As I mentioned in my last article (seen here), the Thompson Bucks County Classic is one of my favorite events to watch in person every year. The action is fast and furious, and every year as the crowds get bigger, the electricity and the energy just gets multiplied with each passing lap. This year there were 4 races that took place. The Amateur Men’s kicked the day off, followed by the Kid’s Races. Also, the Classic’s first ever Lenape Scorcher Race took place. (the bikes known as Penny Farther, or Big Front Wheels)
And then we have our Pro Women’s, and Pro Men’s. Of course, in the center of all this action was the Doylestown Arts fest. Sadly, Alvin and I were not able to really soak in the Arts fest for one reason or another. It did seem fun, and definitely a lot activity taking place as we walked through the fest a few times to get from one place to the next.
In years past, I really just approached the weekend as a spectator, taking in the sights and sounds. In the last few years though, I have been taken up in capturing the event, trying to share the joy I get when I watch the race unfold before my eyes.
I was, for the most part, able to show that at last year’s race. This year however, I was able to get Alvin to take the trek down south (from Toronto, Canada) and capture the event with me, and perhaps get a different perspective on it, a first timer’s account if you will. I was also able to get Media Passes (thanks Mike & JD!) thus allowing us to move about freely and get better positioning for better angles of the action.
The Amateur Men’s race kicked off the day with a 20 lap race around the course. It was early on in the day, and the crowds haven’t really made it in town yet. The Arts Fest was just getting under way with vendors finishing up their booths, and the early birds getting an uninterrupted look at what’s going on. I haven’t really seen the Amateur Men’s Race before, so I was not sure what to expect.
This also gave Alvin and I a good platform to warm up, do some final checks on our gear (more on that on another episode) and see how the angles will work. I have to say though, the participants in the race may be amateurs, but they sure didn’t ride like amateurs.
The race was pretty fast, but I have to say not as furious. Maybe because of the smaller field and the fight for position wasn’t as (BIG?) as it is in the Pro Men’s? But, I’m sure we will be seeing these fine young athletes in the big races, not just here, but all across the US, and perhaps the global stage. The race was won by Jacob Skrip, who also took the best young rider for the day. Kudos to you dude.
Enjoy the rest of the photos of from the amateur men’s race.
Bringing up the middle of the Classic were the children’s races and the Lenape Scorcher. The kids races, as always were adorable. These kids all had their eyes on the prize, and maybe something else up the hill at the finish line. They all booked it up that final stretch, and if you are not careful, you will get run over, not just by the kids, but by the parents too. I am excited to see some of these kids credit this event in the future for at least getting their fires ignited into the sport of cycling.
And the Lenape Scorcher, or the Penny Farther Race. I don’t think anyone knew what to expect with this race, except the participants – well maybe. If you don’t know what a penny farther is, allow me to explain. It’s an old-time bike with the front wheel bigger than the rider, typically. There was one contender that was probably a bit taller than the front wheel, a bit, not by much, just a bit. The race itself was plenty furious, but not that fast. It was a 4 lap jaunt from the last straight of the course. (show map) These bikes aren’t exactly the easiest things to get going, and since it’s basically a fixie of sorts (the pedals are on the wheel), getting it up that hill was a task and a half. The race was pretty tight, and I have to say it was exciting. I sure hope they keep this one in the list.
Now it was time for the pros to take stage. That segment will be in a few days, so stay tuned.
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