Several events planned before big AMGEN cycling race
Gregory D. Cook
April 7, 2010
Filed under News
On May 20, Bakersfield College will play host to the finish line of one of the stages of the AMGEN Tour of California, an eight stage, Tour de France-style race that will challenge many of the world’s top professional cycling teams with a route of nearly 800 miles over eight days.
Famous cyclists the likes of Mark Cavendish, Michael Rogers and Lance Armstrong are expected to draw up to 40,000 fans to the Panorama bluffs to watch the finish of the race’s fifth stage, starting in Visalia, and ending at BC.
In preparation for the race, AMGEN, the City of Bakersfield and other race sponsors are planning a couple of events to raise awareness of the event and the causes it champions.
On April 25, the Bakersfield Sports Foundation and AMGEN will host a “Cycling for Life” event at the Mill Creek at Central Park in downtown Bakersfield.
The event will focus on “cycling as a part of a healthy lifestyle,” according to a press release issued by Bakersfield Convention & Visitors Bureau. The event is free to attend, and will include live entertainment, beginner’s bike rides along Mill Creek between Central Park and Rabobank Arena, a farmers market and health fair as well as exhibits “promoting the positive aspects of cycling for wellness and fun.”
The event will also mark the start of a community bicycle drive sponsored by KBAK/KBFX-TV, in which members of the community can donate used bicycles at collection points located at Central Park and Rabobank Arena. The bicycles will be refurbished and given to local children in need.
Another event scheduled as part of the run-up to the Tour of California will give cycling enthusiasts a chance to experience what competing in the race is like. On May 1, the Bakersfield Sports Foundation will host an official pre-ride of the fifth stage of the race. This event will allow amateur cyclists to ride the actual course of the fifth stage of the race.
For a fee, cyclists will be able to choose between riding the complete 117 mile route starting in Visalia, or a shorter, 40 mile course starting in Glenville. Both distances will end with a climb up the Panorama bluffs and end at BC. Transportation to the start points and a lunch will be provided for the ride’s participants.
The Bakersfield Convention & Visitors Bureau is also looking for volunteers to help in various ways for the actual stage of Tour of California race on May 20. They estimate that they will need between 150 to 200 volunteers to fill positions locally and along the route, such as course marshals, site decoration and check-in personnel.
More information on volunteering or the events leading up to the AMGEN Tour of California race can be found the Bakersfield Convention & Visitors Bureau’s race website at www.bakersfieldamgen.com.