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  • Mon July 13 2009
  • Posted Jul 13, 2009
CLEAR LAKE — More than 100 racers, both veterans and novices, competed in Sunday’s Bicycle, Blues and BBQ road race, which began and ended in Clear Lake. “It’s a challenging course,” said Sean Walker of Grinnell, who was participating in the United States Cycling Federation-sanctioned race for the third time. “It’s long and windy.” Walker, who said he participates in 40 to 50 bicycle races a year, called the event “a race of attrition” because not everyone finishes. Racers could chose either a 82-mile route winding through Sheffield and Chapin before returning to Clear Lake, or a 42-mile route. Mike Hummel of St. Paul, Minn., a former Mason City resident who is part of the North Iowa Spin team, was participating in his first-ever road race on Sunday. “I’m excited and a little nervous,” he said. “I just want to survive.” Evan Peterson of Mason City, also with North Iowa Spin, said he enjoys the race because of its “home-court advantage.” “I know the route,” he said. This was the fifth year for Bicycle, Blues and BBQ in Clear Lake. The event, which began Friday, “is showing strength as a solid weekend of fun,” said volunteer Mark Dix of Mason City. “It’s action-packed. There’s something for every bicyclist here.” Saturday’s “FUNdraising” ride to benefit the trail system in Cerro Gordo County attracted more than 200 riders, Dix said. This was the second year for the Iowa Cup Criterium Race, which also was held Saturday. Tim Putnam, race coordinator, said the Criterium already is becoming a favorite of bicycle racers who compete in Iowa. Sara Broek of Des Moines, a member of the Punk Rock Cycling team, competed in both the Criterium on Saturday and the road race on Sunday. She said she enjoys Bicycle, Blues and BBQ because of the “great hospitality in the city.” “It’s a really fun event,” she said. Steve Post of Mason City, who came to Clear Lake to watch Sunday’s race, said Bicycle, Blues and BBQ is a positive thing for the area because it increases tourism. “It’s good, clean fun in North Iowa,” he said.

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