The 2011 Bicycle, Blues, and BBQ Festival was another great success. Each year, the event gets bigger and better, and this year was no exception.
The weekend kicked off with music by Ross William Perry and by Reverend Raven and the Chain-Smoking Alters Boys, as well as delicious BBQ provided by multiple vendors. On Saturday morning, charity fun rides of several distances left from and returned to City Park in downtown Clear Lake. Thank you to Casey Martin, Shane Cooney, and their volunteers for arranging this part of the weekend. It was great to see Joe Boatman, one of the original organizers of BBBBQ, back for the weekend from Minneapolis.
Racing kicked off at noon on Saturday with the Iowa State Criterium Championships under the generous sponsorship of Monson & Sons Trucking. Lots of other sponsor contributed, as well. Juniors were the first riders, and more juniors participated than ever before. As the afternoon and evening progressed, the races become faster and more exciting. Tom Zirbel, originally from Clear Lake and now racing for Jamis/Sutter Home out of Boulder, CO, returned for the weekend bringing with him teammate Nick Frey, originally from Des Moines. Two riders from the Kenda 5 Hour Energy Pro Cycling Team presented by Geargrinder, Gregg Brandt and Pat Lemieux, also came for the race. Frey won the Pro/1/2 crit race, with Zirbel finishing fourth. The road race was fast and close, with Brandt winning the Pro/1/2 road race. Frey was third, and Zirbel finished in the main pack within two seconds of the winners. Zirbel smiled and said, “You guys need more wind or more hills to separate the riders.” We can hope for wind next year.
North Iowa Spin racers included David Delperdang, John Johnson, Andy O’Brien, Don Maschka, Lyell Hogg, Mike Campbell, Joel Yunek, and Tom Thul. Mike was the highest place finisher, taking 2nd in Cat 5. Todd Juhlin, riding for Sioux City Velo, competed in the Masters category, and David Hand from Mason City, riding for Bennett Cycles, competed for the first time in Juniors 17-18.
The races were well organized under the direction and hard work of Tim Putnam. Support was provided by Earl Hill, Dave Delperdang, John Johnson, Curt Sauve, and Steve Schurtz, as well as dozens of volunteers. The planning committee wishes to thank each of our volunteers. Without their help, this event would not be possible.