Rockaway Grand Prix
Pump up those bicycle tires, and get your roller skates ready. On Sunday, August 18, the Committee for Bicycle Recreation at Gateway, in conjunction with the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce and the Peninsula Coalition for Positive Change, will host The Rockaway Grand Prix, a day long event of bicycle and in-line skating races on Shorefront Parkway in Rockaway Beach.
The races will start at Beach 105 Street and Shorefront Parkway, and cover a one-mile circular loop between Beach 102 Street and Beach 108 Street. There will be bicycling and in-line skating events for all levels and ages – from the weekend warrior to the professional level. There will be citizen bicycle races with age categories from 4-6, 7-9, 10-13, 14-17, and 18+ as well as three in-line skating events – beginner, intermediate and pro/elite. In addition, there will be amateur United States Cycling Federation bicycle races for licensed categories Pro through 5, masters and women.
The race is being promoted by the Committee for Bicycle Recreation at Gateway (BRAG). BRAG is a non-profit volunteer organization of long-time bicyclists from the New York City Region. BRAG is seeking to partner with corporations, governmental entities, cycling organizations, local community boards, and community groups in the creation and oversight of a world-class indoor cycling center to New York City.
The centerpiece of the cycling center would be a velodrome, which is a banked oval bicycle track. An indoor facility would allow year-round usage for cycling and other sports such as in-line skating, basketball, and volleyball. The Committee is exploring several possible locations for the cycling center including Gateway National Recreation Area–Floyd Bennett Field, Coney Island, and the Rockaways.
BRAG President, Millie Shepetin stated, "New York City is the greatest City in the world, yet it lacks sufficient recreational facilities for our youth. With the City of New York seeking to be Host City for the 2002 Olympic Games, building a world-class state of the art velodrome within the next five years would be the ideal time to start training our own New York City youth to become Olympic champions. The facility would be suitable for many non-cycling activities such as roller-blading, running, and walking. In addition, youth programs at the center would give access to the world of cycling to elementary, middle school, high school, and university students throughout the City, by providing programs to educate students on all aspects of cycling."
For more information about the races, race flyers and entry forms will be available at the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce, 253 Beach 116 Street. Or, you can visit BRAG’s website at www.brooklynvelodrome.org for an on-line flyer. E-mail inquiries should be sent to BragVelodrome@aol.com.