Here is a glimpse into a few things that make the TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championship unique:
* O'Brian's Watering Hole: No, not a bar on Manayunk's Main Street. In 1985, Mr. O'Brian - who had a house on the wall - felt bad for the riders getting pummeled by the sweltering heat. O'Brian stood on his porch and sprayed the passing riders with a hose. O'Brian has since sold the house, and the watering system has become more advanced, but the tradition lives on through the house's new owners. It was written in the agreement of sale.
* A large tree once fell in the middle of the course a few years back, threatening an embarrassing stoppage in the race. There was no time to call for help before the next lap. Race co-founder Jerry Casale could not get the tree to budge. So a massive group of spectators jumped the fence to remove the tree just before the riders came through again to save the day.
* Michael Aisner, the voice of racing, has called every race since its inception in 1985.
* Brian Walton, a Canadian rider with numerous top 5 finishes, is now a Manayunk-based trainer and a key player in the Cadence Multisport Center, which also helps introduce cycling to inner-city youth.
* The 156-mile course record is held by Australia's Hank Vogel. He completed the race in 5 hours, 52 minutes and 11 seconds in 2000.
* It takes nearly 500 volunteers to run the event that generates about $20 million to $25 million in revenue for the city each year.