GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- The scene is set on the brick-laden Ionia Avenue in downtown Grand Rapids. Music by The Rolling Stones blares over the loudspeaker just as the first riders take off.
The 2012 Herman Miller Grand Cycling Classic, a competition pitting cyclists against time, other riders, and inner strength attracted crowds on a sunny Saturday morning. The men and women master series race was a fast, compact competition of carbon, alloy, and adrenaline.
The casual observer would think the more riders, the merrier. However, the larger the crowd, the more challenging the ride.
"You've got to stay in your line, and try to maintain your gaps with each other, and when people are competing, people get into oxygen debt, and their coordination decreases a little," said Colin Plank, who became tangled up in one of several wipe-outs during Saturday morning's race.