Saturday, April 2, 2016

Binghamton Bicycle (Race) - Local Saturday

Welcome to day two of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

Starting yesterday, over a thousand bloggers are blogging daily in the #AtoZChallenge throughout the month of April (except on Sundays), starting with A and devoting each consecutive day to another day of the alphabet.

My theme is "Days of our Lives".   It encompasses anything that touches my life, or the lives of those I love. Ideally, it must have at least one of my iPhone photographs in it.

Normally, on my blog, Saturday is devoted to "Local Saturday".  Today, I want to take you to a bicycle race that takes place in the small upstate New York city of Binghamton, New York every August.

My spouse won it one year - sort of.  But, before I tell that story, a little about the race.

It is called the Chris Thater Memorial Race.  This year it will be held August 27 and 28, once again in honor of Chris Thater, a 23 year old cyclist who was struck and killed by a drunk driver in 1983.  It's a series of races - bicycle races, a 5K run, a fun race for kids.

The event has been held for over 30 years now. It's a wonderful way to honor the memory of a young man taken from us too soon.

For the first 25 years, it was held in a beautiful West Side neighborhood near Binghamton's Recreation Park, near where Rod Serling of Twilight Zone fame grew up.

The racing course was so beautiful and green (and hot).

The races were held during the day, and there was plenty of room to park, walk around and enjoy the races. For several years, there were live rock performances by local bands.  You could even get close up to the racers, as they prepared to race.  Some were amateur (I know one of them at her day job), some from this area, some were professionals from all over the world.


Here, one of the racers describes her experience in 2012, when these pictures were also taken.

We would walk along the race course, and finally take our places near the finish line for the last race, the money race with the professional racers.

And then someone would cross the finish line.

And with that, it's time for the story of how my spouse (sort of) won the 2012 Chris Thater.

Several minutes before the final race ended, one of the announcers would poll the crowd, asking who they thought would win the race.  In 2012, my husband named someone.

And he won!

What did he win?  A chance to meet the winner, here (spouse is on the right) as I stood by, thrilled.  One of his 15 minutes (well, more like five minutes) of fame.

In our house hangs his other prize - a poster, signed by the winner.

Alas, in 2014, the race was changed - moved to downtown Binghamton, the races reconfigured, a Cross Fit challenge added, the music and greenery deleted.    A new generation of race goers will treasure their own memories.

But I will always remember the year my husband, by a lucky guess, won a bicycle race.

31 comments:

  1. what a great little anecdote Alanah - we all love it when we get our moment in the spotlight and I thought it tied the story together beautifully! Leanne @ cresting the hill

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  2. I used to love riding my bike, but never raced. I have a couple of friends who are serious bikers. Love the anecdote.

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    1. Thank you, Denise. It's a wonderful memory.

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  3. This is so fantastic! Took me back to my childhood days! Lovely memories

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    1. Thank you for stopping by. Happy I could bring back some memories of what must have been happy times for you.

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  4. I admire anyone who participates in athletic events . Every year I cheer the Mumbai marathoners who run past my house and admit the main reason for being there is the festive atmosphere and cups of hot tea!

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    1. That would sound like fun - except for traffic problems and parking issues. Some of that is why, I suspect, the race was moved from a residential neighborhood to our downtown.

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  5. How fun. Slunds like this race is an important part of your community.

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    1. Amy, it is important - both for honoring the memory of the young man it is named after and to raise funds for Broome County Stop DWI (driving while intoxicated).

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  6. We are just catching up in India with the cycling. Thank you for sharing Denise. Nice pictures too.

    I am a positive psychologist and lifestyle blogger writing about self help tips for success at work place and relationships. Check out the blog here at www.consumerpsyche.com

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  7. That's a great story. It seems like you miss having the race in West Side neighborhood near Binghamton's Recreation Park which sounded like a pleasant day. Congrats to your husband on his win! :)

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    1. I do miss it being on the West Side, Lyndagrace. It was such a perfect location, and I also love Rec Park.

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  8. Love the clever twist on winning the race!
    Returning the visit from AtoZ.
    Wendy
    Jollett Etc.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by. Enjoy A to Z!

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  9. Well, I really enjoyed the 2012 Bike Race...even though I wasn't there, I sure felt like it with your narration of the scenery and the photos. I even had sympathy pains for the riders on those skinny little seats. Yikes! What a fun ending, too. Well done for Letter 'B'.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

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    1. Thank you and I'm happy you enjoyed it jut as if you were there- high praise, indeed.

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  10. Sure sound like a real fun event. Sure hope everyone had a safe and fun time.
    Coffee is on

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    1. Thank you. Today we need coffee - it snowed overnight. Winter is back.

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  11. Oh well done to your husband and great memories. I can't ride a bike unfortunately I just don't seem to be able to master it. I do fun runs so I know the memories they can give as well. Sue @Sizzling60 from
    Sizzling Towards Sixty

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    1. I haven't ridden a bicycle in years. I tried in 2013 and found it doesn't mix with a bad back - at least, the "regular" types. I've done fun walks, and it is fun!

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  12. What a fun story!

    We used to live in Arkansas where the "Jasper Disaster" bike race was held. We always thought the bikers were nuts to traverse up and down our mountain.

    I never learned to ride as a kid, so now I'm trying to make up for it!

    @dSavannahCreate from
    dSavannahRambles
    #AtoZChallenge2016 theme: dSavannah Defects

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    1. With my back issues, I would need a recumbent bike but perhaps I should make that investment. I met someone at Chris Thater who had to do just that, due to being in an accident. I stick to an annual fun walk for charity.

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  13. Great story. Too bad they moved the race. Maybe it got too big?

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  14. Wow! How cool that sounds. These are best events to get to know more about the community as well. Isn't it?

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  15. My husband loves to ride his bike as well! Last year I got a bike for our anniversary so I have started to like to riding more. I am pretty particular on liking nice paved roads where my husband will ride on the road.
    @AllysePanaro from
    The Frog Lady

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