Time to slip into your favorite spandex and helmet because the premiere cycling event on the north shore has arrived as Glencoe celebrates its 10th annual Grand Prix.
I know what you’re thinking and it’s okay–I don’t know all there is to know about this sport. Don’t fret if the only cycling you do is navigating a toddler on training wheels or tripping over a rusted tricycle in your garage. The Glencoe Grand Prix is a perfect opportunity to spectate and celebrate a world class sporting event with your kids and contribute to a great cause.
Here’s the important stuff:
When: Saturday, June 4 (first race begins at 8 a.m.)
Where: 675 Village Ct., Glencoe, IL
Who: 600-800 cyclists from all over the world
What: A daylong cycling competition of 13 races (divided by age, skill level)
What you can expect: Fans, food, families and fast-moving bicycles. Two race courses will weave through the downtown Glencoe area: The shorter course for younger and older participants; the longer course is for advanced riders.
Here’s how to navigate the day like a smooth-riding pro:
Course riders are given the prime parking spaces in the train station commuter lots, and downtown parking is a no-go due to course set-up. Aim to park south of Washington Avenue for ease of entry and exit with your kids. For Metra commuters, the race is a very short walk from the station.
Take in the view, then take in another
The closer you get to downtown Glencoe, the larger the crowd and higher the course restriction. Begin your day at the starting gate to take in the grandeur and close-up action (bleacher seating will be snapped up quickly). For parents toting strollers or wagons, the spot for ideal viewing is on the west end of Park Avenue and alongside Grove Street, where you may view short and long course racers alike. Move and walk around as you wish, taking in the course from its various vantage points.
Encourage kids to go from sport spectator to pedaling participant
The Children’s Race kicks off at noon, allows for a ‘show up and sign up’ registration and is free of charge. Children should provide their own bicycles and wear appropriate safety gear. The course is approximately 20 minutes and ribbons will be handed out as prizes.
Linger around for lunch
There will be a total of ten (yes, TEN) food trucks that will begin setting up around 11:30 a.m. After watching athletes voraciously compete all morning, devote your energy to devouring speciality dishes from the following vendors:
Tamale Spaceship (tamales)
Chicago Pizza Boss (wood-oven pizza, aranchini)
La Cochinita (Mexican)
Chicago Lunch Box (Thai)
Grill Chasers (chicken)
Flirty Cupcakes (cupcakes)
Yum Dum (Asian fusion)
Louie B. Fresh (salads/wraps)
Crave Bar (ice cream)
Pork & Mindy’s (bbq)
Bring your ID and sip responsibly
Beer and alcohol distribution begins around noon and will be overseen by Guildhall Restaurant (694 Vernon Ave.).
Mingle and bust a move
If kids get antsy to explore or inspired to expend some energy mosey over to Wyman Green (located in front of Village Hall and behind Glencoe Public Library) where you will find a large play area complete with bounce houses and a variety of live music acts from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Get a babysitter on lock
After the final race concludes, a block party will kick into high gear in the Village Court parking lot. At 8 p.m. Jose and The Cobras will perform a mix of classic rock, ‘90s hits, Motown tunes and even contemporary jams from up-and-coming bands. A $5 voluntary donation benefits the Glencoe Educational Foundation so lend your support as you sip, sway and socialize under the stars.
Book that Uber for an 11 p.m. pick up
That’s when festivities conclude.