Bike riders race through the wet streets of downtown Albany in March 2012. This year's SB&T race has been moved to Memorial Day weekend. (MAy 19, 2013)
ALBANY, Ga. — Albany officials hope a good mix of high-speed bike racing, live music and good food will make for a memorable Memorial Day weekend.
Professional and amateur bike racers will kick off the Southeast Regional Bike Race Series in downtown Albany Saturday. The series will make the SB&T Bike Race, which traditionally has been held during Albany’s Rock, Roll and Run weekend in March but was moved this year, its inaugural race for 2013.
Rashelle Beasley, the director of Albany’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, said Thursday that 318 racers had already registered for the event and will begin arriving this afternoon.
“It’s good for us because we get to kick off the series so, chances are, we’ll probably have the most participants of the season,” Beasley said.
Throughout the season, racers will hit the roads across the Southeast, with stops in Albany and Lee County and other cities like Montgomery, Ala., Asheville, N.C., and Knoxville, Tenn.
Racing will begin at 9 a.m. downtown and will continue throughout the day. While the racers are whizzing through the streets of downtown Albany, vendors and musicians will be setting up along Pine Avenue and in the Art Park on Pine Avenue for a spring festival, Beasley said.
“The organizers are trying to tie everything together so you can come out and see these incredible racers, cheer them on and get a bite to eat from the vendors or at RiverFront’s new patio and enjoy the music,” Beasley said.
For travel purposes, the city of Albany will close the 100 and 200 blocks of Washington Street, the 200 block of Broad Avenue, the 200 block of Flint Avenue, and the 100 and 200 blocks of Pine Avenue to vehicle traffic at 6 a.m. Saturday. Traffic will resume at 10 p.m.
The racers will move to Lee County for a 91-mile race through the county Sunday.