For racing cyclists, Lawrence was the place to be Saturday and 88 of them turned out for the Octoginta, the Lawrence Bicycle Club's annual event.
The club staged two events for regional riders: the Tour De Country Brunch Ride, a 25-mile event, which began at Constant Park, Sixth and Tennessee, and ended with brunch at Lawrence restaurants, and a time trial, a flat 10-kilometer ride on County Road 442.
Many riders said they considered the Tour De Country Brunch a leisure ride.
"It's a ride for fun. We busted our tails all year long and now we ride as friends," said Rich Wilson, 43, Wichita, an open class (unlicensed) cycling veteran of six years and a three-time Octoginta participant.
"Octoginta is an end of the season ride and it's a great opportunity to meet other cyclists without the competitive surroundings."
THE TIME trial, a racing event featuring four categories, started at 9:25 a.m., but rider preparation began an hour before the race. Cyclists competed in categories for United States Cycling Federation women and men as well as open categories for women and men. A complete list of finishers appears on page 2B.
Terry Cochran, Lawrence, who rode a 12-speed Bianchi racing bike, spent 20 minutes training in a stationary position, with his Bianchi locked down to a brace, and another 20 minutes riding the bike up and down County Road 442.
Cochran, 30, has ridden competitively for two years. "I just keep getting faster with age," he said.
Many riders recognized the challenge ahead. Ron Lathrop, 31, a rider for Team Schwinn, said the competition would prove tough. A $500 pot for the USCF races increased the tension.
THE OCTOGINTA has kept up with changing technology. The two statisticians used a laptop computer with a spreadsheet program to quickly compute the final times of the riders.
Taking off every 45 seconds, the riders launched themselves from a three-foot ramp and pedaled furiously throughout the 6.2-mile course. Family and friends cheered the riders to complete a quick race.
Leslie Brooks, Leawood, set an overall course record for women with a 16:75.85 finish for the women's open race. Brooks, a triathalon competitor, had never entered a time trial before.
"It feels good to win," said Brooks, 23. "It was really kind of fun." Kate Dineen, 33, Kansas City, won the USCF women's trial with a 16:38.12 time.
A nationally ranked triathalon athlete, Clark Campbell, won the men's open race and set a new overall course record with a time of 13:48.82. Lloyd Tabling, Wichita, held the previous record of 13:58.35.
Steve Tilford, 30, Topeka, a three-time national champion, finished first in the USCF men's race with a final time of 13:49.21.