Town centre crit last night - what a disappointment!

Globalti

Legendary Member
Blackburn held a town centre crit last night for the third year running and if anything it was even worse attended than the first two. Admittedly the weather didn't help but I remember watching a crit in Clitheroe that was really well attended even in the rain. I was chatting with someone from Blackburn with Darwen Council and he thought the problem was partly the lack of cash for advertising and also something to do with the fact that these former mill towns just aren't interested in cycling. Clitheroe, on the other hand, is in the middle of prime cycling territory (the Ribble Valley) and is a market town with several good schools and lots of professional and middle class folk living around it.

Blackburn's circuit was entirely on narrow, enclosed and straight streets in a grid pattern whereas Clitheroe's was over very old streets, former packhorse trails, that climbed a hill and followed natural contours around the castle. To be honest for a spectator the race was boring unless you were near the finish line and the commentator. Elsewhere it just consisted of waiting for the pack, which soon split into several groups then fragmented completely when the rain started. Chapeau to the lads who continued racing, bad luck to those who crashed on the greasy red brick that has been used to pave the pedestrian areas. A lot did.
 

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
We've got city centre racing on in York all Sunday afternoon, it'll be interesting to see what it's like, I think it's the first time.

http://www.cliftoncc.org/competition/cycling_city_races

Considering they will no longer hold junctions open for the CTC 'grand parade' on the Sunday of York Rally, turning it into just a mass of cyclists all trying to get to the same place at once, I'm amazed they'll be closing the streets all afternoon - even if most* of it is pedestrianized area - it's usually packed with tourists on a summer afternoon.

*Actually, looking at it again, it's nearly ALL ped streets, with only very short bits that would be open to cars - mostly only for disabled access.

York of course is packed with middle class cyclists (many living in the Bish Road Muesli Belt), but I'm not sure how into racing they are... Still, with a nice day, it should be fun.
 
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Globalti

Globalti

Legendary Member
I think the demographics of the town have a lot to do with it. The former mill towns like Burnley, Blackburn, Bury, Bolton, are predominantly working class with a disproportionate Asian population. The Asians on the whole are probably not interested in cycling and the working class whites are all getting drunk on supermarket lager. The only cyclists I ever see are a few youngish men who look like librarians or council workers doggedly cycling in to town in the mornings, I never see people using bikes to get around the town or do some light shopping; the risk of theft is too great.
 
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