Cyclists compete in 24-hour Milwaukee neighborhood race

MILWAUKEE — The Riverwest 24 involves 24 hours of cycling, but you wouldn’t know by the looks on the faces of the 880 racers!

“After you get one or two laps in, you get the cyclers second wind in a sense, and you kind of just keep going,” cyclist Cody Gayhart said.

You might think it’s only for the most athletic, but the race is for everyone.

“There’s some teams that take a very competitive approach and there are some teams that are just kind of having a few beers and hop on their bikes and have some fun!” cyclist Sam Derickson said.

The course is 4.6 miles.  The track is Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood.

“There are a bunch of people. It’s amazing to see all these people in front and in back,” cyclist Seth Hill said.

The idea behind the race is to bring the Riverwest neighborhood community together for 24 hours. Whether people are cheering on the crowds or going for a ride, the race is getting to know the place you live and the people around you.

“The cohesion that we want to build is local — passing those lessons of community on is the important thing here,” race organizer Steve Whitlow said.

The goal of the race isn’t to be the biggest or the most competitive.  For the riders, it’s not about being first. Finishing with neighborhood pride is the ultimate prize. 

“It cost $24 to be a part of this and what we got out of it is absolutely amazing,” cyclist Sam Derickson said.

The winner of the race did get a unique prize, but it was fleeting.  They took home an ice sculpture.  Winners were able to revel in their success for just a few hours before the prize melted.

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