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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

NJ State Bicycling Championships return to Plainfield for second year

2016 NJ State Bicycling Champions
are acknowledged in front of City Hall.

For the second year in a row, Plainfield has been chosen to host the NJ State Bicycle Championships. The event is slated for this Sunday (May 7) from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. You may follow the event on its Facebook page here.

Among the featured professional cyclists will be State Champion (and Plainfield resident) Juan Pablo Jiminez, three-time Olympian Bobby Lea, and Women's World Champion Kim Geist.

Start and finish lines for the races are at Plainfield City Hall, 515 Watchung Avenue. The course is 1.1 miles long, flat with four corners (all left hand turns).

General registration starts at 8:00 AM. (Registration for the youth races starts at 12:30 PM.) Complete details on the different races, the race schedule and fees are online at the BikeReg website here, where you may also register online. If you are a USA Cycling athlete, please note the restrictions on the website. There will be podium presentations after each race -- be sure to bring your camera or cellphone for pictures.

There are two specialty races that will be of interest. The elite, or highest level cyclists, will be doing 25 laps of the course with their race starting at 1:00 p.m. At Noon, there will also be a public safety challenge race, which will include Plainfield police and firefighters and other area public safety squads.
This year's event is being enhanced by the addition of "Taste of Plainfield", an all-day al fresco food festival showcasing the many cuisines of Plainfield. This open-air event will take place in the block of East 5th Street adjacent to City Hall, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

As with last year, Champion bicyclist Greg Cordasco's Liberty Bike Shop is organizing a bike giveaway for youngsters.  "Every child that participates in the races will receive a bicycle," Cordasco says, "and this year we expect to gift 100 bicycles."

The Recreation Division will provide family friendly activities throughout the day for young children, also on the grounds of City Hall.

Sunday's weather is expected to be cloudy and a little on the cool side (high of 60ยบ), with a very slight chance of showers -- perfect race weather!

By arrangement with Union County College, free event parking will be available in the college's parking lots. The college is at 232 East Second Street (corner of Church Street). The main lot is off Church Street, immediately behind the main building. There is a second lot at Roosevelt Avenue and East 3rd Street, a short block from the campus building. Both lots are only a couple of blocks from City Hall.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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