How to "tailgate" the Tour of Missouri

Mike Weiss, MoBikeFed Board Member and President of the Missouri Bicycle Racing Association (MOBRA), is an amateur bicycle racer and annually leads a tour group to see (and ride parts of the course of) the Tour de France.
Riders in the Tour of California
Riders in the Tour of California


Here is Mike's take on why bicycle racing is an incredibly cool event to watch, and how to "tailgate" the Tour:

The start of a professional bicycle race is pretty low key--and the riders are incredibly accessible. They all have to ride to the presenting stage and sign in, which gives fans the opportunity to interact, get autographs and be inches away from some of the best trained athletes in the world. Start cities in Missouri--Kansas City, Clinton, Branson, Lebanon, Jefferson City and St. Louis--will be rolling out the activities and entertainment for the fans. So there will be lots to do and see leading up to and after the race gets rolling.

Seeing a race alongside the route is somewhat of an artform perfected by the European cycling fan. If you check out the roadside along the Tour de France you will see decades of tailgating experience--wine, cheese, families and bar-b-ques in the thousands and the fans find their best vantage point to the see the action unfold. Often following the race live online, on television or radio- leading up the race tearing through the countryside. part of the allure of seeing the race live on course is in the getting there- enjoying the time outdoors, building up the excitement and the plot of the race develops as the terrain and distances changes the plot of the race. If you've never seen a bike race- nothing quite matches the speed and energy of the pro peleton in full flight. Finding a good parking spot--being aware of when the race is "predicted" to pass--and riding, walking, or driving to your 'spot' is expected.

Watching the race along the route is exciting, and you might happen to be present out on the course when an event changing development takes place. But the finish line is where most spectators congregate. Bike races, especially international professional races, have some of the most amazing sprinters in the world- guys who can handle tight courses, high speeds, and explosive energy letting it all loose. Typically a sprint finish for a race of this caliber will see atheltes riding at speeds in excess of 40 miles per hour.
Read Part 2 of Mike Weiss's article How to Tailgate the Tour of Missouri here

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