Come watch the area’s fastest cyclists compete for the region’s biggest purse in the Health Net Portland Twilight Criterium. The course surrounds the North Park Blocks of downtown Portland, creating an island oasis of 360-degree viewing, music, food and beverage. There are several places where you can get close enough to feel the wind from the peloton. Each lap is one-half mile long which takes the racers just over one minute to complete. The course is highly technical so fields are limited to eighty riders.
The event is free to attend and great for families. Come downtown Friday evening, to experience the excitement yourself.
Last year the race moved from the South Park Blocks near the Art Museum to its current location. I attended a few times at the old location, which was especially fun to watch due to the hilly course. Racers whipped down Broadway, turning left up Madison. Some of them ended up in the hay bales, as their wheels literally crumpled at the high speed 90 degree turn. I saw one racer gather himself up after a particularly nasty spill, throw his bike on his shoulder, run up the hill to repair his bike. Then he jumped right back into the course, bloody knees be damned. Impressive stuff.