The 7th annual Garrett Wonders Memorial Bike Race zooms through Uptown Westerville this weekend - Saturday, July 31st from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Kurt Lehmkuhl and the folks at Westerville Bike Shop, 29 W. Main, have organized this race to honor their friend.
State St. and sections of E. College, Summit, and E. Park are closed for the race course. Police will make accommodations for all local (resident) traffic. W. Park residents can come south on State from Walnut (past the Local Traffic Only signs) and cut through the parking lot at 79 S. State (where the bridal shop is).
Even though vehicles will not be streaming through Uptown Westerville for a while, you can still park, walk, shop and dine Uptown Westerville. A family-friendly event, it costs nothing to come up and watch the races. The bikes roll fast, the races are exciting, and they're fun to watch - and each year there is a very cool pace car! (The bike races are a great subject focus for photographers.)
Come up for breakfast (Schneider's Bakery is open, Chef Rick's Westerville Grill serves breakfast, Jimmy V's serves up brunch, and Serendipity, Java Central, and Heavenly Cup are open early), enjoy the races, shop, browse and visit Uptown Westerville's shops, and stay Uptown for lunch, dessert, or a beverage!
What makes this event special: A friend of the Westerville Bike Shop, in 2004, Garrett Wonders was looking at a full life and a bright future. Following his passion for cycling, Garrett was captain of The Ohio State University cycling team, a member of the Armed Forces cycling team, and a contender for the Olympic cycling team. During a training ride, Garrett, a friend, a son, a husband, a cycling enthusiast, a brother, a grandson, a musician, a Navy officer, an athlete, a scholar, and a teacher was hit by a car and killed when he was just 25-years-old.
The Garrett Wonders Memorial Bike Race is designed to honor and remember Garrett, to build interest and enthusiasm for cycling, and to raise awareness of cyclist safety on-the-road.
Proceeds from the race (entry fees) go to The Garrett Wonders Memorial Fund to maintain two scholarships at The Ohio State University for student athletes and also funds various cycling advocacy campaigns to promote cycling safety and education.
If you would, take a couple minutes and get to know Garrett Wonders (a bio written by Garrett's Mom): http://www.garrettsride.com/bio.htm
And, honestly, everyone rushes around in their effort to get through their days, and next time you see a cyclist on the road, or even approach a neighborhood crosswalk, take a beat (a few seconds of awareness can save a life) - there's a real person, just like you, just like your kid, Garrett, on that bike!
This year, the race expands into a 2-day weekend event, with races in Uptown Westerville and downtown Columbus (Columbus Bike Fest). There's $6,600 in prize money and there are amateur, pro, and regular folk (all ages) races.
Learn more about entering the race: http://www.garrettwondersrace.com/
To enter the race: http://www.truesport.com/register/events/2010/wonders/index.html
The full weekend: http://www.bikecolumbusfestival.com/2010/07/27/garrett-wonders-race-in-downtown-columbus/
Westerville Bike Shop: http://www.westervillebike.com/
Now, here's the details for Uptown (provided by Kurt Lehmkuhl):
Parking & Restricted Street Closures for Uptown Westerville:
- The start/finish line for the race will be in front of 21 S. State Street (City Hall), near the State/Winter intersection. The racer's route will be State St.(south) turning left onto Park (east), then left onto Summit (north) left onto College (west), and finally left onto State (south).
- State Street, between W. College and Park, will be closed from 8 a.m. -1 p.m. on race day. Area residents will be able to gain access to this portion of State Street from the nearest officer on duty, who will allow area residents in and out privileges before the races begin and during breaks in between races. Those who are attending weddings at nearby churches will also be able to get through by finding an officer on duty, but should expect some delays.
- Other roads on the route will be closed from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on race day; however, as with State St, area residents will be able to gain access to these other roads that are part of the race course from the nearest officer on duty, who will allow area residents in and out privileges before the races begin and during breaks in between races.
There will be no parking allowed along these sections from Midnight (12 a.m.) on July 31st (esseintially Friday night), through completion of the event. Note: All vehicles not removed from the route will be towed starting 7:30 a.m. on July 31st.
Parking can be found in the following areas: by the Westerville Bike Shop on 29 West Main, behind the City municipal complex at 21 South State St., behind the Westerville Public Library (126 S. State), and in the parking lots on E. Home.
Remember W. Main is no longer a throughway, due to the bridge construction.
Questions & More Information:
For Questions concerning parking and street closures, contact the Westerville Police Department at 614.901.6453.
To pre-register for the event or for more info about the races, go to http://www.garrettwondersrace.com/. If you would like to help, stop by or contact the Westerville Bike Shop at 29 West Main St. or contact Kurt Lehmkuhl at 614.361.9047.