The aromas of fresh kettle corn and the quick breezes blowing by as bicycles whip around you tell it all — the 7th annual Tour de Murrieta is here and it is kicking into high gear.
“Every year it gets more popular. It gets bigger and better each year,” said Aaron Goodale, Tour de Murrieta race director.
Goodale said that upwards of 800 bicyclists have come from around the country to compete in the three-day event.
The Nature Valley Pro Chase Race Qualifier, also known as the American Idol of Cycling, that gives amateur riders the chance to earn a pro contract, was one of the special features to set apart this year’s competition, Goodale said.
The little tykes got rolling with their own race, too.
The Pacific Western Bank Kid’s Race gave youngsters age 3-12 the chance to put the pedal to the metal and ‘wow’ the crowds.
“Last year we had about 177 kids. This year we have over 200 kids (participating) in today’s race. It’s so cute to watch them. They are our future racers,” said Rosalie Michaud, children’s race coordinator.
Goodale said nearly 25 vendors were on hand to lend support to the participants and share their wares, including Reality Rally founder Gillian Larson.
Larson said the countdown has begun for the 2nd annual fundraising event that will pair up reality stars with regular folk in an Amazing Race-style competition.
Local groups also included mighty gridiron competitors from new football league in Murrieta.
“We’re a new tackle football and cheer league. We want to get our name out there and let people know about sign-ups,” said Murrieta resident and Murrieta Panthers media coordinator Kim Pedersen, adding games kick off in August.
It’s not too late to swing by and take in the scene.
The family-friendly event includes food, snacks, jumpy house, and cycling industry product exhibitions at the event’s Expo held at the Senior Center parking lot located at Juniper and Adams Streets.
To learn more, visit www.socalcycling.com or www.capoolsracing.org.
Kerri S. Mabee can be reached at email@example.com. Follow me on Twitter @kerrimabee.