Where better to ride your bike than in the beautiful desert with a backdrop of rugged mountains in the distance! Who better to ride with than Tour de Palm Springs riders! Founder Tim Esser certainly is a believer. From its beginning here in Palm Springs in 1998 with about 400 riders, the Ride has steadily grown to almost 9,000 riders last year. This year the Tour de Palm Springs is getting ready to roll on February 14, Valentine’s Day.
It’s important to note that this event is a fun ride, not a race. It’s a Charity Ride, designed for bike enthusiasts to enjoy riding one of several courses and helping to raise money for good causes. Ride options include a course of five miles and others, all the way up to one covering 100 miles.
The event really begins the day before, on Friday the 13th, with the Bicycle Expo in the afternoon, along with registration for new riders, and for pickup of passes. The evening continues with a big pasta dinner. Gotta eat those carbs!
The next morning, it’s the big day. Cyclists will head out from the starting line on Palm Canyon, at the designated time for their chosen distance. Joining them will be Kaye Ballard, star of stage and screen, and this year’s Honorary Cyclist. As usual there are official jerseys to be worn, and photographs of all riders to be taken. Closing out the event will be the Tour de Jazz, held after the Ride, from five until eight, downtown at the juncture of Palm Canyon Drive and Tahquitz Canyon Way. The ride takes place, rain or shine.
To be a part of this fun event, begin by going to Tour de Palm Springs to register, or you can even register on Friday the 13th, just before the big Pasta Dinner at the Palm Springs Convention Center.
The Tour de Palm Springs Web site offers these fun facts about last year’s Ride – “Food consumed encluded:
18,000 bottles of water – 2,000 gallons of Gatorade – 10,300 Oranges
11,000 Bananas – 11,000 Fig Newtons – 750 lbs. Chex Mix
600 lbs. M&M Peanuts – 140 lbs. Turkey – 140 lbs. Ham – 190 lbs. Cheese
75 jars of Peanut Butter – 8,500 slices of bread – 11,300 energy bars”
“Last year, close to 9,000 cyclists pedaled a total of 366,131 miles.
That’s far enough to go to the moon and ride around it a couple of times!”