Last week here in Riverwest we had our 24 hour bike race, RW24. Riverwest is a very diverse neighborhood which has an awesome sense of community and celebration. This race is just the latest manifestation of this spirit. It has become an annual event, and it's a lot of fun to watch and support, and to take part in the block parties that coincide with it.
Just between you and me, next year I want to enter the race. The only question is what I'm going to name my team...and whether I can get anyone to ride with me...and whether I'll have a bike. But I'm determined to do it. Maybe I can even use it as a fund raiser for Saint Stephen's. My other hope is that the winner of next year's race will be some team that does not have Chicago in its name. We love you, Chicago, but do you have to have your hand in everything?
Here is an article about the race, published in the Shepherd Express and written by Sarah Biondich. As Sarah puts it, "The RW24, like many of Riverwest’s existing traditions, is really a manifestation of the neighborhood itself. Rather than the shaved legs, carbon-fiber bike frames and competitive pelotons of elite racing, think tattoos, handlebar mustaches and DIY bikes with fixed gears."
Here is a blog article you might find interesting, for both the commentary and the pictures. I particularly like the little girl with the Pabst Blue Ribbon shirt.
In this video, you will also get a taste of how this race has quickly become part of the community. The speaker, issuing the proclamation is our Alderman, Nik Kovac.
Many of the residents in the neighborhood stayed up all night, to watch the bikers, and take part in the celebration. My next door neighbors, for example, had a tent set up in front of their house, with several tiki torches, and a cooler full of beer. Here is a picture or two of them:
Heads up. There a bike coming.