Over 3,000 cyclists descended on Hastings, MI for the 8th annual Barry Roubaix Gravel Bike Race
It's the largest Gravel Road bike race in the world, and has put the Michigan city on the map! In downtown Hastings, restaurants were packed with riders, and their families. It's something business owners look forward to year after year. The spokes were spinning in Hastings, as a battle of bikers took over the city.
"It's the spandex invasion when you start seeing the bikers out and about," said Mike Barnaart owner of Waldorf Brewpub and Bistro, in Hastings.
The Barry Roubaix Gravel Road Bike Race is the second largest bike race in the state. And this year, a record turnout of more than 3,000 riders is expected, effectively doubling the population of Hastings in one weekend. "Really, the impact comes for weeks and months before with people riding the route, checking out the trails," Barnaart said. Barnaart says this event is a huge economic and tourism boost--something business owners look forward to. "We see them again throughout the year for dinner and shopping. So it's really more than just a one day thing," he said.
"The Hastings community has been really behind us," said race director Rick Plite. "The city's been really behind us."
Barnaart says the partnership between the race and the city is a win-win. Bikers have an extremely challenging course, and business booms. "I think it puts it on the map for a lot of people who wouldn't ordinarily be here," Barnaart said. "It's nice to have people come in who didn't realize Hastings is so cool." And with sunny warm weather forecasted for Saturday, businesses may break records too".
"I think people come for not only a great race course and a well-run event, but to have a really good time when they're done," Plite said. "Thanks to all the tough racers who fought through the coom of the Barry gravel roads for a great day of racing and celebrating!. A huge thank you to all our amazing volunteers, Corporate partners, The great city of Hastings, Michigan, law enforecement, Photographers, Newton Timing & Race Services & The West Michigan Mountain Biking Alliance (WMMBA)who kept the Founders Brewing Co. beer flowing "All Day". Can't wait to do it again next year!"
The Barry Roubaix had three different races- a 62 mile, a 36 mile, and a 22 mile and more than $32,000 is given away in cash and prizes!