FREDERIC--The Frederic Lions Bike Classic will be held for the 27th time on Sat. June 14. Started in 1988 by the Frederic Lions Club, the race has held on to be the third longest running citizen’s bike race in Wisconsin.
The idea to host a bike race in Frederic started as a coffee table discussion in the winter of 1987. Terry and Jo Duea, Dave Dopkins, and Steve and Elisabeth Puetz collaborated on the concept of a starting a local bike race, after watching the success of a popular citizen bike race in Grandview, WI, Dopkins had participated in. The Frederic Lions Club came on board as a host organization.
Over a quarter century, proceeds from the race have been directed by the Lions Club to the various charitable causes they support. This year’s race will be a 26.4 mile individual time trial and will bring racers to Frederic from all over the Midwest.
The race will start at the Frederic High School campus at 10:00 a.m., with registration starting at 8:00 a.m. The race route is an out and back course, going east on Clam Falls Drive, south on CTH I for 13 miles, turning around just north of STH 48, and returning by the same route to Frederic. The course has a total of 1300 vertical feet of climbing.
Top riders will complete the course in under an hour, averaging well over 26 miles an hour on what is considered a difficult time trial route. A new class was added in 2010--the single speed division. This class offers awards to riders who complete the course on bikes with only one gear. 2010 single speed winner was Ricky Wells, Strum, WI. Wells completed the course in 1 hour, 7 minutes, and 59 seconds, riding faster than several riders on conventional bikes with many gears available. The course records are held by Joan Carlson, Menomonie, WI--1 hour, 8 minutes, and 50.8 seconds (2010), Lance Niles, Onalaska, WI--58 minutes, 51 seconds (2009), Ricky Wells, Strum, WI--single speed--1 hour, 7 minutes, and 59.5 seconds (2010), and Andrea Potyondy-Smith, Champlin, MN--single speed--1 hour, 28 minutes, 33 seconds (2012).
2013 winners: Tim Mulrooney, Minneapolis, MN, Michelle Bibeau, Pengilly, MN, Dan Johnson (single speed), Frederic, and Andrea Potyondy-Smith (single speed) Champlin, MN, are expected to return to defend their titles.
Past winners with a local connection include: 1988-Wendy Weinzierl-Griswold and Greg Nelson. 1993-Kevin Link and Jolene Selover Baillargeon.
2000-Terry Baillargeon. 2001-Frank Lundeen. 2011-Dan Johnson (single speed).
Also of interest, author Michael Perry rode the race in the early 90”s.
Arthur Martin, Frederic, is the only person who has completed all 26 of the previous races, and is expected to keep the streak going this year. He has been spotted on several training rides around the backroads of Leader Land.
The individual time trial format features riders starting at 30 second intervals, with the goal of riding the course as fast as possible. Drafting, pack riding, and other team tactics are not allowed, so time trials are referred to as the race of truth. Just lungs, legs, and heart rates in the ozone. Time trial specific bicycles are designed for aerodynamics and some cost over $7000. Aero wheels alone may cost over $2500 a pair and run with over 200 lbs. of air pressure.
Race timing and results will be provided by Chimp Timing of Brooklyn Park, MN.
The Lions Classic is one of the 20+ events of the WiSport Cycling Series, which offers age group recognition in both road race and time trial divisions, at races held all around Wisconsin. For more information and an entry form: www.fredericlionsclassic.com