BY MARIA D. JAMES — On Saturday, March 12, an estimated 600 cyclists will ride through the City of Hyattsville to participate in the Route One Rampage. The bike race is the first hosted by the University of Maryland Cycle Team with a course that goes right through the heart of the city.
Race registration begins at 6:45 a.m. The men’s race will kick off at 7:30 a.m. and the women’s will start at 8:20 a.m. Residents have the opportunity to register to participate in these early morning races. Cost is $10 for the one-day race license and the registration fee. Amateur races will take place in the morning. To register to ride, visit www.usacycling.org. Collegiate races will take place in the afternoon.
Winners from the 9 a.m. and 9:50 a.m. professional-level races in categories 1, 2 and 3 will be awarded $250. The race ends at 6:30 p.m. Award presentations will take place at Vigilante Coffee.
Local sponsors for the event include Vigilante Coffee, Pike Rotisserie & Grill, Elevation Burger and Arrow Bicycle.
Residents should be aware that this race will mean street closures and detours throughout the city. According to USACycling.org, the course runs clockwise and is a four-turn, 1.6 km (1 mi) loop, which begins at Centennial Park on Baltimore Avenue next to the Route a overpass . Driving will be prohibited along the race course on Jefferson Street, 42nd Avenue, and Farragut Street. Route 1/Baltimore Avenue will close both the lanes that are typically for southbound traffic. Driving will be permitted on the two remaining lanes – one will be for southbound traffic and the other will be for northbound traffic. Also, parking will be prohibited along the race course the entire day.
Local bus routes will be diverted; however, at the time of publication Metro has not provided the city with information about the detour routes.
Drivers wishing to cross the course may do so only during the five-minute intervals between races. The schedule of crossing times is as follows: Before 7:20 a.m.; 8:10 a.m.; 8:50 a.m.; 9:40 a.m.; 10:50 a.m.; 12:00 p.m.; 12:40 p.m.; 1:35 p.m.; 2:45 p.m.; 3:20 p.m.; 4:00 p.m.; 4:55 p.m.; and after 6:05 p.m.
According to Hyattsville Director of Community Services Jake Rollow, the city hopes this will be a fun day for residents, a boost for local businesses, and a chance to showcase Hyattsville to visitors.
“We know that there will be inconveniences caused by the race, and we ask that residents be patient,” Rollow said. “Organizers have told us they will do everything they can to be flexible to assist residents.”
Chris Keosian, Director of Cycling Operations for the UM Cycling Team, says the team is very excited. “Planning a bike race is hard – it was a huge undertaking,” said Keosian. He says the university has not sponsored a race of this magnitude in the last eight years, if not longer. “It’s cool to say to our friends ‘come out to our event.’ Many of us are from Maryland. We train and train, and often travel to races out of the state. This time our parents can come,” said Keosian.
To watch the race, spectators can line the streets. The criterium races will make multiple rounds of the one-mile loop course throughout the day. Free auxiliary parking will be available at the Revenue Authority and across from the old WSSC building.
Race organizers plan to distribute flyers door-to-door and post signs along the race route to serve as reminder.
Keosian asks residents to have patience on the day of the race. “It’s our first year and the first time the City of Hyattsville has hosted this event. There will be some growing pains,” said Keosian. “Ultimately, we see this as a great opportunity for the city.”
To learn more about the event, visit http://hyattsville.org/route1rampage
According to the city, the cycling team is also seeking volunteers to help at the race: http://goo.gl/forms/