Houston, TX – May 7, 2017 – Bike Barn is bringing the Houston Grand Criterium back with a new layout, new pavement, and equal prize money for the top men’s and women’s fields. After taking a year off due to the redesign of Allen Parkway, the local bicycle race promises to be better than ever for everyone involved. The 1.6 mile course will take racers on laps of the parkway; west to Gillette and then east into downtown with 1 block of racing on Bagby before heading back out on Lamar. The format of a criterium race, with its numerous laps of a short course, provides the ideal venue for spectators.
- A Redesigned Parkway: The new access road along Buffalo Bayou Park provides a more pleasing atmosphere to watch the races with easy access to the park. “Now that the parking has been moved to the park side, it’s a great opportunity, even if you aren’t a racer, to come and cheer on the riders. You can grab lunch from a food truck and enjoy being right along the trails and grass and the bayou,” encourages Lee Neathery, co-owner of Bike Barn, “Everyone should come out and make a day of it.”
- Smooth Pavement: For cyclists, the newly repaved streets mean racing will be smoother, faster, and safer than ever. Despite Allen Parkway’s history of potholes, the Houston Grand Criterium, now in its 11th year, has grown into one of the premier bicycle races in the state, drawing riders from across the region. From children on training wheels to some of the best professional cyclists in Texas, there is a race for everyone with an expected turnout of 400 racers.
- Equal Pay: Also new for this year is the equal prize money being offered by Bike Barn to both the men’s and women’s top competitors. While slowly becoming more common, equal prize money is still a relative rarity in bike racing, with women sometimes taking home 10% or less of their male counterparts. “As women’s cycling grows, it’s hard to understand why we’re still fighting for equal prizes, equal fields, and equal distances, but we are,” says local cyclist Jessica Miller, who will be racing in this year’s event. “I’m hoping other promoters take notice and join those who are doing what is right.” The event is free for spectators, who can find more information on the event website or through Facebook. Parking is available but limited so alternative forms of transportation are encouraged. Cyclists interested in racing should register through USA Cycling. All inquiries should be sent to Tim Barnett, Events Manager for Bike Barn. About Bike Barn: Bike Barn is a Houston-based shop with 7 locations in the Houston area, a rental shop in Buffalo Bayou Park, a custom fit studio in West University, and their newest location in College Station. First opened in 1983,
Bike Barn is dedicated to Houston cycling with high standards of quality and service, a deep passion for customer
Don’t wait! Online registration closes at 10am MDT on May 5, 2017.