The 36th running of the Joe Martin Stage Race has come and gone. The dust drizzle has settled. The sun finally came out. Bruce and the All Sports Production crew did such a great job running this monster event. The amount of people and equipment involved is on another level. More than 150 professional and over 400 amateur cyclists came in for 4 days of racing through the Ozarks. Watching them roar through downtown Fayetteville was an awesome sight. This year I decided not to race. It was actually great to be a true spectator. I wish bicycle racing was more popular in Arkansas and the US. The sights, sounds and speed of the peloton negotiating a criterium course like yesterday is awe inspiring. Bicycle racing is a beautiful spectacle for so many reasons. There are not many sports where the arena or stadium are roads the very roads that we all use to get ourselves from point A to B. Anyone can go ride the roads that the super bowl of cycling plays out on. Very few sports allow you to spectate at the same level that the athletes compete. Your not stuck in the stands looking down on a stage. In the US the athletes are accessible. Heck some of them will crash at your pad if you volunteer for host housing. It was just a cool scene at Church Hill on Sunday. Not exactly sure what it will take to popularize the sport even more. There’s no more ‘Lance effect’. Who is going to be the next great American story for all of us to latch onto? JMSR is a great event. Being a fan of a sport you can participate in is just very cool.
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