gmhTODAY 02 gmhToday May June 2015 - Page 12

Nathan Winchell, another long-time trail riding enthusiast, agreed: “Henry Coe Park offers miles and miles of trails and a degree of ‘epicness’ that is great for experienced riders.” Winchell is a strong advocate for community cycling who rides the local roads to his job as a 6th grade teacher at El Toro Elementary School. To his way of thinking, “Our region’s ability to provide resources and safe routes for people to ride downtown and for kids to ride to school will allow us to create a more vibrant community.” Off to the Races Every April, the Almaden Cycle Touring Club hosts the Tierra Bella Bicycle Tour in the South County. Now in its 38th year, the Tierra Bella offers riders a choice of 30, 60, 100 or 120 miles of flat or hilly routes that take them past Uvas, Chesbro and Calero Reservoirs, up to Henry Coe Park, and out to Gilroy Hot Springs. Every May, Bicycling Magazine teams up with Specialized for the annual Bicycling Spring Classic event in Morgan Hill. Riders choose from courses of 25, 60, or 90 miles, with the shortest route geared for new riders and families, the 60-mile loop for a fast-paced group ride, and the 90-mile fondo for advanced riders, with prizes awarded to top finishers. A post-ride party typically offers everything from food and beverages to free massages and a bike expo. “The annual Spring Classic is a fantastic community event,” August-Perna said. “It includes non-profit organizations like the Silicon Valley Bike Coalition, which puts on a bike rodeo that teaches kids how to ride safely on the roads.” May is also the month for the Almaden Super Lions Club’s annual I Care Classic Century Bicycle Tour in Morgan Hill. This year’s event included an after-tour gathering held at Paramit. The I Care Classic donates 100 percent of event proceeds to providing free eyeglasses to people in need. Cycling & Community The South County continues to extend cycling events and resources to the entire community. This is due, in large part, to the grass roots effort of Bike Morgan Hill, which started with the Morgan Hill Tourism Alliance and gained support from the Morgan Hill Downtown Association, the City of Morgan Hill and local school teachers as well as Specialized and Concept Cyclery. As community advocate John McKay described it, “Bike Morgan Hill focuses on ways that the City and community can work together to promote cycling through resources and activities designed for all types of riders and riding interests.” McKay explained that Bike Morgan Hill efforts are aligned with the City of Morgan Hill’s Complete Streets program with its current traffic calming, which includes designated bike lanes in the downtown district along a section of Monterey Road. It’s a move he and other supporters hope will encourage local families to bike to the downtown district. McKay said a noteworthy example of this effort is the planned opening of a “Bike Hub” this year, expected to be located at 3rd and Monterey Streets in a building rented by the Morgan Hill Downtown Association. The Bike Hub will welcome riders to park and spend time downtown, providing secure bicycle racks, bike route maps, downtown merchant information and discount coupons, and even emergency or minor bike repair classes. Concept Cyclery has aligned its retail bicycle sales and service business with community engagement by hosting several weekly rides. Along with the Thursday mountain trail rides, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are designated as advanced and beginner road rides, respectively. Concept Cyclery co-owner Jennifer Hollibaugh is a triathlete and a powerful advocate for women’s cycling. She and her staff host monthly rides and social time for women riders. 12 G M H T O D A Y M A G A Z I N E MAY / JUNE 2015 Our region is becoming one of the most cycling- friendly-and-fun places in Northern California. gmhtoday.com