Finish The Ride returned to Santa Clarita for the third consecutive year on October 7th. It was a beautiful day and the park was filled with a sea of smiling faces waiting to "Finish The Ride" for a great cause! It would prove to be the most successful event in Santa Clarita to date.
Lucky participants from beginners to hardcore athletes found out exactly why Santa Clarita is known as the Southern California hub of cycling and enjoyed the scores of bike paths that snake through the wide open and scenic Santa Clarita valley. The 25 mile took riders along the scenic San Francisquito Bike Path and beyond as well as the beautiful Santa Clara River Path. Those who took on our acclaimed Metric Century traveled up to Acton by the world famous Vasquez Rocks, experiencing the amazing views on the way and coasting all the way back to Heritage Park. There were also rollers who took on our 12 mile family ride and roll!
New to this event were speed challenges and King and Queen of the Mountain challenges! Congratulations go out to Eric Detrick, Kelly Boone and Robert Reyes for conquering these challenges!
The event kicked off with our highly acclaimed Metric Century -- the toughest route of the event with an elevation gain of nearly 3,500 feet. Participants loved the challenge and the views! Here is what some had to say:
"I had not had the opportunity to ride in this area, so I decided to register. It's the best ride so far in my life! The roads, especially riding through the mountains were spectacular. I was a little nervous about the climb, but I made it and the scenery made it possible. It's beautiful and very enjoyable. With little traffic, it made the ride even more enjoyable and I will definitely ride again next year."
"I have been meaning to get into longer distance cycling, so I signed me and my dad up for the 62 mile metric century. It did not disappoint -- it's all my dad could talk about for the next few days! The ride was spectacular and introduced me to an area that I didn't know very well. I was very impressed with the bike path and especially impressed with the ride structure and organization... All in all, would definitely recommend."
Our opening ceremony featured speeches from Santa Clarita Police Department second in command, Lieutenant Diaz and SAFE's Executive Director, Damian Kevitt. Also, a special speaker, Jason Brooks. Jason is a cyclist who was involved in a collision and whom SAFE Support has helped get back on his feet and feel comfortable with his recovery as well as getting back on his bicycle. Not only did Jason get back on his bicycle, he "finished the ride" at the event! His first since his crash. To learn more about SAFE Support, click here.
This ceremony was the perfect launch precursor to the launch of our 25 Mile Tour de River & 12 Mile Fun Ride/Roll -- people finished on anything with wheels! And all cycling abilities from families to serious cyclists were in attendance.
After the ride, everyone 21+ was treated to two FREE beers generously donated by our sponsor, Firestone Walker. The beer garden was a HIT and enjoyed after a tough and challenging ride! That and a post-ride massage offered at the expo helped everyone kick back and relax.
Atmosphere was enhanced at the expo by The Michael Caine Experience!
As if that weren't enough, food was waiting for everyone with a variety of options, including dessert for everyone! One lucky participant, Francis, even won a free bike donated by Pure Cycle in our raffle! All sales were donated to SAFE.
Overall, it was a great day in the name of making safer streets and helping those affected by traffic collisions.
A HUGE thank you goes out to all our sponsors and supporters, such as (make these hot-linked to websites, if possible):
Pocrass & DeLosReyes
Performance Endurance Gear
Tae Kwon Educational Center
Soul Essentials Massage
SFV Roller Derby
Gear Grinderz Coffee
To see all photos from the event and to order copies, click here.
If you had fun, join us next time at Finish The Ride Griffith Park on Sunday, April 28, 2019. Registration will be opening soon at www.FinishTheRide.org/ftr-griffith-park.
Thank you again and see you next time!