She wasn't sure what to expect but what she saw after getting to the racetrack was nothing like she had seen before. Cones and ribbons were everywhere marking the course and fans huddled in blankets crowded around to watch. A table with Boulevard beer was right next too the track with a stack of waffles and Nutella available for anyone to eat or drink. A Hawaiian food truck was parked to the south of the table selling warm chicken and rice. A voice echoed through the stadium warning racers of the last call for the next race and a gun went off a few minutes later signaling the start of the race.
Out of the corner of her eye she saw bicycles fly by as the men that rode them strategically paced themselves for the 10 lap race. She watched as they zigzagged over steep hills then jumped off and quickly carried their bikes up six stairs, hopped back on and continued peddling towards the next obstacle. As the cyclists made their way around the stands, people yelled words of encouragement and motivation but the racers didn't seem to notice.
The announcer began to announce the first, second and third place winners of first the junior's then the women's race from earlier in the night. The winners claimed their medals and stood on the pedestals for any pictures being taken then. The medalists were congratulated by everyone around on a good race then made small talk for a while.
She wrapped the blanket around her and watched the cycling community interact and bond over a shared hobby/profession. They talked about where they've raced this year, how many races they have left, what new bikes they bought and what techniques worked for them as opposed to what techniques didn't. After, many people talked about the weather and caught up on old gossip.
Less cyclists rounded the corner and she realized the race was ending. She stretched her cold, stiff legs as she tried to walk to gain feeling back into them and soon after another race began. She talked to the one cyclist she knew for a short conversation then left the track to warm her car up. She thought as she walked. There were no big crashes, no sizzling rivalries that she noticed; just people doing something they love not for recognition or money but because they like to cycle.