Spectators at the Tour of Elk Grove on Sunday experienced near-perfect weather, a far cry from the heat and storms of the previous days.
As a result, there was a festive atmosphere among fans, many of whom enjoyed the cycling event from chairs set up next to grills and coolers. Several rattled cowbells and cheered as the riders whizzed by.
"It's been a great day to be outside," said Allan Krauser of Arlington Heights, who watched the races from a spot next to Audubon Skate Park, just a few feet from the start/finish line.
The seventh annual tour, which features elite cycling teams from around the Midwest and beyond, attracted both casual and serious cycling fans to Elk Grove Village over the weekend.
Michael Hulburt, a San Diego native who now lives in Chicago, said he just recently got into cycling.
"I wanted to come out and see the pro race because the level of talent seems pretty high here," he said. "This is a nice venue. It's pretty cool to see high-level riders in a venue like this."
Even those who aren't huge fans of the event found a reason to join the fun. Kristina Giovanni lives on Tonne Road, one of the many local streets that were closed for the event.
"It's great for the community, but it can be a little annoying to us because it makes it hard to get in and out of our house," she said.
Still, Giovanni created a huge yard sign for the tour riders. It read, "Get on your bikes and ride," and featured a picture of the late Freddie Mercury, former lead singer of Queen. (The phrase on the sign is a lyric from one of Queen's songs.)
"It's for the sign contest the village is holding," she said. "It could be worth $400, so we figured, why not get into the fun?"
Festive: Village held a yard sign contest to cheer on riders