace cars to be sure that the roads are clear and safe for the oncoming racers. Campus WheelWorks, a local bike shop on Elmwood Avenue, will have pits available for any racers that may experience technical difficulties as the ride progresses.

The Sunday race is more of the main event. Attracting even more riders, over 200 will bike a .7 mile loop of closed off streets in the Village. The duration making laps will vary depending on the category each participant is registered for.

Be aware that there will be a change in traffic patterns on Sunday due to the closed down roads being used for the multiple races.

With Wichlacz’s personal love for leisure bike rides and his steadfast dedication to his town, he strives for this event to bring both the community and visitors together to explore all that Hamburg has to offer. It’s not just about the thrill of the bike ride. This race is not just for the riders. It is a time to thrive on the feeling of coming together as a community.

“We want to have some fun, and some growth and awareness, that we’re out here in the South Towns,” he said.

There will be activities aplenty; kettle corn, beverages, and music all day and if you fancy something else there are the variety of local eateries and shops in the Village.

This event will happen rain or shine. There is no race-day registration so if you are so inclined to challenge yourself be sure to check out Buffalo Bicycle Clubs website to pre-register.


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