The starting shed for the time trial races at the Worlds is located at the intersection of Hess and <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
Main streets in downtown
Hamilton. Once a rider descends the ramp he or she sprints for perhaps 30 metres before making a sweeping left turn onto
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For the riders
is a mixed blessing. It begins with a little descent ? a nice encouragement to start things off. But then it quickly rises until, at
Aberdeen, there is a sudden steep 200-metre climb up the Niagara Escarpment. This climb is proving to be the tougher of the two on the road and the long time trial courses.
But on Thursday, in sunny mid-summer weather,
smiled on racers and spectators alike.
Ontario cities of any size have a
), unlike James and
Main, the other two downtown thoroughfares where the racers go, is essentially a neighbourhood street. It is lined mainly with cottages and smallish houses, some of which go back to the middle of the 19th Century. In times gone by, this was a street of working people. Today, it has been somewhat gentrified and the middle classes have moved in.
The houses on
have for the most part smallish front gardens but many are carefully cultivated and quite attractive ? some have won prizes. Most have front verandas. Today, Queen Streeters sat out on their verandas and watched the racers and in between racers sunned themselves. Others opened lawn chairs on the sidewalk. Still others perched on stone or wooden garden walls.
As an inquiring reporter strolling south on Queen towards the escarpment first came upon Wim van Bouen from Oosterwolde in central
Holland. She and her husband attend the Worlds each year. She likes
Hamilton more than most of the other locales. ?It has the ?Dutch Touch,?? she said, complimenting the city on its cleanliness.
Further up the street, one encountered Jeanine Creagh and Kathleen Filmore sitting on a little veranda. Creagh and her husband run a popular hair salon on
. She said their business had suffered because of the race because customers could not readily reach the salon by car. ?But this is worth it,? she said as racers streaked by her door.
Bill Kamphorst lives a few doors away. He, too, took in the racing from his veranda, which is perched up a light rise from the street. Kamphorst came to
Holland 40 years ago. As a young man he was involved in bike racing as a junior. ?I?m surprised they were able to bring it [the World?s] off, but I?m delighted.?
Across the street, one?s eye was caught by a lemonade stand ? proprietors: Maya Amoah, 7, Jude Amoah, 5, and Aydana Rimmer, 8. Proud moms hovered close by. The stand first caught a reporter?s eye during the Canadian Nationals at the end of June. If anything, the lemonade is better now.