Hello! We are down to the wire with the final touches of the 7th Annual Amgen Tour of California, coming to Cabrillo College in Aptos on Monday, May 14. By now most of you have heard about the grassroots effort that has been going on since last October. If you hadn’t heard, there have been a hearty bunch of volunteers and business owners who have donated money and products to pay for bringing these world class cyclists to Santa Cruz County.
In the past few months, many of you have asked me “what in God’s name were you thinking?!” or something similar. Why would I agree to be financially liable for this event, if we are short on fundraising? (and we are almost there!) If you’re a cyclist, or in any way connected to the cycling industry, you might think the answer is obvious. These are the big kahunas, the top guns, the crème de la crème. How great would it be to have these world-famous cyclists ride the very same roads that we do? We’ve traveled overseas to see them, now they are here in our ‘hood! Sweet!
But what if you‘re not a cyclist? Why would you care about a road biking race coming to Santa Cruz County ? How about the fact that the Tour of California is sponsored by a Fortune 500 biotech company whose research and products help millions of people fight against cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, bone disease, and other serious illnesses. Maybe you want to learn more about a company that provides stateof-the-art treatments against these illnesses so you can help your friends and loved ones. Sure, you say, but Amgen just got into this sponsorship to offset the negative press that they were getting years ago from one of their drugs being misused by cyclists. Possibly, but their initial contract with The Tour of California expired and yet they chose to renew their partnership. In keeping with their corporate values www.amgen.com/about/mission_values.html maybe they want to win the fight against cancer more than seeing a specific cycling team beat another. Through their Lifestyle Festivals and Breakaway from Cancer Walks prior to the race arriving on race day, they hope to reach a growing number of Californians and spread the word of what support services and treatments are available for people struggling with these illnesses.
OK, as politically correct as that sounds, maybe you’re still not sure you should drop $20 on a T-shirt to help pay for the race. Well, how about supporting a local event that is an easily accessible model of health and fitness for kids? How about supporting an event that reminds all of us of how great it feels to ride a bike? Remember that first successful moment, sans training wheels, when your own two legs powered you beyond the scope of our neighborhood? The sights, the smells, the sounds—the freedom of taking yourself to someplace new, even if it was just a block or two away. And it’s not just about cycling. Rollerskates, skateboards, playing hide and seek, softball, football, basketball, soccer…. whether it was through school, your community or just you and the kids in the neighborhood.
Hopefully we’ve all had an experience of moving our bodies outdoors toward a goal—and how good it felt to achieve that end! Frantically dodging balls in dodge ball, hopscotch, jumping rope, tag, marco polo, flying a kite or just going for a walk—when is the last time you did these things? Or saw kids doing these things?
While technology evolves at a pace many of us never thought possible, our bodies still need movement (and proper fuel) to function at their best. Our community needs to support and showcase examples of fitness, with a lower case ‘f’, to the up-and-coming generation who have grown up with iPhones and iPads in their hands, and to those parents whose hectic lives may also have temporarily precluded doing something non-electronic.
Get up off the couch, take your kids for a hike or a bike ride, or out to the park. You’ll both feel better, mentally and physically.
Hope to see you at Cabrillo College Monday May 14 around 4p.m.
Schedule <click for complete guide, route, closures, shuttles and schedule>
11:00am Lifestyle Festival Opens
12:00pm VIP Hospitality tents open
12:30pm Team buses arrive (parking lot K at Cabrillo)
1:00pm Carmichael Training Systems (trainright.com/)
2:30pm Park Ave closes including ramps from Hwy 1 until 5:30 pm
(alternate route info: tourofcaliforniasantacruz.com/race_day/transportation_and_parking )
3:53pm Race Finishes after last rider Begin awards ceremony
4:30pm VIP Hospitality closes, tear down begins.
Oh, and if you want to help us pay for the race, our website is here: