Race director quells Colavita course qualms

First came the news that the Colavita Time Trial Series, which has scheduled a 12 K bike race this Sunday in Bluffton, was going to have a course change: Instead of an appealing jaunt around Ouabache State Park, it’s now a much more boring out-and-back course on County Road 300 North. (At least it doesn’t go through the town’s Walmart district, which was what I envisioned after reading the description in the newspaper.)

The Colavita Time Trial Series attempts to make a professional bike racing atmosphere accessible to mere mortals.

As if that weren’t bad enough, it turns out that series participants will be coming to Bluffton on the heels of the Tour de Donut, a 30-mile race in Arcanum, Ohio, which incorporates stops at two bakeries and cuts 5 minutes off riders’ times for each donut they eat in the course of the race. It’s become one of the most popular races in Ohio, with over 900 participants this year from 14 states. (The record, by the way, is 25 donuts.)

So now I’m feeling embarrassed on behalf of my hometown: Are all these serious cyclists going to roll into town and roll their eyes?

Fear not, says Roger Bowersock, Colavita series coordinator.

Q. The donut race this past weekend sounds like it was a huge hit. Are you concerned that the course change in the Bluffton race is going to be disappointing?

A. Most of our courses are out and back so no concerns from participants or organizers.  The chip and seal pavement on the other course would have been a major problem.

Q. When did you find out about the course change? It was reported in the local paper a couple of weeks ago (after a board of public works meeting), but I noticed you didn’t mention it on the your Facebook page until the last day or so.

A. No problems with Bluffton. They have been great to work with, very accommodating and open to even attempt this.  The issue has been on our side — it has been an issue of us being busy with the Donut ride.   We made the announcement at the last race so our regular participants were aware.

Q. Does this make it less likely that you’ll do another event in Bluffton?

A. We are excited about  coming to Bluffton on Friday.

Well, if Roger Bowersock is excited, then so am I. I can’t wait to try out my “new” old road bike in a time trial, even if my training has been woefully inadequate.

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