Culture

July 6 2018

The Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix 2018 and 7 Reasons To Get To Gastown Early On Race Day!

 

As Canada’s oldest, still running cycling classic (and one of North America’s most historic and prestigious road cycling events, this Wednesday July 11th, Gastown welcomes thousands of energetic fans and cyclists to the neighbourhood for an exciting day filled with food, drink, celebration and racing.

The Grand Prix is a super fast paced race called a “Criterium”. Also known as a  “crit”, the Gastown Grand Prix is a high speed action-packed bike race that is held on a closed course, usually between 800 and 1,500 meters. Criteriums are mass-start races where riders travel around the course for a set number of laps or time: i.e., 50 laps or 90 minutes. During the race, riders will also race for prizes called primes (pronounced “preems”). If a rider is involved in an accident, they can have one free lap to repair the damage in the mechanics pit before re-entering the race.

gastown grand prix 15

The Gastown Grand Prix is a one day only event. It’s a fantastic chance to spend an entire afternoon and evening in one of the city’s best neighbourhoods. Enjoy refreshing drinks and delicious food during Happy Hour and keep your spot along track. Have some of your friends hold down your great viewing spot along the route while the other half of the group go in for drinks and food – then switch up relay style – everyone will be satiated, just in time for the race!

Schedule – Wednesday, 11th July 2018

17:30
YOUTH RACE
Watch the next generation of athletes compete on the same course as the professionals.

17:55
OPENING CEREMONIES
Welcoming remarks from our partners and national anthem.

18:15
PRO WOMEN RACE
40 laps

19:30
PRO MEN RACE
50 laps

21:00
AWARDS CEREMONIES
Top 3 Men & Women in their respective races.

7 Reasons To Get To Gastown Early On Race Day!

1. Gastown has a ton of awesome places to get Happy Hour.

It’s no secret Gastown has it all. History, modern fashion, design trends, exceptional food and lots of great coffee. It also has enough Happy Hours to fill the face of a clock, twice over (and then some). Many of the neighbourhood’s pubs and restaurants will be serving happy hour on race day and the best of it can be found before the races start. Get down here early to enjoy delicious prices on food and drinks. Here’s a list where to find Happy Hour in Gastown.

2. Music makes everything better.

Doesn’t it though?! There are plenty of venues in Gastown to enjoy many different types of live music. Catch Boogie Piano during  Sour Hour from 4pm – 6pm and plan to catch out other venues after the awards ceremony. Here’s a list of Live Music in Gastown.

3. Shopping!

Were else in the city can you go to get pretty much anything you want? The shopping in Gastown seems to be only getting better and better every day. There’s a perfect mix of well known brands with many interesting independent shops and boutiques sprinkled around. Get here early and treat yourself to a new shirt or a pair of shoes. When the crowds arrive, you’ll be lucky to even window shop!

4. Get a great spot along the track to catch all the action!

The best viewing areas fill up quick well before the races begin. Some of the prime spots to catch the action include: Maple Tree Square, Cambie and Water (near the Steam Clock), West Cordova/Water/Richards (as the riders hug the turn).

5. You get to see interesting things that happen before the races.

It isn’t just what’s shown on the live feed on the jumbotron, as world class cyclists zoom by, glistening, form fitting and olympian in all ways, that makes the Gastown Grand Prix memorable. It’s also whats happens in between the lines when people are just waiting for something to happen. Last year an “unexpected” rider lined up for the men’s race. He was not your usual competitor and his presence made the day all the better, as something out of the ordinary can often become extraordinary.

From DailyHive last year:

Sure, you could invest a pile of money into a state of the art road bike. And you could outfit yourself in the tightest, brightest, fastest spandex as you get ready for the race. Or, you could cut out all that hassle and just show up at the annual Gastown Grand Prix in a t-shirt and shorts with a bikeshare bike like this guy.

The moment was captured and posted to Reddit by user ubernob.
(source: http://dailyhive.com/vancouver/gastown-grand-prix-reddit-photo )

6. Car Free Day?

Kind of. Gastown doesn’t have an official car free day and with all the early road closure, it’s a perfect, and rare chance to walk around the neighbourhood and along the streets without the din of traffic.

7. Why arrive late when you can get here early?

Being late for anything isn’t fun but being early is. The Gastown Grand Prix is one of the best events of the year to come to Gastown and the Lower Mainland. If you can get here a little earlier, the experience is all the more worthwhile as Gastown is a place you’ll want to hang out in again and again.