BOISE, Idaho — The 33rd annual Twilight Criterium begins Saturday afternoon, bringing amateur and professional cyclists from across the country to race the three-block-stretch in front of the Statehouse in downtown Boise.
Boise cyclist Henry Harper has raced in the Twilight Criterium 22 times - this year making it his 23rd time. He says he started riding back in college for class credit.
"There was a P.E. requirement and one of the things you could do was ride your bike 500 miles in a semester, so I said, 'that sounds easy... the semester is 3 months, I could do that," Harper said.
He then got involved with intramural relays, which led to him joining his college's cycling club team, and his hobby took off from there.
Harper participated in the Twilight Criterium a few times before he moved to Boise in 1999, but since then, he has not missed a single one.
"I won the lowest category race about 10 years ago," he said. "That was sorta an enticement to come back."
He explains the straightforwardness of his training method for Boise's biggest cycling event.
"[I] ride outside in the heat, really fast, in a circle - that's it," he said. "This'll be a shorter course, so it'll be more intense. You're not racing for a certain number of laps - you're racing for a certain time."
Harper will be racing in two Twilight Criterium events this weekend, followed by the Grand Fondo event on Sunday. He said his times have plateaued over the years.
"As you get older, you get a little slower," he said. "I may find it advantageous to stop racing at some point. I'm not sure exactly when that is, but we'll see. I just have a good time - that's why I keep doing it."
The Twilight Criterium kicks off Saturday afternoon. You can find the whole list of this weekend's events here.