BY ANGELIKA LABNO
The North Shore Weekend | May 24, 2014 – The Glencoe Grand Prix, slated for May 31, will be more than just a bike race. The annual event will tap into the food truck trend.
“It’s going to create its own draw to the race,” said Brian Troglia, who will be representing his restaurant Endgrain with a truck.
Troglia—an attorney who helped develop an ordinance allowing owners to prepare and cook food on trucks in Chicago—helped coordinate the 13 food trucks that will offer pancakes, gourmet cheese sandwiches, “doughscuits” and more.
“Everyone is very curious about food trucks, because it’s not something that a lot of people in the suburbs have experienced,” said Winnetka resident Jami Steinberg, who recently opened the doors of her food truck “Grill Chasers” with husband Gary. Their bird-emblazoned truck will dish out grilled chicken wings, sliders and skewers accompanied by sides of kale cabbage coleslaw and mango salsa.
Knouse, president of the Glencoe Educational Foundation (GEF), conceptualized the Grand Prix eight years ago as a fundraiser. An avid cyclist, he envisioned the quaint town as the perfect host for such an event.
“It’s taken a life of its own,” said Knouse, describing the race’s evolution over the years, including the popular high noon kid races and this year’s new offering for local hand cyclists.
Now the major fundraiser of the GEF, the event supports the group’s mission of enhancing technology within the Glencoe school system, including laptops and SMARTboards in the classroom. Over the years. the foundation has recognized needs of schools outside the district and has funded various programs and equipment.
The Grand Prix is the seventh event in the 2014 USA CRITS Championship Series and the National Criterium Calendar, drawing professional racers from around the country and even Australia and New Zealand. The Illinois Bone & Joint Institute, the 2014 title sponsor, will provide first-aid services to participants. Former racer Kenny Labbe will be one of the announcers of the pro race, which takes place in the evening. The event is followed by a block party, sponsored by Chase, with Jive music from 1980s cover band 16 Candles and 312 beer from Goose Island.
Out-of-town pro racers are integrated into the community through host housing and by speaking to students in the schools.
“There’s nothing like watching a bike speed past you at 30 miles per hour,” said Knouse, “but this is also community event in so many respects.”
Wilmette resident Daniel Rudrud has cycled in races around the country for 15 years, and he considers Glencoe’s race among the best for three reasons: family, philanthropy and operational excellence.
“It’s the most efficient race I’ve ever been to, from registration to picking up your sticker to the timing of the event,” he said, giving credit to the late Jay Mirasol for setting the foundation of the race operations. “It’s supported so well by the community, and it’s a pathway to give back.”