The day the World began: The Big Bike Race™ kicks off tonight

Day 1: In which we ignore the creeping suspicion that Brown’s Island will sink under our collective weight, and we pretend to know exactly who Rayvon Owen is. Also, we make an important promise.

You’ve started to hear it around you, no doubt. People are saying things like, “I saw some cyclists last night! With, like, their little car that travels around with them?”

While we only have a vague notion about what a huge bike race of international levels is like, and we’re still not sure we have the right vocabulary, the unmistakable buzz of excitement is in the air. No matter how much we like to grumble, deep down we enjoy events that bring everyone together, but yes, there are incredibly complicated logistics to consider in some cases. In other cases, it’s like…just look at the map and go around the big area that’s marked off? Richmond: not the biggest city, turns out.

So grab your Big Bike Race™ koozie or perhaps a Big Bike Race™ pint glass1 and strap on your helmet, because we are at the starting line, baby!

(The first appearance of a starting line isn’t until Saturday, but that didn’t sound nearly as dramatic.)

Helping you deal

We’re turning our normal early morning “TIP!” next week into a handy single-day Big Bike Race™ guide. Make sure you follow us on Twitter or keep an eye on our Facebook, or just go to our home page, Web 1.0-style.  

Before you venture forth into the fray, you’ll get that day’s

  • Race info
  • Road closures
  • Recommended places to be a spectator
  • Entertainment info 

And any useful sporty information about what transpired the day before! It all begins Saturday, for a low price of $50. Just kidding, it is free.

Tonight’s Opening Ceremony

Tonight–Friday, September 18th–history will be made on Brown’s Island. Well, more history, anyway. 

The Richmond Symphony will be performing in the way classical music should be performed, outdoors! Here’s the  program, inspired by bicycles, national pride, heroism, and…Justin Bieber.

One of these things is not like the other

  • Smith, “Star-Spangled Banner”
  • Rimsky-Korsakov, “Procession of the Nobles” from Mlada Suite
  • Verdi, “Triumphal March” from Act II of Aida
  • Bernstein, “Overture to Candide
  • Moncayo, “Huapango”
  • Justin Bieber’s BELIEVE, performed by Rayvon Owen and the Richmond Symphony
  • Beethoven, Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Opus 125, “Choral” – Final Movement

You may know that last one as “Ode to Joy,” and it is truly magnificent. Also, Team USA and a bunch of distinguished visitors from various countries will be there. Neat!

The bad news

This free event is “sold out,” which sounds like an impossible feat, but Brown’s Island is only so big. If you try very hard, maybe you can finagle a ticket out of someone. 

Gates open at 5:30 PM, and don’t forget to take pictures!

  1. It’s how you recognize other RVANews fans! “Oh, you read that site that pretends to trademark its own dumb nickname for an event? Me tooooooo!” But seriously, if you find yourself on the corner of Main and Lombardy and you wish your drink would stop sweating condensation all over your hand, pop on in to 1520 W. Main Street, Suite 102 and buy a koozie. We fully plan to be in the office. 
  • error

    Report an error

Susan Howson

Susan Howson is managing editor for this very website. She writes THE BEST bios.

There is 1 reader comment. Read it.