At Greg Jackson's annual Serotta Demo Days, the usually soft-spoken bike-shop owner perks up when he shows off the custom-built road racer. "It's not a bike that comes in a box," he says. "It's like the Lamborghini of bicycles."
Every July, Jackson invites bike enthusiasts to test-pedal a Serotta on a 50-mile group cruise from Spin, his Lakewood store, to the Brecksville Reservation. At a post-ride barbecue, he takes orders based on each rider's height, weight, and posture. The titanium-and-steel bikes arrive in a couple of months, equipped with wheels, handlebars, and seats handpicked by the buyers. "You've chosen every nut and bolt on the bike that's built for you," says Jackson. "There are no two bikes alike."
Built in upstate New York, only 3,000 Serottas are manufactured each year. Depending on the model -- from the black-and-red Coeur d'Acier to the red, white, and blue Colorado III -- each bike costs between $2,500 and $10,000. "Everyone has dreamed, 'Man, I always wondered what a $10,000 bike is like,'" says Jackson. "They pretty much walk away in awe." The ride starts at 5 p.m. Thursday at Spin, 14515 Madison Avenue in Lakewood. It's free, but registration is required; call 216-521-7746. -- Cris Glaser
Start Your Remotes!
Put-in-Bay Raceway fires up teens.
Eight years after opening Put-in-Bay Raceway, Michael "O.D." O'Donnell is still revered by parents of teens who claim that there's nothing to do on the Lake Erie island. "You can always go in the bars when you're 21," says O'Donnell. "If you're a little kid, you can always play on the merry-go-round. But there was nothing for you to do during those in-between ages." A summertime favorite for 11-to-20-year-olds, the raceway pits six competitors against each other as they maneuver motorized cars by remote control. There are no prizes, but winners of the two-minute races celebrate their victories on the 50-square-foot oval track. "They go fast enough to make it fun," says O'Donnell. "The cars will crash. They'll flip over. They'll go over jumps and get some air. Once you've done it a few times, it turns into a smashup derby." Start your engines from 11 a.m. to dusk daily through mid-September on Delaware Avenue (across from the Carriage House) in Put-in-Bay. Races are $2 each. For details, visit www.putinbayraceway.com. -- Cris Glaser
The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Pedaling
Bikers take on a pretty sweet ride.
Don't roll into Sunday's Sweet Corn Challenge expecting a race, says coordinator Sue Serdinak; "It's just pure fun," she says. Still, the bike rides rank among the region's most difficult, winding up and down hills near the rim of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The 12th annual Challenge features four different routes: a 10-mile, family-friendly flat path, 25- and 50-mile courses that include some of those demanding hills, and a snaking 100-miler (dubbed the Century), which Serdinak calls riders' "bragging rights." Afterward, riders can nosh on grilled corn and chicken, get a massage, or check out a bike clinic. Registration starts at 7 a.m. at Richfield Town Hall, 4410 West Streetsboro Road in Richfield. Registration is $21 to $32; call 330-659-3300. -- Lucy McKernan
Race? What Race?
Sure, the two-mile Family Fun Run & Walk and four-mile run at Saturday's A Shot in the Dark, which takes participants through downtown streets, is pretty cool. But it's the kickoff party -- which includes live music, food, and a beer garden -- that makes this a summertime treat. The party starts at 5:30 p.m. If you're still standing, the races begin an hour later. It all goes down at the Winking Lizard Tavern, 811 Huron Road. Registration is $25; call 216-623-9933. -- Michael Gallucci