If you are looking for something different this year check out the The 38th Annual Harlem Skyscraper Cycling Classic in Marcus Garvey Park.
The event is presented by Rockstar Games. It is the only professional cycling race in New York City. It’s a unique opportunity for professional, amateur, and child cyclists to converge on the streets of Harlem in a day-long celebration filled with competitive, high-speed racing; music, food; and family entertainment. The revolution (er, race) will be televised live on NYC Life TV (Channel 25 on Comcast, RCN, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOs and over the air, and Channel 22 on Cablevision) in New York City, and streamed live online.
The best track racing cyclists from around the world will descend in Harlem to put on a spectacle of speed and skill. The promoters are actively encouraging participation from all levels of the community, regardless of experience.
The day-long event will include activities where kids can improve their riding skills, get a free bike helmet, swap their bike for a better one, or register their bike through the New York Police Department. Bike New York is teaming with the Department of Transportation’s Education and Outreach division, DOT Bike Program, and Recycle-A-Bicycle to offer the program free to children of all ages.
New to the event is a “discovery component” for USA Cycling to identify great new talent. Olympic silver medalist (Los Angeles, 1984) and Harlem native, Nelson Vails, got his start at this very event, winning all the age-category races over the years before being picked up by the national program.
The event is designed to be family and spectator-friendly. It was founded by David Walker, a New York City police officer who first put on the race in 1973 with the idea of incorporating a children’s bicycle safety program into an afternoon of bicycle racing. The event is promoted by John Eustice, himself a former two-time U.S. national professional champion and a pioneer of American cycling.
Kick off at 12:00 p.m. with the children’s races, a chance for the youth of New York City to showcase their cycling talents in front of a roaring and supportive crowd on the streets of Harlem. A full card of amateurs will then take to the streets beginning at 1:30 p.m., followed by the main event featuring the elite men’s professionals at 4:00 p.m.
• 12:00 p.m. -1:30 p.m. – Harlem Cup Children’s races: discover NYC’s future racing talent and Olympic prospects.
• 12:30 p.m. – BMX street and vertical stunts begin with performances throughout the day.
• 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Amateur races featuring various men’s and women’s categories and events.
• 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. — David Walker Memorial Pro Men’s race, introducing the all-new, multi-race Omnium format and a high-speed Keirin race finale.
• 4:15 p.m. – Fixed-Gear race.
Says Sam Houser, Founder of Rockstar Games: “We’re pleased to once again be a part of the Harlem Cycling Classic. Cycling is a passion and way-of-life for so many of us at Rockstar. It’s an honor to support not only the singular professional cycling event in New York City, but also a day filled with great races and entertainment.”