From Mike McCurry’s column in the Clarendon Courier July 24, 2014
Tour De Clarendon Hills
It was one of the hottest mornings of the summer, but no one was complaining — especially after the grueling winter still fresh in everyone’s memories. Even at 5:30 a.m., the riders welcomed the steaming streets with enthusiasm. The heat of the streets matched the heat of the race.
As the five riders approached the hill, a clicking could be heard as gears suddenly began to change in preparation. Already pedaling swiftly, now the cyclists got out of their saddles and pumped their legs with fervor. The sprint had begun!
Two of the riders quickly got left behind while two others drafted off the leader up the hill, sheltering themselves from the wind to conserve energy. As the top of the climb approached, the rider in back made a final strong push. Using a slingshot move to catapult himself ahead, he shot around the pack and careened to the front, “winning” the hill.
As the pace slackened and they began to coast, the other riders laughed and poked fun at the winner — who, up until this point, had been referred to as the “Draft Weasel.” The two riders who had been left behind jokingly made excuses about being too old to race anymore. But all of them looked forward to the next hill — and the chance to prove the mettle of their pedals.
If you’re up and about at 5:30, you might see this pack of diverse cyclists that I ride with cruising through town during the week. (If you don’t see us piercing the wind on the street, you’re likely to see us shooting the breeze outside Starbucks after our ride.) Those coffee-sipping discussions often circle back to the idea of having a more official bike race in Clarendon Hills. We have the Daisy Dash; why can’t we have the “Tour De Clarendon Hills”?
Do you remember the Subrban-athalon? This was the obstacle race staged in Prospect Park last summer. Families from all over town competed, showing off their ability to carry sandbags up the sled hill, crawl under Lexus trucks
and throw tennis balls through my sign with a giant hole in the middle — all while running from stage to stage in between.
These days I run into many people around town who wish we had another event like this — not only because it’s a chance to fuel our competitive nature, but because there were so many of our community members out there with their families, doing something fun and healthy!
Why Not Do More Events Like This in Our Community?
A few thousand miles east of our town, the Tour de France is in full swing. By Sunday the world’s elite riders will be sipping champagne as they cycle down the Champs-Élysées and make their way to the Arc de Triomphe.
I can’t help but think of a similar scenario playing out in our beautiful town. Determined cyclists of all ages zip through the intersection at Prospect and Burlington Avenue, racing for the finish. Screaming fans cheer on their friends and family members. Winded but smiling riders congregate at the finish line to congratulate each other and share in the joy of a race well-ridden. And above all, the community bonds.
Back in the early morning light outside Starbucks, the slingshot rider is all smiles. His dream of the Tour de Clarendon Hills may become a reality someday. But for now: Bring on the next hill.
Mike is a Clarendon Hills
resident; husband; Indian Princes; Indian Guide Dad; a Coach; an “old” football player and a real estate broker. Mike’s columns are usually crafted about the buzz in and around Clarendon Hills. It sometimes has a spin on real estate or cultural information, highlight a new business or announce school happenings. He might include a “get-to-know” about some of our interesting Clarendon Hills residents and even a little about Clarendon Hills history
. Whatever it is, it is sure to be about the “Talk of the Town”.
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