Hundreds of professional cyclists spent Sunday morning racing through downtown streets near Parkview Field.
But a bit after noon, the course was clear of adults, and it was time for 9-year-old Kyra Andersen to take her turn on the nearly mile-long loop.
At the beginning I felt kind of nervous, said Andersen, who was competing against other kids in the age 8 and older race. I was thinking It doesnt matter if you win or lose, just dont crash.
Andersen was able to avoid a collision and finished in second place, beating several of her peers.
Her 7-year-old brother, Kyle, hopped into the race illegally and was actually the first to cross the finish line, but she didnt seem to care.
It felt really good, she said. I just tried to ride smooth and not cut people off.
Kyra and Kyle were among the hundreds of cyclists who participated in the annual Parkview Cycling Festival on Sunday. The event was created four years ago by Men of Steel Racing, a Fort Wayne club and racing team.
About 200 cyclists from around the region participated in the daylong event, which mostly included races for professional cyclists, but also featured several events for beginners and kids.
Cyclists had to race along a 0.8-mile loop near Parkview Field with six turns and a hill. Winners received cash rewards or prizes.
Its a pretty difficult course, organizer Jim Kruse said. Theres no time to rest.
Kruse said the course was designed with spectators in mind.
Its a great way for people to see world-class racing up close and personal, he said. Its good for the community to interact with cyclists.
Ben Weaver, who cycles with the Zipp Factory team from Indianapolis, said he tries to never miss the festival.
We always love coming up here. Its a well-put-on race, he said. You get to race against people from Michigan, Ohio and other places around.
Although Weaver likes other sports, he said theres something particularly alluring about cycling.
Its a super, super hard sport, he said. Its fast, its aggressive, its dangerous. Not everybody is willing to do it.
Although temperatures soared into the 90s Sunday, Kruse said the heat wasnt an issue for the cyclists, many of whom train regularly in high temperatures.
Parkview Field didnt have electricity, which meant the organizers had to use their own generator to power computers.
But for the most part, he said, the lack of power wasnt a problem, either.
At least nobody seems to care about the street closures since none of them are open anyway, he said.