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Added Mar 27 2012

In 1990, I promoted a single criterium, using parade grounds around Ross Field as the venue. Ross Field is located Naval Station Great Lakes. It rained that day, turnout was fair to moderate. As the promoter, I cleared over $2800 for the day, would have easily tripled that amount had the weather held and the sun was shining. So... what is my point?

Bicycle racing in rogers park would generate revenue, provide venue for concessions, bring visitors into neighborhood, practically from all over the country ... possibly generate revenue in six figures once the successful event has established itself. only obstacles would be providing the venue and garnering support from the community.

  • Joseph G PhD student on a bike

    I'm down to participate in this effort to whatever extent I have time for.

  • Inactive user

    If the city cooperated, the area has a prime and easy (and mostly well-paved) route possible: a loop of Devon, starting at Broadway, going up to Ridge, Ridge to Howard, Howard to Sheridan, back to Devon. Do it early enough on a Sunday morning and blocking the traffic would not be a big deal. Evanston has such a race annually, I believe.

  • Inactive user

    all you really need is a closed loop with four corners, closed off to traffic completely for the day.. one kilomoter minimum distance.
    I swear to you, you will have riders from florida, california... EVERYWHERE.. 40 maybe 50 riders per race... $25 a head.. how many races you want to have? add it up. concessions, tshirts, hotel rooms, restaurants, taxis.. where does it end??
    why do you think these promoters from out of state come here to have triathlons at the lakefront and such.. BIG BUCKS

  • Inactive user

    alderman could make it happen easily

  • Inactive user

    sponsors contribution gerenate lots of revenue also...

  • Don Gordon 30+ year RP resident & activist

    Great Idea! I'm in to help plan and maybe compete :-) Evanston does indeed have a well attended Criterium every summer in downtown Evanston but it's a tight circuit - Clark to Grove (north to south) and Sherwin to Chicago (east to west). A similar course in RP would be Morse to Pratt and Clark to Ashland. This would avoid the high traffic streets of Devon, Sheridan and Ridge, but more importantly would keep it on a tight loop, in high traffic commercial areas like in Evanston, which are much more conducive to spectators. Also, their races (there's a number of categories) don't start until late morning/early afternoon and run until ~6pm, also more conducive to spectators. Morse and Clark would both benefit from the spectator traffic during the afternoon and if it's on a Sunday it could be run in concert with the Farmer's Market but start a little later, in particular after church services are done, which I believe they consider in Evanston as well. There could be all sorts of pre-Criterium build-up prior to that on Clark and on Morse and in the Farmer's Market. Evanston tries to create an international flair by bringing in riders from around the planet and does bring some in who are here in the U.S. for other circuits as well. The RP Criterium could have a more local flavor to it and still draw a lot of riders. I'm up for helping out!

  • Inactive user

    if held at the right time to cooincide with SuperWeek in Wisconsin.. you would have all the international riders that did not make the cut for Tour deFrance.. hold it sligtly before or after... coordinate with Evanston event would benefit both venues

  • Inactive user

    at its peak, promoter of SuperWeek was raking in over $250K in entry fees and keeping $40k for himself.. his sole employment for the year. now beat that my friends.

  • Don Gordon 30+ year RP resident & activist

    We need the alderman's buy in on this first and then the merchants. I have someone who can announce the races and who has experience announcing these kind of events. I'd be willing to talk to the merchants once we have the alderman's buy in. Sounds like the next step is to meet with Joe. BTW, as for Super Week, Evanston already figured on that. Theirs is the weekend after. To do it before would be too early. However, we might do it the weekend before the Chicago Triathlon, though I still think getting a local/regional crowd will draw more than enough.

  • Inactive user

    dang, this is heating up fast. Love the Morse/Clark/Pratt/Ashland route. The parking lot at Morse and Ashland could be a perfect staging area/seating area. Slight rise to Clark makes it interesting too.

  • Inactive user

    Downers Grove hosted the US Pro Criterium Championships for 23 years.. Glencoe, IL hosted it in 2010, Grand Rapids Mich hosted it last year and again this year. High Point, NC will host it in 2013 and 2014.

  • Don Gordon 30+ year RP resident & activist

    Great idea, Bill! And it would be a one of the turns, which is a prime location. William, do you want to contact the alderman and set up a meeting? It doesn't appear that he's following this posting. I'd suggest we meet prior to that and anyone else who's interested in getting this off the ground.

  • Inactive user

    @Bil Savage .. riders would be flying off of that left turn from Clark to Pratt... sets up an amazing turn four in to the finish. what do you figure the distance for one lap?

  • Don Gordon 30+ year RP resident & activist

    Here's the link to the Evanston 2012 Criterium and course layout (.9 mile loop) http://evanstongrandprix.com/evanston-bike-race-schedule.html It actually starts earlier than I thought. All the turns are hairpin turns. The RP course would be about the same distance. I'm guessing around a 1 mile loop..

  • Inactive user

    in kilometers... LOL

  • Don Gordon 30+ year RP resident & activist

    Damn! As a life-long runner I should have known better... :-(

  • Inactive user

    we need to have meeting of the minds before going to alderman with anything

  • Inactive user

    he is probably already reading this.... requires tremendous dedication to be able to pull off something like this... even after getting green light from everybody.

  • Don Gordon 30+ year RP resident & activist

    I agree, but we need to know whether he's on board, otherwise we'd be fighting an uphill battle. I think a call to his office or an email to him just to find out if he's interested would be a good start. Then we can meet and talk logistics and planning in anticipation of meeting with Joe and then moving on to bringing the businesses and community on board. Since this is your idea I defer to you to contact the alderman...

  • Inactive user

    need multiple venue options....

  • Inactive user

    I will get in touch with him.

  • Inactive user

    evanston has an excellent venue!!!!

  • Inactive user

    called aldermans offc... left voicemail with chief of staff... she has my home phone, I have also sent email message directing Joe to this blog. ~peace

  • Inactive user

    When riding home from NU tonight, I'll do that loop and give you the mileage, which you can then convert to kiloquartz or whatever.

  • Susan Says Howard Area Helper

    William, This is a great idea. Just PLEASE include Howard Street on your route. Any and all positive activities are desperatly needed. Our huge train stop is perfect to bring in outsiders. Also there is not much activity in the area so it would be easy to block off streets.

  • Diane Chef and Dog Lover

    What would the funds be earmarked for? We need everything it seems.
    If we could swing this, we could have vending as well.
    I'm in.

  • Helen North of Howard for 50 + years

    I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around closing Clark to traffic.

  • Inactive user

    I am not real happy with that either .. check out the route hat evanston is laying down: http://evanstongrandprix.com/evanston-bike-race-schedule.html

  • Rebecca Rogers Park Resident since 2004

    Parts of Clark are shut-down for other events in the summer. Clark Street Festival and Andersonville's Midsommerfest are examples. Traffic would have to be re-routed to either Ridge or Sheridan.

  • Don Gordon 30+ year RP resident & activist

    We shut down Clark Street for a longer stretch every year for an entire weekend, so I doubt that this would be a problem...

  • Inactive user

    http://www.internationalcycling.com/?q=schedule/chicago-bike-race-tba

    you look at field limit for each race .. they are getting at least $25 a head plus any late fees.

  • Inactive user

    oops.. posted entry fee is even higher than $25 .. my bad

  • Inactive user

    we are probably looking at next year for planning purposes

  • Inactive user

    And I'd bet that this would be more enthusiastically received (by the Alderman and/or the RP itself) if it were a fund-raiser for some charity or another. Whoever does the promotion (and all the hard work it will require!) should certainly make a decent buck for it, but if it's for charity, there might be more buy-in from the neighbors and powers-that-be.

  • Inactive user

    Done teaching, off to measure the Morse/Ashland/Pratt/Clark square. Will post on it in the a.m.

  • Helen North of Howard for 50 + years

    Duh, just ignore my comment above. While making dinner tonight, it dawned on me that they must close Clark for the summer street festival, which I've never been to.

  • Bruce Mayberry, Roger Parkansas

    Wrigly field closes Clark street 70 times a year.

  • Inactive user

    Did the measurement of the Clark/Morse/Ashland/Pratt circle last night, and riding it made me think it's a perfect route. The parking lot south of the library on Clark could have temporary bleachers, and there are lots of wide sidewalks all around, besides the church parking lot as a start point. If that church on the SE corner of Morse and Ashland is up for it, their steps would be a great viewing spot/awards stand.

    The distance: starting at Morse and Clark, my odometer was at 10.65 miles; 10.83 at the turn onto Ashland, 11.00 at the turn onto Pratt, 11.16 at the turn onto Clark, 11.33 back at the starting point. Total: .68 miles, or almost 1.1 kilometers.

    I was mostly in the middle of the street, but had some traffic that made me move over to the right, so this measurement is probably not as precise as a race would require (do you measure from the most inside angle, or the most outside, or the middle?). But it looks like it would work for this sort of thing.

  • Bruce Mayberry, Roger Parkansas

    I like the idea, especially if there were an old guy, am division.

  • Hooray for bike racing!

    There are actually races going on this week in Calumet Park: https://www.bikereg.com/NET/15540/Gapers-Block-Crits. Come on down tonight or tomorrow night and meet some of the local racers.

    And I hope you'll come check out the race my team will be throwing at Montrose Harbor on April 22: https://www.bikereg.com/NET/15648/Alderman-James-Capplemans-46th-Ward-Lincoln-Park-Criterium. (FWIW, we are expecting profits in the high two figures.)

  • Inactive user

    @Luke.. YESSS... I will be there! I would like to talk to you about race promotion, share my ideas and such. I am all about promoting the sport.. we should be having races all over the city... we need team involvement in order to benefit from the perks.

  • Inactive user

    @luke... been out of touch with ICA and such.. need to let them know what we are trying to do here in rogers park. event promotion will probably go into AUTO mode once the movers and shakers get a wind of things.

  • Inactive user

    @luke .. as part of SuperWeek there is a races being planned for July 6 venue being Beverly Hills/Morgan Park... and another race on the 7th, Chicago venue not identified.

  • Inactive user

    Sounds like momentum to me. If all of these local racing groups band together (and I think Half Acre Brewery has its own teams) we could have an annual circuit, with races all over town every weekend during the season.

  • Inactive user

    Illinois Cycling Association helps to schedule races for the upcoming season every year...all the clubs and promoters get together to get the dates firmed up. A lot of these people are residents of Chicago and surrounding suburbs. For years they have been going to places like Galena, LaSalle County, Starved Rock, Sauk Village, etc because it was easier to get a venue. if the city wants to open up the venues, we could possibly have our own SuperWeek.. Tour of Chicago. alderman should go to city council to challenge other alderman to copy what they are doing in 46th ward in April 22. ~peace

  • I recommend contacting the ICA directly at president@illinoiscycling.org. I'm sure they'd love to offer guidance and feedback.

  • Bill W. 12 Year Resident of Rogers Park

    i love the idea as anfund raiser. my organization is always looking for a way to raise funds.

    how hard would it be to do this with a twist, evanston to rogers park?

    our fraternity even has a bike team for the MS ride each year. this would be a great idea.

  • Inactive user

    no particular interest from aldermans offc... it is a lot of work, if somebody wants to take lead, I would be willing to assist. there is a lot of behind the scenes details involved to make this happen.

  • Joe Moore Alderman, 49th Ward

    This is the first time I've seen this thread. I'm not aware of "Inactive User's" interaction with my office. However, I'm open to the idea and potentially could support the various permits required, assuming community buy-in. I would also be willing to help with publicity through my e-mail blasts.

    But if Inactive User was looking for us to "support" his/her idea by doing all the legwork, that may explain my office's lack of interest. My small staff has it's hands full every summer organizing our own Community Bike Ride and Back to School Picnic, as well as providing significant assistance with the weekly Glenwood Sunday Market.

    Again, I'm open to the idea, but based on his/her most recent comment, it appears as though Inactive User, is looking for someone else to take the lead. If there are such folks, I'd like to sit down with them to figure out the logistics and gauge their seriousness and ability to pull off such an ambitious idea. Post a comment on this thread to let me know.

  • michael james co founder Heartland Cafe

    Heartland Spring Bike Ride is this coming Sunday, 4/15. Meet at the Heartland Cafe between 7-8 am. For information on Heartland Athletes United for Peace Runs and Rides, go to http://www.heartlandcafe.com/ap_index.htm

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