Having a gran’ old time at the annual Gran Fondo cycling event

Santa Clarita City Hall is located on the 23900 block of Valencia Blvd. File Photo

By Mayor Marsha McLean

You’ve probably heard these words before: “Bike Santa Clarita.” When it comes to cycling in our community, we take great pride in providing the amenities necessary for residents to take advantage of the most environmentally friendly form of transportation — a bike. 

As we enjoy the last few weeks of summer, I invite all bicyclists to take advantage of the miles upon miles of trails that run along the Santa Clara River and through our rolling hills. I can think of no better way to enjoy the fall season than by rediscovering the joy one feels when on a bike.

Thanks to some recent projects, cycling through our City is now much easier. As part of the Newhall Ranch Road Bridge Widening Project, the San Francisquito Trail Undercrossing was opened. This recent improvement gives cyclists an uninterrupted ride directly underneath the new and improved Newhall Ranch Road Bridge.

Cyclists also benefit from the newly-opened Sierra Highway Pedestrian Bridge, which provides safe transportation and a beautiful panoramic view of the northeast side of the valley. Another way visitors can utilize our miles of trails is by taking advantage of our Pace Bike Share pilot program, which has seen impressive numbers as riders bike to and from Santa Clarita’s most popular destinations. 

In 2019 alone, we have encouraged active lifestyles and environmentally friendly transportation alternatives with events like Bike to Work Day, Hit the Trail Bike Ride and Earth Arbor Day. Santa Clarita is also home to one of the biggest events in biking — the Amgen Tour of California, which made its grand return earlier this year.

The City’s amazing facilities, a growing number of bicycle-friendly businesses and ever-expanding safety programs and amenities, have earned us the coveted designation of Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. 

No need to fret if you haven’t been able to make these events, there are still plenty of opportunities to cycle with your community. The fourth annual Santa Clarita Gran Fondo bike event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex — and whether you are the next Peter Sagan or just starting out, this is an event that you won’t want to miss! 

This one-day, chip-timed event will bring together cyclists from all over California who are looking to ride on Santa Clarita’s smooth roads, passing through lush hills and picturesque mountains. Three courses are available for riders including a 20-mile “Family,” 60-mile “Medio” and 100-mile “Gran,” which makes this event perfect for riders at any skill level. 

Attendees and cyclists can look forward to a post-race celebration, including a delicious lunch. The event will include a rider expo with vendors on hand selling a variety of products. Even if you’re just spectating, attendees can enter for a chance to win awesome biking gear and products by entering the raffle drawing. Riders can register and find a full event breakdown at GranFondoSantaClarita.com.

I encourage you to get involved in our cycling community by visiting BikeSantaClarita.com. There you will find everything from information on upcoming events — to bike safety tips and don’t forget to use the hashtag #BikeSantaClarita when sharing your rides on social media.

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