The 2010 Portland Twilight Criterium takes place Friday, August 13 in the North Park Blocks (near NW 9th and Couch).
I recommend watching from the Widmer beer garden. The event opens at 4pm, and racing begins at 6:30pm.
A criterium is a bicycle street race where racers compete to complete the most number of laps within a set time period. My first exposure to criterium racing took place three years ago, and I became a fan instantly. when the Twilight Criterium was held in the South Park Blocks near the Art Museum, the hilly course made the race particularly fun to watch. 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.
The event also includes a hand built bike show, free bike parking, and food carts! Visit PortlandTwilight.com for more details.