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Cycling season kicks off with VeloFest at velodrome

Marty Nothstein will be like a kid on Christmas morning come Sunday morning.

The Olympic gold medal winner and three-time world-champion cyclist is stoked for the 2014 Spring VeloFest at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Trexlertown that runs 8:30 a.m. — 2 p.m. Sunday.

Spring VeloFest is one of the largest vendor-citizen markets for cycling, running, and fitness-related goods in the country. It's also the unofficial start to the track cycling season.

Now serving as the executive director of the VPCC, Nothstein can't wait to shake off the winter cobwebs as local, national and international vendors make their way to the infield and courtyard areas of the velodrome to debut some new products for the season as well as get rid of last year's inventory at bargain prices.

"We've got 150 vendors, and more are still coming in," VPCC communications manager Shane Beglini said. "This will be the first time that our fans can actually get out here, and it's supposed to be a sunny day, so it should be a good day."

In addition to being able to purchase new and vintage bikes, plus tubes, tires, wheels, parts, accessories, jerseys, helmets, shoes and more, the VPCC will debut its new concessionaire, C&D Distributing.

"We're excited to provide our fans with high quality, affordable food choices," Nothstein said. "It's important to us that families can come here and eat after work and before the races, and that they can enjoy a meal with each other."

Rodale Catering had been the concessionaire for the last several seasons and provided an all-organic menu. C&D Distributing, owned by Chad Miller and John Meyers, will continue to offer organic fare with organic hamburgers, pulled pork, vegetarian burgers and vegan chicken sandwiches, but will also add in sporting venue favorites like hot dogs, French fries, chicken fingers, pierogies, mozzarella sticks and more.

"You will see some food this year that you haven't seen over the course of the last few years at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center," Miller said in a statement. "Speed and quality will be our two main goals."

Tickets (wristbands) for Spring VeloFest are $8. Children 12-and-under are admitted free of charge. Wristbands can be purchased at the gate on Sunday morning, or in advance at the VPCC office adjacent to the track, which is located at 1151 Mosser Road, Breinigsville.

St. Luke's hospice ride on Saturday: Gather together with friends and like-minded people to take part in Saturday's St. Luke's Hospice Ride from the Lehighton trailhead of the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor Trail.

This year's ride will begin 10 a.m. Saturday at the Lehighton trailhead, 200 N. Main Lane, Lehighton, as part of the Get Your Tail on the Trail campaign. Day-of registrations begin at 8:30 a.m.

Riders can choose to do an 18-mile route that ends at the Treichlers Bridge, and then be shuttled back to the start, or do a 36-mile ride that doubles back from the bridge. Both rides cost $40.

Loaner bikes and shuttle services are available through Pocono Biking at no additional cost. Riders will be picked up at the Treichlers parking lot located on the Lehigh County side of the Route 145/ Treichlers Bridge. Shuttle pick-ups will begin at 11:30 a.m. and run every 15-30 minutes until no longer needed.

The international professional World Series of Bicycling kicks off Friday, June 6, with the UCI Keirin Cup.

Via is a Boston 2015 qualifier: The LVHN Via Marathon ranked as the second-fastest qualifying marathon course for the Boston marathon last year according to RunningUSA.org, and ranked among the top five marathons for Boston qualifiers. Organizers are hoping more marathoners take advantage of those attributes this year in hopes of qualifying for Boston 2015.

Race weekend is Sept. 6-7, with a 5K race from Arts Quest Center at SteelStacks taking place 7:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 6, followed by the Via Walk at 9 a.m. and a kids run at 10:30 a.m.

The marathon, team marathon relay and half marathon take off 7 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 7. The marathon and relay begin at Lehigh Valley Hospital — Cedar Crest in Allentown, while the half marathon begins at Main Street and West Walnut streets in Bethlehem.

For more information or to register, go online to http://www.viamarathon.org.

gary.blockus@mcall.com

Twitter @gblockus

610-820-6782

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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