BY MEAGAN THOMAS
The Lawrence Convention and Visitors Bureau expects more than 600 cyclists from all over the country to race Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Lawrence during the fourth annual Tour of Lawrence.
The tour is for professional and amateur cyclists and will include street sprints, a circuit race and a criterium race in downtown Lawrence as well as on the Kansas University campus.
Adam Mills, Lawrence resident and Mercy Cycling Team manager, said his team, which will be participating, is made up of residents from Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri and Texas.
The Tour of Lawrence isn’t just for cyclists, though.
Susan Henderson, Lawrence Convention and Visitors Bureau director, said the Tour of Lawrence is as good a spectator event as a cycling event because of the activities for adults and children.
Friday night, the Sandbar will host a beer garden and free live music by the Twang Daddies starting at 8:45 p.m. Sunday Tour of Lawrence kids’ activities begin at 8:45 a.m. with a fun run. There will also be a kids’ bike race and fun zone.
Mills said one of the best parts of the event is being a spectator and that residents should show up to watch the actual races and spend the day in downtown Lawrence.
“It is a really cool town and a really fun atmosphere, and if you include a bike race, it’s even better,” Mills said. Many local cyclists, like Mills, participate in the tour, and Henderson said they enjoy getting to race in front of other Lawrence residents.
“The riders really appreciate the spectator support and it is one of the reasons they like to ride in (Tour of Lawrence),” Henderson said.
Tour of Lawrence begins at 7 p.m. Friday, 8:30 a.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday. The event is free and open to spectators.
Tour of Lawrence Director Bob Sanner said volunteers are important to putting on the event and the Tour of Lawrence still needs people to volunteer as course marshals and to assist staff.
Sanner said volunteers get free food during the event as well as many other incentives to help.
To volunteer, go to touroflawrence.com or contact volunteer coordinator Lauren James at email@example.com.