Local event opposite Fitchburg

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by TritonRider, Jul 5, 2004.

  1. TritonRider

    TritonRider Guest

    This was here yesterday. Adam, JD Bilodeau, and Megan make it happen.
    You wanna talk about putting your money where your mouth is.

    I'm posting the whole article as the paper requires a login, and I object in

    NORTHAMPTON - The sun beat down as Chris DeFrancis of Northampton, still
    dressed in his Northampton Cycling Club uniform, sat on the grass and stretched
    his race-tightened hamstrings.

    At the corner of Main and King streets on the Hampshire County Courthouse lawn,
    he had a perfect seat for the races to come.

    DeFrancis had been among the 50 men in the 30K amateur division at the
    Northampton Criterium for Equal Access bike races. Nearby as he cooled off were
    his wife, Jennifer Gross, daughter Amelia DeFrancis, 6, and son Oscar
    DeFrancis, 2?, both of whom competed in the 6-and-under kids' race.

    ''It's a good spot to spectate from, the kids can run around,'' he said as
    Oscar and his friend Colby Moore, 4, jumped around. DeFrancis interrupted
    himself to let out a loud cheer for his Maynard Road neighbor and fellow bike
    club member Joann Glading-DiLorenzo as the women whizzed by in their brightly
    colored uniforms and shiny helmets for their first lap.

    ''It's a good event for Fourth of July,'' he said. Proving the point, on the
    lawn around him were dozens of other spectators.

    For the second year, the Northampton Criterium for Equal Access races drew
    cyclists on road bikes, training wheels, and handcycles - and hearty community

    The all-day Fourth of July event raises money through registration fees and
    raffles for All Out Adventures Inc., a local nonprofit organization whose aim
    is to improve athletic and recreational opportunities that integrate people
    with and without disabilities.

    ''Having people with and without disabilities in the race takes away some of
    the stigma and introduces handcycling as a sport in its own right and not just
    as a sport for people with disabilities,'' said Megan Briggs, program
    coordinator for All Out Adventures.

    In fact, the nine participants in the handcycle race included three people
    without disabilities from the eastern Massachusetts-based World TEAM - which
    stands for The Exceptional Athlete Matters.

    Among all the race categories Sunday, about 300 people competed: in three men's
    categories from beginners to professionals, an open women's field, Shimano
    national youth series, and hand cycle.

    All the competitors raced around the same circuit for their share of the $4,500
    handed out over the course of the day. The men's professional and women's open
    categories had equal prize lists of $1,000.

    The race circuit went from the front of the Northampton Hotel on King Street,
    turned right onto Main Street, then onto Gothic Street and down Trumbull Road
    back onto King Street to the starting and finish line. Most races were 25-30
    laps around the course.

    Meanwhile, on the courthouse lawn, Anna Moore, 8, who won the children's race
    in her age group last year, said she rides with her family and that she
    sometimes helps her brother Colby, who was in his first bike race Sunday.

    Handcyclists Karen Smith and Jeff Lavoie also competed in their first race
    Sunday. Smith and Lavoie belong to a recreational cycling club in Connecticut,
    called No Limits, that Smith started to support people with multiple sclerosis.
    She said she was a little anxious and nervous about her first race but was
    ultimately enthusiastic.

    ''It just sounds like a fun kind of race,'' Smith said before the competition.
    ''I like the whole atmosphere.''

    ''I just hope to finish as well as possible,'' she said. ''And have fun,''
    Lavoie added.

    Bill C