Pittsburgh bike race aims to be accessible to everyone
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Mike Carroll arrived as a competitive cyclist from a rather unusual place.
He was a unicyclist who eventually opted for two wheels as a way to get around the city and save money on fuel. Eventually, that led him to his first race.
And although people were welcoming, it was still daunting.
"All these guys have matching kits and experience and nice bikes and there's a lot of organization and structure," Carroll said. "As someone who isn't actively involved in racing, it's very intimidating."
The Steel City Showdown, a bike race Sunday across the bridges of downtown Pittsburgh, is meant to be an informal competition. Carroll, one of the race's four organizers, said that while the goal early on was to make this the premier bike race in Western Pennsylvania, their priority also is on making it accessible to everyone.
"We want to make an event that's family friendly and welcome to all bike enthusiasts," Carroll said. "We want to be as inclusive as possible. Cycling is a broad, diverse community. We want to bring them together."
The race is a criterium — a closed-loop circuit — that will take riders across the Sixth Street (Roberto Clemente) and Seventh Street (Andy Warhol) Bridges, East General Robinson Street on the North Shore and Fort Duquesne Boulevard downtown. There are a total of eight different categories for juniors, masters, men and women, broken down into experience, plus a kids' race. Racers will ride for a set length of time, and the pace is generally fast and intense.
A version of the race was competed in 2008 as a collegiate event hosted by Carnegie Mellon with about 150 riders, Carroll said. But participants eventually graduated and the race was forgotten until last fall, when Carroll and three others decided to see if they could revive it.
They also have teamed with the Appalachian Bicycle Racing Association, and racers can earn points toward the ABRA criterium series overall championship at the Steel City Showdown and today's South Connellsville Criterium.
Closed-loop racing with the Allegheny Cycling Association at the Bud Harris Cycling Park in Highland Park has been thriving for years, and ACA president Chris Popovec expects a big turnout Sunday.
"It's great to have more races in our backyards," Popovec said.
There are already 200 cyclists pre-registered, and Carroll said they hope to make this an annual event.
"We're already thinking about next year," Carroll said. "We're looking five to 10 years down the road."Additional Information:
Steel City Showdown
Organizers hope Sunday's cycling race will become an annual event. Day of race registration is available. Prizes or awards will be given in each category. For more information, visit www.steelcityshowdown.com .
Juniors under 19 (30 minutes long): Starts at 8:30 a.m.; $20 entry fee
Men category 5 (30 minutes): 8:30 a.m.; $30
Masters 40+ (45 minutes): 9:15 a.m.; $30
Masters 50+ (45 minutes): 9:15 a.m.; $30
Men category 3⁄4 (45 minutes): 10:15 a.m.; $30
Women category 1⁄2/3 (45 minutes): 11:15 a.m.; $30
Women category 4 (45 minutes): 11:15 a.m.; $30
Men category 1⁄2/3 (60 minutes): 12:20 p.m.; $30
Children (0.25 laps): 1:40 p.m.; $5
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Hero Franklin Regional security guard out of work
- Lopsided loss to Eagles shows Steelers have issues aplenty
- Rossi: Time with Penguins taught Bylsma importance of stability
- Rain washes out road, blamed in death of Perryopolis man in Perry Township
- Unusually cold winter, spring reduces population of Western Pa. stink bugs
- Steelers notebook: Keisel always hoped to return
- Sandusky cover-up case unusually shrouded
- Icy water, donations to fight ALS flow with social media’s help
- Harrison’s 5 RBIs help Pirates pound Brewers
- Expert: Print on cyanide vial could be vital in Ferrante murder trial
- HSFB preview by position: Familiar faces coaching in new places