Continuing updates for the Philly Phlyer after this week’s snowstorm and ongoing cold temperatures—
Regrettably, the criterium at Temple U scheduled for Sunday has been cancelled. However, barring new developments, the time trial and circuit races on Saturday will proceed with only minor course changes and no schedule changes.
For the many collegiate racers traveling from far out of town and snowbound up north, on Sunday we will instead be coordinating group rides at several ability levels so you can enjoy some good roads and sunshine despite the crit cancellation. Details are below.
The difference in outcomes for the two events stems from the fundamentally different nature of the roads. Fairmount park roads are very wide, get a lot of sun, and are easily plowed. Temple’s campus is a dense, active urban center. After much work, most of the course is currently suitable for racing. However, the stretch between turns 3 to 4 is not race ready and will not be in time for Sunday. It spends much of the day in shadow and is very narrow. We need the parking lanes in order to have enough road width for safe racing. However, those lanes cannot be plowed because they are filled with parked cars and food trucks. Further, many of those parked vehicles are going to be all but impossible to extricate before then as they are now encased in hardened banks of snow and ice.
Temple U put considerable resources specifically toward clearing the roads for the race and it is almost in shape, but after long analysis and discussion we have deemed the conditions that will exist on Sunday to be unsafe for racing. Unfortunately there are not other course options to work around that section. We appreciate Temple University’s efforts and continued strong support for hosting the race, and look forward to returning next year!
We expect to refund all crit registrations requested, or for collegiate racers to have the conference put them toward future ECCC races. Details will be announced following the race weekend.
The biggest change to Saturday’s events is to parking. The stretch of road immediately next to the start/finish area traditionally used for parking is not to be used! All parking will instead be on South Concourse and west of Belmont Ave on the Avenue of the Republic, as depicted here by the highlighted sections:
Again, please do not attempt to park on the stretch of road used in years past between Belmont Ave and the museum (turn 1), nor on W Memorial Hall Dr.
No changes are expected to the TT course.
As expected, the small Sweetbriar loop from the top of Black Road to the traffic circle will not be workable; it is and likely will remain snowbound. That will simply be cut from the course, as has been done in years past. The course is still 6.1 miles; a course map is here.
Currently there is also a small chance that E Memorial Hall Dr will not be race ready tomorrow due to a combination of some remaining hardened snow and deep standing water. In that case, the flat square loop in front of Memorial Hall will not be used, and the course will go directly from Black Rd to the descent on Lansdowne. That will make the course 5.7 miles long; a map is here.
The remainder of the roads are already in excellent shape, with more sun and warm temperatures forecast for today. Less work will actually be required to sweep and clear than in many previous years.
On Sunday we will be coordinating group rides at several levels of ability so everyone traveling from out of town can enjoy some good roads and forecasted sunshine. Locals are also invited!
Meetup is 10am Sunday in the same parking as the TT and circuit races. We will roll out by 10:30.
These are completely informal public rides, not covered by any permits or special authorization (though Parks & Recreation has confirmed there are no other events using that parking, etc.). Traffic laws and the rules of the road must be respected as for any typical group ride!
Ride leaders will be arranged for several groups to head out for varying durations and pace, ranging from beginners to elite riders. In addition to the circuit race loop, there are several other loops within Fairmount Park that are clear for riding and are well used by local cyclists throughout the year. That area also has easy access to longer loops outside the city.
All told, despite adverse conditions, we look forward to our usual great time trial and circuit races on Saturday, and hope to see you on Sunday for more casual but no less fun riding!