If a trip to Europe to take in the Tour de France isn’t in your future, consider a jaunt to the north shore of Lake Travis this weekend to see La Primavera at Lago Vista Bicycle Race.
The race, in its 24th year, draws about 900 cyclists from across Texas, surrounding states and even Mexico and Canada, who race in packs over a twisting, notoriously hilly 5.5-mile course.
The event, hosted by the Lago Vista & Jonestown Chamber of Commerce and the Texas Bicycle Racing Association, runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and it’s free to watch. Spectators typically bring their own folding chairs and line the streets as cyclists speed past. The start/finish line is at 1925 American.
It’s one of the largest road races in the region, with categories for juniors, masters and pros. Among those expected to attend are Heath Blackstone, who represented New Zealand in the Olympics and now lives in Austin, representing Elevate Cycling. Ben Spies, a world famous grand prix motorcycle racer who rides with his elbows sticking out, will lead Team Elboz.
“Anybody who’s a bike racer in Texas is going to be there,” says race director Don Hutchison.
Weather forecasts show temperatures should hover in the 40s and 50s most of the weekend. Rain or cold, never stop this show, Hutchison says. Last year temperatures hit 82 degrees under sunny skies on Saturday, then dropped to 34 as rain moved in on Sunday.
“It’s a great spectator course – it’s only a 5.5-mile loop, so you can see riders come by every 15 minutes,” Hutchison says. “It’s a loop on the peninsula with a lot of up and down. There’s not a mile of flat road on it.”
Free face painting is planned from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. both days and Boneshaker Program, whose mission is to inspire kids to lead healthy and active lifestyles, will be on hand.
For cyclist registration details, go to www.txbra.org.