Celebrate all things cycling in Santa Clarita

May is bike month in Santa Clarita and the City is celebrating cycling, with several events, fun rides and a world-class race!

Join us on May 11, at 10 a.m., and bring your friends and family to Valencia Heritage Park for our Hit the Trail Community Bike Ride, presented by Curtiss-Wright. This popular event invites the community to explore the City’s trail system on a guided non-competitive ride.

Riders may choose between a nine-mile route and a shorter four-mile route. The nine-mile route will take you west along the Santa Clara River Trail, all the way to River Village Park and then return on the same path to Valencia Heritage Park. The four-mile route, which is recommended for families with young children, will start at the park and loop through the Iron Horse Trail Bridge, pass the McBean Parkway Bridge and head back to the park. Both rides begin and end at Valencia Heritage Park, where there will be a fun fair, giveaways, tricycle races and food!

On Thursday, May 16, get ready for some friendly competition with the return of Bike to Work Day. This is a challenge among businesses in the City to see which employer can get the most employees to participate. Five pit stops will be placed throughout the City where cyclists will get snacks, giveaways and have a chance to win prizes. To encourage those who need to travel a bit farther to be a part of Bike to Work Day, Santa Clarita Transit and Metrolink are also offering free rides for anyone on local routes that have their bike and/or helmet with them!

The biggest event coming to town is undeniably the Amgen Tour of California. On Saturday, May 18, this world-class cycling race is coming back to Santa Clarita and we can’t wait! The Amgen Tour of California takes place throughout seven stages over seven days. This year, cyclists in men’s and women’s races are riding from Sacramento down to the finish line in Pasadena. This year, we are hosting the Stage Start for the final stretch of the race. The City of Santa Clarita has hosted more stages of this world-class event than any other City — this year’s stage will be number 14!

The race is a public event, so please come out and help us cheer on the cyclists! Beginning at Westfield Valencia Town Center at approximately 8 a.m., the riders will sprint from the starting line to the finish line at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The women will leave first, with the men leaving a short time after.

As you can imagine, a race like this will require some traffic control. Some roadways will be closed prior to cyclists’ arrival and will reopen once it is deemed clear. I strongly advise if you live, or have any plans to visit the streets along the route, to plan ahead and visit our SantaClaritaTourofCA.com website for traffic details.

We hope by attending one of these events during Bike Month, you’ll get inspired to do some cycling of your own! With miles of trails and paseos to ride along, our City is the perfect setting for you to fall in love with cycling. It is not only fun -– it is good for you! The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least five days a week. Opting to cycle as you go about your daily business, instead of driving, will easily help you reach this goal. Medical studies show that it will reduce your chance of dementia, depression, anxiety, diabetes, colon cancer, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and other health threats by at least 40 percent!

Make it a goal to dust off that bike that’s been sitting in your garage (or rent one through our Pace Bike Share program), and take it out for a spin – just remember to do a safety check first and wear a helmet!

For full details on upcoming bike-related events, safety tips and programs, please visit BikeSantaClarita.com.

Mayor Marsha McLean is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected]. The views expressed in her column are her own and not necessarily those of The Signal.

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