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Racers streak through turn 1 during the Sunny King Criterium men's pro race Saturday night in downtown Anniston. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)

Ten reasons to attend the Alabama Cycling Festival’s Sunny King Criterium and Piedmont Road Race this weekend:

1. It’s a blast. No, really. It’s a blast. Imagine NASCAR on two wheels and cyclists wearing only helmets and Lycra for protection. Crashes happen. Photo finishes, too.

2. If you resemble us, the cyclists are in better shape than you are. Much. Better. Shape. Maybe they’ll inspire you to ditch the afternoon Pringles and exercise a few times this spring.

3. Embrace the pollen. It’s inescapable. Don’t let the fear of April allergies ruin your weekend. Pop an Allegra (if your doctor agrees) and be brave.

4. There’s food at the Noble Street Festival! And carnival rides! And food trucks! And a rock-climbing wall!

5. There’s no reason to waste a perfectly fine weekend (even with the threat of Sunday morning storms) doing yard work. Let your grass grow and weeds spread and head downtown.

6. The top-ranked team in USA Cycling’s Pro Road Tour standings — Elevate KHS Pro Cycling — will race in Anniston. Amateurs, beware.

7. There’s music. Lots of music, right there on a 10th Street stage. Stage-diving is a no-no, though.

8. You know those annoying Liberty Mutual insurance TV ads where the cyclist shows off his deformed calf muscles? Do pro cyclists really have calves like that? Come see for yourself.

9. Don’t complain about small-town life’s supposed lack of activities if you don’t take advantage of the activities we have. There’s a reason these cycling events are cemented on Calhoun County’s spring calendar. Come see for yourself.

10. It’s not football season — yet.

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