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Inaugural CycleFest Rolls Out in the Desert

First-time charity event expected to draw thousands to Empire Polo Club in Indio

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Push some pedals and race for a good cause. The Desert Recreation District’s Desert Recreation Foundation has partnered with Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine for the Coachella Valley Cycle-Fest. The event (Oct. 21-22) will be held at Empire Polo Club (81800 Avenue 51) in Indio

“The CycleFest team has been planning and preparing for this event for a long time, which we estimate will draw close to 3,000 participants,” says Felicia Horton of Desert Recreation District. “There will be something for everyone to enjoy, and we expect it to be a resounding success and the first of many charity-minded events we will be involved in over the next few years.”

The festival kicks off on Friday, Oct. 21 with the valley’s very first cyclocross race (an obstacle course-style bike race), a relay race, and a bike swap area offering used bicycles and bicycle gear — ideal for those who want to buy or sell cycle-related items. In addition, there will be the opportunity to donate any of these items to the Trips for Kids Coachella Valley Chapter.

The main event takes place on Saturday, Oct. 22, with the century (100-mile), metric century (62-mile), and 20-mile rides. All rides wind through the scenic desert. The century ride takes you through Coachella’s farmlands, Palm Desert’s chic business district, past the natural hot springs of Desert Hot Springs, Rancho Mirage’s rolling golf courses, La Quinta’s desert cove, and Indio’s diverse landscapes. Between each stop, hydration station support vehicles will offer riders cold drinks to quench their thirst. Each route will be marked with signs to help riders stay on course, as well as live sign holders directing them with enthusiasm, food, entertainment, and facilities for riders.

The event will also feature a vendor fair (8 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, 6 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday) with cycling and workout merchandise, community and nonprofit booths, and vendors. Guests can also enjoy live country, country rock, and rockabilly music, barbecue, and an Oktoberfest bar.

Event proceeds benefit Trips for Kids, an organization helping at-risk youth through mountain bike rides and Earn-A-Bike programs, Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing health care to the Valley’s poor and uninsured, and the Desert Recreation Foundation, a non-profit organization raising funds to enhance the district’s park and recreation system.

Riders can register for the event at www.active.com or by going to the CycleFest website at www.cycle-fest.com. The website also provides a complete list of event pricing/times/locations. For more information, call 1-760-568-4265 visit the website.

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