Bicycling magazine's 2012 Fall Classic has rides for everyone

Bicycling magazine is at it again for the second straight year.

The 2012 Bicycling Fall Classic, presented by Specialized, will take place Sunday, Oct. 7, from the Valley Preferred Cycling Center and will once again feature the "Roubaix-style" finish of completing a victory lap on the world famous Concrete Crater.

The road ride features four distances, including a new 90-mile Gran Fondo (simply meaning long distance or endurance) ride with chip timing to award prizes for the top male and female hill climbers.

Participants can also choose between the 10-, 25- or 50-mile distances that traipse throughout the Lehigh Valley on roads that the editors of Bicycling actually ride themselves and are appropriate for riders of all abilities. The rides conclude with all riders receiving a commemorative Bicycling Fall Classic steel pint glass and a party at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center

All the rides include nutritional, medical and mechanical support.

The rides go off at 1-hour intervals beginning at 8 a.m. with the highest mileage 90-mile Gran Fondo going off first. The 50-mile ride departs at 9 a.m., the 25-mile ride at 10 p.m. and the 10-mile ride at 11 a.m.

For more information or to register, go online to http://www.bicycling.com/fallclassic .

The Bicycling Fall Classic takes place one day after the 2012 Fall VeloFest, formerly called the Fall Flea Market. The Fall VeloFest is the largest bicycling-related flea market in the U.S. and features manufacturers and large cycling retailers selling off equipment, as well as private parties, pro cycling teams, pro cyclists and cycling enthusiasts selling their wares. It is a must-attend event to upgrade your current gear or to get ready for the winter and indoor training seasons.

Via weekend this Saturday, Sunday: This weekend is my favorite race of the year. The LVHN Marathon for Via, featuring a marathon, half marathon and marathon relay, goes off at 7 a.m. on Sunday from Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest and continues through the Lehigh Parkway and the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor trail all the way to Center Square in Easton.

The entry deadline has been moved to Sept. 7, so there is still time to enter. For more information, go online to http://www.vianet.org.

Unfortunately, my group won't be taking part in the relay this year. Lack of training due to injuries has prevented our regular group of four from participating. We usually alternate in a fifth runner, but this year, we'd have to alternate in all five runners.

A family fun walk and kids race takes place beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday from the Arts Quest Center at SteelStacks in Bethlehem. A race expo will take place 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at SteelStacks on Saturday.

Best of luck to all who are taking part to raise funds and awareness for a very worthy cause.

Try the Track: The final Try the Track program for 2012 takes place Sunday, Sept. 15, at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center. Participants 12-and-older learn the basics or riding the 333-meter, 28-degree banked concrete track from top professionals and coaches.

Separate sessions include Guys on Track and Girls on Track. The VPCC will provide loaner bikes. Helmets are required.

For more information or to register, call the VPCC at 610-395-7000.

Tour de Hershey: Get ready for the 2012 Valley Preferred Tour de Hershey bicycle ride on Saturday, Sept. 15, with cyclists riding from the Macy's parking lot at the Lehigh Valley Mall to Hershey Children's Hospital.

The ride benefits Angel 34 to help children fight cancer, and The Hackerman-Patz House at Lehigh Valley Hospital – Cedar Crest.

The 75-mile ride follows old Route 22 to the Children's Hospital in Hershey. Return transportation is the rider's responsibility.

For more information or to register, call 620-533-1923, 610-365-8547, or go online to http://www.angel34.org

Bear Creek running and riding: You don't need snow to take advantage of the slopes and trails at Bear Creek Mountain resort and Conference Center. If you like trails and hills, then get ready for the Big Bear Trail Run 5K and 10K on Oct. 7 at the resort center in rural Macungie. Registration is $20 online in advance or $30 on the day of the race.

Register online at http://www.bcmr.com/events. Register on site between 9-10 a.m. the day of the race. The race begins at 10:30 a.m.

Bear Creek is also hosting the U.S. National MTB Championship Training Camp Series Oct. 19-21 with future camps planned for 2013.

The camps feature a weekend of training that focuses on technique, training and strategy from presenters like Aaron Snyder of SCOTT, Jordan Khalenberg of Giant Mid-Atl, Rob Lichtenwalner of TSEpic, Matt Miller of Giant Mid-Atl, Dr. Greg Huron, Mike Walters, Rich O'Neil of Stan's No Tubes, Bryon Kremer of Cannondale and many more. Power On's Mike Kun and Jon Fencik will be the lead instructors and facilitators.

For more information, go online to http://www.poweroncoaching.com.

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