If you want to feel what it's like to ride in Sunday's 62.5-mile U.S. Pro Cycling Championship in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, bring your bicycle.
Not only will you find free close-up spots along the six-mile downtown course to watch the world's richest one-day bicycle race, but between 10 a.m. and noon you can also ride the course with its cobblestones, hills, sharp curves and tunnel.
Music, including a fast-paced Baltimore Symphony bicycle piece composed especially for the race, will be played from street loudspeakers to help riders keep up the pace. Police- protected bicycle parking is provided during the day.
But if that sounds too exhausting, you can watch the race live between 2 and 4:30 on WTTG-TV Channel 5 or on Baltimore's WMAR-TV, Channel 2. WMAR, the major race promoter, will have 17 cameras covering the race.
Mayor William D. Schaefer, who has said he wants to make Baltimore be to bike racing what Boston is to the marathon and Indianapolis to auto racing, predicts close to 100,000 spectators. Last year more than 50,000 stood in the rain to see it.
The $100,000 in prizes is drawing racers from 15 nations, including a large number of American and Canadian riders, particularly those specializing in fast-track and sprint racing.