last sunday, as part of the special olympics/one healthy day festivities, the city council and (bizarrely) the nhs supported an afternoon of criterium racing around the city centre.
this should have been a big deal. 1.2km of city centre streets were closed to traffic and lined with barriers, security staff and first aiders.
races for under12s, through hand-powered bikes to elite level were organised but seemingly without any publicity. i am a keen cyclist and live in the city, but only stumbled across details of the event and could quite easily have missed it.
the weather was pretty dismal too and i’m sure this didn’t help. not even the shoppers bothered to stop and watch for a while en route between primark and h&m.
so the few racers that did brave the newly laid, slick granite slabs that got more slippery the more it rained took it seriously and battled hard but the general feeling was one of extreme disappointment.
maybe i expect too much. but this sort of thing isn’t going to happen again unless it is seen to be a success. the fact that not even the club members of the local clubs could turn out to support such an event is so sad.
it should also be said however that organisation of the event, the facilities, stewarding etc were all excellent and a credit to the organisers.