More than 600 cyclists from around the country are expected to invade the Village of East Davenport again on Monday for a local Memorial Day tradition.
The 54th annual Kwik Star Criterium runs 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and again serves as the crescendo to four holiday weekend bicycle races in the region.
The QC Bicycle Club's signature event has been coupled for more than four decades with the downstream Burlington Road Races (today), and Criteriums in Burlington (Snake Alley on Saturday) and Muscatine (Melon City on Sunday).
By offering plenty of bang for the buck, together those races attract everyone from professional to novice riders.
This is the local event's sixth year in the Village, having started in downtown East Moline in 1964, moving to the "Belgian Bluffs" of Moline from 1965-1996, and residing in The District of Rock Island from 1997 to 2013.
Also known as the Quad Cities Criterium, the all-day event offers racing in 12 age and skill divisions on a hilly course featuring thrilling speeds.
One of the oldest bicycle races in America also offers a "Fat Tire" ride, a traditional kid's race for bikes, trikes and big wheels, and a special children's play area with bouncy houses in Lindsey Park.
Admission is free, and spectators are encouraged, with the bars, restaurants and shops in the Village open for business. Several provide outdoor viewing areas and beer gardens. The race atmosphere also includes yard parties hosted by home owners in the neighborhood.
Online registration for the races is available at usacycling.org. Walk-up sign-ups are on-site race day 30 minutes before the start of each race at the Village Theater.
Registration for the 3 p.m. kids' race runs on-site from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. race day in Lindsey Park. All kids' race participants receive medals and free ice cream from Lagomarcino's.
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The top finishers in the regulation races earn merchandise or cash prizes, with the elite men's and women's fields each dividing $4,000 purses to 15 places.
Helmets are required for participants in every race, including the kids' events.
To volunteer to work the Criterium, contact Dean Mathias at 309-737-8429 or email@example.com.
For more details, visit quadcitiescriterium.com.
Also this weekend: Delayed earlier this month by Mississippi River flooding, the sixth annual Tour de Brew QC takes off at 10 a.m. Saturday from the Front Street Tap Room in downtown Davenport. The bike ride supports local cancer-focused charities, having raised over $80,000 since the event's 2014 debut.
The 30-mile route for the bi-state trek remains altered by flood debris on Davenport's riverside bike trails.
Riders will use the Government Bridge to reach Wake Brewing and the Rock Island Brewing Company before returning to Iowa and heading east to My Place Pub in Riverdale. The ride then proceeds on the Duck Creek Bike Path and Devils Glen Road to Crawford Brew Works in Bettendorf. The final stop before returning to Front Street is at Rudy's Mexican Cantina in the Village of East Davenport.
New this year is a 5K walk, roll or crawl beginning at 1 p.m. also at Front Street. Scheduled stops are at Wake and RIBCO; extra mileage is available for those wishing to visit Rudy's before returning.
Packet pickup and walk-up registration is 3-7 p.m. today at Front Street.
Also Sunday: The QC Bicycle Club's rain-delayed Gravel Race starts at 9 a.m. Sunday in Eldridge. The 28-mile event on the gravel roads around the city begins and ends at North Scott High School. Registration is offered on a walk-up basis between 8:15-8:45 on race morning. QCBC members are free; the general public's fee is $5. The top three finishers in both the men's and women's division receive medals. The race will happen unless there are severe storms. For more details, call James Hudson at 309-787-9660.