Cycling Craze Takes Valley by Storm
Cycling has become the lastest and greatest craze to hit the Rio Grande Valley as well as the rest of the country. The mass numbers of cyclists around the Valley is amazing. The rides and competitions are growing in numbers. As a matter of fact, this August, the 23rd to be exact Brownsville will host the first Gran Fondo with renowned cyclist, Raul Alcala. Raul Alcala is a professional road racing cyclist who competed between 1985 and 1999 and again in 2008. In 1986, Alcalá became the first Mexican cyclist to compete in the Tour De France. In the 1987 Tour de France, he won the Young Rider Award. In both 1989 and 1990, he won a stage in the Tour de France and finished in 8th place. He represented his native country at the 1984 Summer Olympics, finishing in eleventh place. In 2008, Alcalá returned to professional racing by competing in the Vuelta Chihuahua. In 2010, he won the national time trial championship at the age of 46. Mr. Alcala now is a part of a huge race that will be taking place on August 23 in Brownsville,Texas. Riders from all over are coming for this race. People that have recently begun to cycle are actually training to compete in this race. Cycling has taken over in Brownsville, Texas and surrounding cities in the Rio Grande Valley. I have recently been cycling the last month and have found an exhilarating thrill when I am on my bike. The sensation I feel is nothing compared to what Mr. Alcala faced during his ride on the Tour de France, but in my eyes I feel the thrill in my own way.
All of this would not be possible without the recent additions of bike trails and bike lanes in Brownsville. Brownsville residents are extremely lucky in the fact that Mayor Tony Martinez has gone as far as creating bike lanes all over the city in order to assist cyclists to feel more comfortable when riding in groups or alone. Due to these lanes the level of awareness for cyclists is growing. People are more increasingly aware of cyclists and runners.
The Gran Fondo offers local cyclists to show off their cycling abilities in a mass scale. This event promises to raise awareness to cycling, which is already growing in numbers all across the Rio Grande Valley. Henry Roberts, owner of Bicycle World, an avid cyclist and advocate for fitness, recently expressed his admiration for the growing numbers of cyclists and runners in the RGV. “ I just hope that other cities in the Valley begin to see what Brownsville has done and will follow suit.” I attempt to ride each and every morning and the days that I do saddle up and ride I have noticed more and more people out there riding their bikes and actually attempting to change their lifestyles.
Coupled with a couple of other cycling shops locally this promises to be one great competition. Add Mr. Alcala to that race and the level of excitement increases by 100 fold.
To prepare yourself for competitions such as these Cycling Shops all over the valley have increased their weekly rides tremendously. Miguel Araiza, manager of Brownsville’s Bicycle World, has weekly rides for all stages of riders from novice to experienced riders alike. If you have never had the thrill of riding in a group, I strongly recommend it.
On a side note, when purchasing your bicycle, go to an experienced Bicycle Shop. Bicycle World has a system in which they completely fit you to your bicycle. It is called the BG Fit or in other words Body Geometry Fit. They make sure that you are completely fitted for your bicycle adding a more comfortable ride which will increase your distance as well as eliminate additional body aches and cramps. Visit the staff of Bicycle World and get fitted for your new bike and start riding.
Get off the couch and start riding…. It is a totally different experience.