Along with taking pictures of bike races, I’ve also been known to put on a bike race or two… Actually, just 2. in 2011 I put on the first criterium in the city of Detroit in over 30 years. It was, as far as I’m concerned a success. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, it was physically, mentally and monetarily challenging. After it was done I was so sure it would be so easy to do it again. I went into 2012 thinking that putting on a criterium would be the easiest thing I could do. I had already hit all the snags and I had a team of people working with me to make it happen. And then things came crashing down, The course where we had the race in 2011 ended up being booked to a point where we couldn’t put on the race without significantly shortening the day. We tried to move the race course, but there wasn’t enough time to get city approvals before getting USAC approvals. So I made the decision of canceling the Crit. The pain of 2011 was still so fresh that I couldn’t imaging going through that again.
Right after I made the announcement that I was canceling the crit, the director of the MBRA came to me and said there was a 2 day race that was also going to be cancelled unless someone took it over. Having heard that everything was already set up and ready to go, I said yes. This was not the case. I was handed a bunch of papers with business cards stapled to them and told those were my contacts in West Branch. That was in March and the race was the first weekend in June. Luckily the town of West Branch has some of the friendliest people in it, and they were the reason that the race happened. I was able to coordinate a few things, but it was all the people from West Branch.
Then after West Branch was over we started talking about moving to LA so Martin could race year round and I could live in the sun. Knowing that I wouldn’t be around in 2013, I passed off all of my knowledge to the Michigan Youth Cycling Team so they could carry on the West Branch race in 2013. In early 2013 we were in no place to move. I started a job I loved, Martin got on a team he had always admired, things in Detroit were good. But there was no time to put a bike race on. No time to raise the funds needed to put on a race. But I started thinking of all the things I love and hate about cycling events.
I love the thrill of the race – full fields, fast paces, atmosphere, the city, the people, spectators, cheering… everything that makes any sporting event amazing. Kids being blown away by the sight of racers, seeing something they have never seen before. Friends hanging out all throughout the race, not just coming to see one race, but seeing all the races, hanging out, eating and drinking at local places. People who just stumble upon the race and who stay and ask questions. People who show up on their bikes and decide to race.
So this year, I’m putting on what I think should be the most exciting batch of races you’ll see in the state. You’ll have exciting courses, you’ll see things you’ve never seen before and you’ll do it all within the city limits. 3 races within 4 months within 3 miles of each other. Each race will have it’s own spirit, but each race will be tied to the city.
I want to show off the city I know, love and call home. I hope you’ll be apart of it.