The Snake Alley Criterium is held on a fifteen block course entirely on city streets in a downtown commercial area of Burlington, Iowa. The one block long climb is on the historic brick street named Snake Alley, with five switchbacks and an average grade of 12.5% in one block.
The Snake can make or break your race in the small Iowa town of Burlington. Having an experienced team of riders, the Texas Roadhouse Cycling Team knows what it takes to not get bitten by the tough course.
“The anticipation of the event builds for months. The first step is registering early to make sure you get a good starting position. After that, your legs do the talking. It’s 20 laps of the seven cornered “snake” that throws you pain; 35mph downhill corners; spectators dumping ice water on you; and if you’re in good shape you get a brick from the course and a fluffy snake for your troubles. But don’t take my word for it, go race it for yourself and you’ll soon realize words can’t describe the feeling of taking on the snake,” team member Jake Magee points out.
So next June, put Snake Alley on your calendar as a To Do. Just be sure to prep for hot temps, fast racing and pain in the legs. Because it’s only day two of four for the weekend of the Quad Cities weekend crit racing.
Video by Justin Balog