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Boston Marathon Bombings Likely To Have Impact On Security For Cycling Events
Published April 22, 2013
PRECAUTIONS ALREADY IN PLACE IN N.Y.: Ulrich Fluhme, who owns and directs the N.Y. Gran Fondo bicycle event, said his race already employs 50 private security personnel for the event, which sends 5,000 amateur cyclists on a 100-mile course between New York City and Bear Mountain, N.Y. Local police also close roads along the course. The race begins on the George Washington Bridge, and security guards only allow registered participants near the start line. Guards also do not allow participants to bring duffel bags or backpacks to the start. "You have to check in with your bib number and your wrist band to go onto the bridge," Fluhme said. "From this perspective, at least we know who is on the bridge." Fluhme is a three-time finisher of the Boston Marathon, and in '12 he completed the race in 2:53. He was slated to compete this year, but he did not go through with his plans because his training was not up to his standards.
BOMBING'S IMPACT ON MAJOR EVENTS: Fluhme said he believes registration numbers for major events could drop in the wake of the attack. "This could change the landscape," he said. "The hope is that people don't let it affect our lives too much. We can't allow one person to take away all the fun we have in our lives." U.S. Pro Cycling Challenge CEO Shawn Hunter said the effects of the Boston Marathon bombings on the endurance sports community could be similar to the September 11, 2001 attack's effect on security at airports, mainstream sports venues and public events. "We had security changes for the better after (September 11) to venues like arenas, and I think we'll see similar positive changes at cycling races and big public events, and that is a good thing," he said. "We have to make sure that the fun and celebratory environment is not lost."