The Clarendon Cup has been run in Clarendon, VA since 1999. These racers showcase what is really possible on a bicycle, riding 100 laps in the space of two hours at high speed. This is what is known as a “Criterium” as it is a small, tight course. This particular race is seemingly always won by a breakaway that laps the field, and 2019 was no exception.
This year’s race moved from Saturday to Sunday and moved up a week to the first weekend of June, avoiding the date conflict with Capitol Pride in DC.
While the race has picked up the Air Force Association and Boeing as sponsors, bicycling still represents almost the exact opposite of the gas-guzzling ways of modern military aircraft. Yet it has been said that there is a little fighter pilot in every bike racer and even more so every bike messenger. The bikes used by pro-level racers can cost $6000-$10,000 and are to what most people ride rather as Formula 1 cars are to commuter cars. The difference is of course that all-out race bikes can be (and often are) ridden on the street in normal traffic.
Many in the activist and progressive community rely on the bicycle as primary transportation, and some of us ride to battle against neo-Nazis and other dangerous enemies on them. To see this sort of speed and coordination on bicycles is always an inspiration. If the US Air Force starts bombing Iran or Venezuala, you can bet lots of folks who will be opposing that war every way they can will be relying on the bicycle to get to and from protests and direct actions without using the loot from a war for oil.
HD Video-highlights of the race and how it was won 5 min 34 sec