Two years ago the race moved from the South Park Blocks near the Art Museum to its current location in the North Park Blocks. I attended a few times at the old location, but have yet to make it since they changed location. The old course had hills. Racers whipped down Broadway with a 90 degree left turn up Madison that some riders couldn’t quite negotiate, sending them into the hay bales, or their wheels couldn’t handle the stress and literally crumpled beneath them. But then the bloody kneed racers jump right back on, stopping only to replace the wheel if necessary. Impressive stuff.
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.
The race starts at 6:30, but the street closures begin about 4pm.
Read the Oregonian write up: Portland Twilight Criterium rescued for this year, but could be on final lap