The Tour of America's Dairyland (ToAD) is here, and it provides a unique opportunity for racers from all around the continent – and, in more regular times, often from around the globe – to hone their racing skills over a nearly-non-stop 12-day period.
For the non-racers, the announcement of the initial ToAD schedule was a significant milestone in the timeline of the COVID-19 pandemic, being the first major signal towards a hopeful return to some kind of normalcy where large social gathering was welcomed.
But some things have changed between now and then. A new Brady Street race was pushed until 2022. The long running Downer Classics race was cancelled, but then reinstated on a weekday, and many venues took advantage of the open schedule and added a second day. In the meantime Janesville pulled together a massive $50,000 in primes (pronounced preems), which are like mid-race sprint competitions that should guarantee all kinds of crazy break-aways, antics and all-out drag races.
During each race day, riders will earn points towards the overall series based on their position across the line. There are 10 different races scheduled for each day, which means there will be at least 10 series winners at the end of the duration.
The four-day handcycling series begins on Thursday, June 24 at the Downer Classics.
Every race day is organized by business districts, and will be accompanied by block parties and other entertainment, often accompanied by family-friendly youth races for 8-and-under, local events including the first unicycle race and many adorable dogs.
The final schedule follows:
Start times vary throughout the week, but racing generally happens between 10 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. More details can be found on the Tour of America's Dairyland website.
Jason McDowell grew up in central Iowa and moved to Milwaukee in 2000 to attend the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.
In 2006 he began working with OnMilwaukee as an advertising designer, but has since taken on a variety of rolls as the Creative Director, tackling all kinds of design problems, from digital to print, advertising to branding, icons to programming.
In 2016 he picked up the 414 Digital Star of the Year award.
Most other times he can be found racing bicycles, playing board games, or petting dogs.