The Amgen Tour of California—the famous 750-mile, eight-stage bike race—will be here in a blink. It takes place from May 12-19, 2013 with an opening day start in the San Diego area, and is one of the biggest and most watched sporting events in the world. And those of us who live in or are visiting the communities of Greater Palm Springs will be lucky enough to experience it live and in person on Monday, May 13th.
On the second day of the race, bikers will begin at exactly 10:20 a.m. in Murrieta, southwest of us, and head for the finish line in the Palm Springs Valley, 124 miles away. Traveling through Temecula (the nearby land of wonderful wine country), and then heading up into Idyllwild in the San Jacinto Mountains, the riders will shift gears and take a turn down the treacherous twisty-turvy Highway 74 (Palms-to-Pines Highway) into Palm Desert. Journeying through my hometown of Rancho Mirage, then into Cathedral City, the race will end in Palm Springs at the top of Tram Road—making this one of the most grueling rides in the West!
Our local leg of the race is expected to take the fastest riders less than four and a half hours. Tens of thousands of spectators and millions of TV viewers will be watching this exciting trek through our desert oasis. Those actually present will then partake in the Life Style Festival near the finish line. Open from 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the fest will offer entertainment, food vendors, biking and other assorted sports gear and accessories, and other various forms of family-friendly activities in a fun carnival-like atmosphere.
This tough weeklong race will continue for six more days, including a ride over the Golden Gate Bridge and culminating up in Santa Rosa. For many of us it will be a once in a lifetime event. I’ll be there cheering the riders on as they fly though our beautiful desert oasis!