RICHMOND, Va. – The UCI Road World Championship Races will likely never be hosted again in Richmond in our lifetime; they haven’t been hosted in the U.S. since 1986.
This is a cycling’s pinnacle event, considered way more super internationally than the Super Bowl.
The nine-day event brings 1,000 cyclists from around 75 countries to compete in 12 races.
It’s a great opportunity to involve the family and we have several suggestions below for how to most easily enjoy the event.
HOW TO GET THERE MOST EASILY
Satellite parking and shuttle. No matter which county you coming in from, organizers with Richmond2015 suggest using a satellite parking area and taking the provided shuttles into the race areas. You have to reserve parking online in advance.
The shuttles from all lots will pick up and drop off spectators near the intersection of 2nd Street and Canal Street downtown, where an event information kiosk will be available.
That puts you near the finish line and near the FanFest, where the KidZone is located. More on that in a minute.
The printable version for shuttle information is here: SHUTTLE SCHEDULE AND SATELLITE PARKING
Drive into the city, park at one of the many parking decks. Pick your place along the course, based on listed spectator spots in the printable, daily guide or pick your own based on the course maps.
GRAB THE BEST VIEW
There are four courses and 12 races. Spectators can watch anywhere along the course, but there are also better vantage points, and sponsored fan zones.
Fan zones offer bathrooms, Jumbotrons, food and drink vendors.
Below you can print the handy dandy guide to all 9 days of courses, fan zones, best vantage points and podium award times.
Printable version of those courses are here: Where to view UCI races and find Fan Zones
VISIT THE STARTING POINTS
Several starting points offer an opportunity to take the kids to fun, local places like Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and Kings Dominion.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, which has a great kids area, will be a hub hosting numerous activities during the bike races. The gardens will offer free admission from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. since they are a starting point for the races on Sunday, Sept. 20. They have several bicycle-themed exhibits and they will also host several live music events.
Check out Kings Dominion before the race starts on Wednesday, Sept. 23. Shops and restaurants along International Street will be open as well as Dominator, Berserker, and the Eiffel Tower.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The race begins at 1 p.m. and runs until 3:35 p.m. (The starting line is right inside our front gates). Parking is free.
The last day of races will start at University of Richmond campus and take a scenic route headed east.
FAMILY EVENTS SURROUNDING THE RACES
- Opening ceremonies. “American Idol” finalist and Richmonder Rayvon Owen will perform the national anthem before the Richmond Symphony takes the stage for a free concert, BUT A TICKET IS REQUIRED in advance. As of Sept. 11, 7,000 had been claimed. Claim yours here.
- The KidZone, sponsored by CarMax, is at the center of the FanFest in the Greater Richmond Convention Center. It is for kids primarily under age 12. This will be a comfortable indoor environment where you can still stay connected to the races via television.
- Learn to ride without training wheels on a Strider Balance Bike course
- Pose for photos on the CarMax Little Awards Podium
- Make arts & crafts with Children’s Museum of Richmond staffers (Sept 20, 23 and 26-7)
- Interactive play pieces to create what a child’s mind can imagine. After the event the imagination playground will be given to a local non-profit organization.
KidZone is at 400 N. 3rd Street.
Runs from Sept. 20 – Sept. 27, 10:30 a.m. – 5:30-p.m
- With over 70 countries represented, you will have lots of opportunities to teach the kids about international culture, and teach them about some of the sporting terms.
- There will be a Hanover Bike Fest on Sept. 23, as the Men’s Elite Individual Time Trials race north of Richmond. A great way to catch some of the race, and there will be local food vendors, music, and bathrooms.
- Ahead of the races local museums have created bicycle-themed exhibits. Take the family to the Valentine Museum, or one of the others, and then head over to the KidZone.
- One of the most challenging parts of the races will be getting up the cobblestone hill at Libby Park. Take the kids to witness history being made, and teach them some history while you are at it. It’s the view that gave Richmond its name. Road Circuit races end here Sept. 25, 26 and 27.
- Teach the kids about shopping local at the many pop-ups hosted in the area. There is an organized “Pop Secret” in Jackson Ward. This 10-day-long shop will feature homemade items by 25 hand-picked local designers and crafters. The shop, located at 120 W. Marshall Street, will be open from Sept. 18- Sept. 27 with hours from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. There is also Pop-UP RVA, which will set up in a string of buildings along Broad Street. There will also be a mOb market, or Middle of Broad market, just three blocks away from the finish line. Vendors will be set-up for three to four days during the UCI races, Sept. 25 – Sept. 27. Market hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Take the kids to see the Dear Richmond Postcard Project, which hopes to connect cultures and celebrate our unity while highlighting what makes us unique. View postcards that have been submitted from around the world, at their booth. Click here to view their Facebook page.
There is a lot more info surrounding the logistics of the race. Below is a sample of guides dealing with Richmond 2015. Or click here to view all articles about the races.