Cincinnati – June 2018 – Hyde Park Blast

The Hyde Park Blast is a fundraiser for cancer research that has been held in this Cincinnati neighborhood for the last 17 years.

One of the highlights of the Blast is a day of bicycle racing.

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While the racing takes place all day we were able to watch two of the 45 minute long races – including the Intermediate Men’s race.

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The course was a mile loop up and down Erie Avenue, the main street in the neighborhood.

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At the far end they made a turn through a couple of the side streets.

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Hyde Park has always been one of the nicer areas of the city. Note in the background someone tore down one of the classic old houses to build a large modern house. While I love this type of architecture, there is a place and this clearly isn’t it – they must have thought they were in Seattle.

Still it makes a nice background for the racers.

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Coming down the small hill and making the turn back onto Erie Avenue.

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The racing was close throughout.

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The intensity is shown on the faces of the racers.

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And a final sprint to the finish.

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The second race we saw was a women’s race, including the Ohio State championship.

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One of the racers took off ahead of the pack and built a 20 second lead.

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Only to eventually be caught.

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This race too came down the the final sprint. The racer who had broken away only to be caught did manage to hang on and win.

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But the real reason I wanted to check out the Hyde Park Blast was the Chariot Racing!

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The Chariots  are pulled by two humans with one in the Chariot.

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Costumes were encouraged.

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There were two groups of Chariot Racers – social ones with better costumes, and serious runners who designed for maximum speed.

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Although the various running clubs still had some style to them.

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Clearly not one of the serious groups.

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Sharks might be fast in the water, but not on the streets of Cincinnati. Still the Chariot Races made a great finish to a good day of the Hyde Park Blast.

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Baltimore – May 2018 – Kinetics Race

Baltimore hosts the largest Kinetics Festival/Race on the east coast. For the 20th consecutive year human powered works of art have taken over the streets of the city.

 

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While not quite as large as the one in Humboldt County, California, the Baltimore race still featured a number of well done sculptures, as well as coordinated racers.

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Even the spectators were interesting.

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Many dressing for the occasion.

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While the teams got ready for the 15 mile race around the streets, into the bay and through a mud pit.

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Eventually they were off and made their way up Federal Hill.

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Which provided a nice backdrop of the skyline.

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The machines had all sorts of designs, some better than others (although this one used their arms and hands, not their legs, which proved troublesome).

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Eventually they made their way into downtown.

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With a highlight being Patterson Park and the mud pit. The crowds were 5 deep on both sides.

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And the mud was deep.

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But with 48″ alien wheels the mud was no problem.

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Which made for happy aliens.

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Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio – April 2018 – A Second Visit to Kayak Races

With the success of the photos from the 2017 Cuyahoga Falls Kayak races we decided to make a return visit. The action didn’t disappoint.

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It seems as though many more flipped this year.

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Or got spun around and went down some backwards.

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Some however went over the rapids spectacularly.

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A strange sight is the effort to go from the rocks to the water with a maneuver known as a Seal Move.

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The close up’s were even more impressive. It was a cold, wet day but well worth it.

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Chicago – August 2014 – A Day at Arlington Park

Finding ourselves in the Chicago suburbs one Saturday afternoon with a few hours to kill, we decided to go to Arlington Park to bet on the ponies.

While they have been racing on this site since 1927, the grandstands and other areas were rebuilt in the mid 1980s after a major fire. I have had the opportunity to visit a number of horse racing venues and Arlington Park is one of the nicer ones, just a step below Keeneland and Santa Anita.

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The clubhouse and grandstands have a ‘modern’ look to it, giving it a very different feel than Churchill Downs or Santa Anita.

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As with most thoroughbred tracks they have a dirt track and a turf track.

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We had an excellent time for the first 4 races….

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Until a tornado blew through (although to be fair it didn’t touch down at the track, but there were tornado warnings for the immediate area – with winds approaching 80 MPH with torrential rain).

The synthetic track stood up well, with an interesting look after the rain.

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