‘Cirque du Cycling’ returns to Mississippi Ave

‘Cirque du Cycling’ returns to Mississippi Ave

Cirque du Cycling Race-6

The Cirque du Cycling is much more than
just a bike race (but that part is pretty awesome).
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

After a one-year hiatus, one of our favorite events, the Cirque du Cycling, is set for a triumphant return. The Cirque du Cycling is an awesome mix of family-friendly street festival and top-notch bicycle race. This year, organizers have planned kids activities, a cargo bike race, and the main event: a criterium that blasts through the streets of North Mississippi Avenue just a few feet from roaring spectators.

We’re excited to see this event return after it ran into funding and management troubles in 2012.

The fun will start at 4:00 on Friday, August 9th at the “Family Fun Zone” at the Q Center (Mason & Mississippi). There will be games, music, and crafts for the kids, along with a bike decorating station. At 5:00, there will be a three-mile family bike ride up to Peninsula Park.

Then the racing starts.

We are excited to hear that organizers have brought back the Cargo Bike Race. Like the 2011 edition, the race will be a mass start where competitors will have to load and haul all sorts of household items (toilets, electrical boxes, air ducts, and so on) for three laps around the race course. There will be a competitive and friendly category, depending on your cargo bike handling prowess.

Here are a few pics from the Cargo Bike Race and the Family Ride from past years…

Family ride at Cirque du Cycling-9

Family ride at Cirque du Cycling-21

Family ride at Cirque du Cycling-12

Cirque du Cycling 2011-109

Cirque du Cycling 2011-112

Cirque du Cycling 2011-99

Cirque du Cycling 2011-97

The criterium race is what brings out the big crowds. There’s a $1,000 cash prize for the winner of the Pro/1/2 category race ($5,000 total cash purse) so you know the best local and regional talent will be out there giving it their best shot. If you’ve never watched it before, criterium racing is quite a spectacle. Riders fly around the course, bending into turns just inches from other riders at speeds over 40 mph. Certain laps come with special prizes; but the entire race is geared toward a big sprint finish.

Here’s some of the best action from previous years…

Cirque du Cycling 2011-143

Cirque du Cycling 2011-141

Cirque du Cycling 2011-135

Cirque du Cycling Race-21

Cirque du Cycling 2011-130

Cirque du Cycling Race-30

Major thanks is due to lead sponsor Laughing Planet Cafe for being a believer in this event and stepping up to make it happen year after year. This event is free and it’s a great excuse to come out and enjoy the shops and atmosphere on Mississippi Avenue while celebrating cycling.

Mark your calendar for Friday August 9th and check out CyclingCircus.com for full details.

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