Someone once said, “Open roads lead to an open heart,” and I couldn’t agree more. When I hear this quote I often think about biking. Not only is it great for your fitness, it is also great for your heart, mind and soul. When you ride a bike your hands are on the handlebar, not a smart phone and your gaze is directed to the open road, not a text message.
May is National Bike Month and we love to celebrate it in the City of Santa Clarita, which is home to many avid cyclists and offers a bike network of over 115 miles. We were recently rated a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists for our ongoing efforts to make Santa Clarita safer and more convenient for bicycling.
In honor of Bike Month, the City will be hosting a week of bicycle-focused events and activities leading up to, and after, the world-class cycling race, Amgen Tour of California. I hope you’ll join us at one or more of these free events taking place Saturday, May 13 through Friday, May 19.
The whole family can ride along with the Hit the Trail Community Bike Ride Saturday, May 13, starting at 10 a.m. at Valencia Heritage Park. This event is a guided, non-competitive bike ride which meanders through four or nine miles of Santa Clarita’s trail system, depending on your preference. This free ride will begin and end at Valencia Heritage Park, where families can enjoy a special Mother’s Day craft booth, tricycle races, food, raffle prizes and giveaways from the Amgen Tour of California Street Team. Valencia Heritage Park is located at 24155 McBean Parkway.
Ladies, this one’s for you. On Monday, May 15, join the Women’s Cycling Social from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This casual ride, led by the Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition, will begin and end at the South Fork Trailhead located on Magic Mountain Parkway, just half a mile east of Valencia Boulevard.
Students, of all ages, are encouraged to bike to and from school on Bike to School Day, taking place on Tuesday, May 16. Map out your route at BikeSantaClarita.com to guarantee maximum safety and enjoyment during your ride.
Also on Tuesday, the Amgen Tour of California Watch Party will take place at 7 p.m. Come to Pocock Brewing Company, located at 24907 Avenue Tibbitts Suite B, to watch coverage of the Amgen Tour of California and have a chance to win giveaways. This event is free and fills quickly, so be sure to get there early! Attendees are responsible for their own food and drink purchases.
On Wednesday, May 17, the free Lifestyle Festival, starting at noon, invites residents to celebrate the Stage 4 Finish of the 2017 Amgen Tour of California Men’s Race along Magic Mountain Parkway near Westfield Valencia Town Center. This year’s stage race starts in Santa Barbara and ends right here in our city. Enjoy food, drink and entertainment until the thrilling finish which is expected to take place between 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Parking will be available at Westfield Valencia Town Center, located at 24201 Valencia Boulevard.
On Thursday, May 18, businesses are encouraged to participate in Bike to Work Day. This friendly competition will be held to see which employer can get the most employees to bike to work. More information and registration can be found at GreenSantaClarita.com.
Santa Clarita’s Bike Week will finish with an Evening Social Ride and Meet Up on Friday, May 19, at 7 p.m. Gather your cycling pals and make your way to Wolf Creek Brewery for live music, coverage of Amgen Tour of California, giveaways and more. For rider convenience, a designated parking lot will be available at the entrance of Rye Canyon Loop for those who want to park their cars and start their ride.
As you plan to participate in these events, please don’t forget your helmets! Safety first! To learn more about these bike events and the Amgen Tour of California, please visit SantaClaritaTourofCA.com.
Marsha McLean is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected].