Almost 130 cyclists sped through the streets of Upland for the Tour de Foothills cycling classic on Saturday in hopes of bettering their skills and reaching the end.
At 7:30 a.m., cyclists embarked on their choice of a 31 mile, 62 mile, or 72 mile ride while their friends and families waited for them at the street fair, which was located at the finish line in downtown Upland.
To fit the Oktoberfest theme that was set for this months ride, there was a beer garden at the Cigar Exchange near the finish line, and a few cyclists celebrated there after they finished their ride.
The seasonal rides take place every September, October, and November and although the event does have an awards ceremony or money prizes, it is considered a fun ride and not a competition.
“There are no street closures for the event, so if we considered it a competition some cyclists may put themselves or others in danger on the road in order to win,” Randi Bertone, an event volunteer, said.
There were 102 cyclists who finished the ride, 92 were men and eight were women. David Tinker Juarez came in first for the men with a time of 34:09, while Tracy Tilton came in first for the women with a time of 38:25.
Tour de Foothills began in 2005 with a 25 and 50-mile fun ride and 265 cyclists participated. Since then it has gained more popularity with the addition of the 100 mile route and has grown to accommodate more than 1000 cyclists.
The event has since replaced the 25 and 50 mile rides with the 31 and 62 mile rides and are specifically designed for cyclists who are new to organized rides and offer minimal challenges.
The 100-mile ride offers cyclists a challenge and has about 11,000 feet of climbing along with the extra mileage.
Because this event did not have the 100-mile ride, its attendance and size were smaller than usual.
“Attendance is smaller, but it gives the cyclists the opportunity to compete in both of the events,” Bertone said. “It’s still a great turnout, but it would be nice to see more women. Perhaps they will compete in next month’s event.”
This event size gave new cyclists the opportunity to join in and prepare for future competitions.
“I barely started cycling four months ago, but I felt like I was ready to try an organized ride,” Billy Martinez, a cyclist from San Dimas, said.
“I did the 72 mile ride and realized I was very unprepared, but it has encouraged me to participate next month and improve my time,” he said.
Though the event was smaller, enthusiasm was not absent.
“There’s not as much fanfare, probably because the 100 mile ride did not occur, but it’s still well executed and the support for the cyclists is awesome,” Jennie Magee, a cyclist’s wife from Upland, said.
The November event will contain all three events and is expected to have the biggest turnout of the year.
Liz Ortiz can be reached at email@example.com.