This weekend in the Coachella Valley thousands upon thousands of cyclists will make their way down to the desert to embark on a 20/50/100 mile biking excursion into the unknown.
The experience of participating in the Tour de Palm Springs is not just physically and mentally challenging but it is also visually stimulating. In addition to flat lands, big skies, wide roads, and warm temperatures… there is also a culture behind the Tour de Palm Springs that should not be overlooked.
The bike community is as strong and culturally rich as any another community out there. They have their own ‘thing” going on and I personally find it admirable and beautiful.
Not only am I a fan of bike culture, but I am even more-so a fan of how this Tour is ran. There is a low-key beauty and art to it. There are mini-shows and events happening all along the way. At any any corner you turn you can be subject to the sounds of a jazz ensemble, an orchestra, or modern band. It’s all tastefully done and I believe that the involvement of local bands and musicians gives all these out of towners a little taste of the Coachella Valley’s art and music scene.
So, take some time and check out some videos and Youtubes that I found online. And, if you are competing in the race this weekend, make sure to film some new footage for me to post! I will be busy setting up my Doo Wop in the Desert event and can’t go! bummer.
Enjoy and keep an eye/ear out while on the road:
About Tour de Palm Springs
The Tour de Palm Springs has raised over $1,000,000 for Coachella Valley charities since 1999.
Tim Esser had an idea on January 31, 1998. He would hold a bike event in Palm Springs that would allow local cyclist to ride 5, 15, 25 and 50 miles. 400 cyclists rode in the first event, known at that time as, Spokes for Different Folks. Tim, however, being the guy that never goes only part way, decided to use the event as a launch pad for his own personal ride across America. It took him 30 days to cross the country from Palm Springs, California to Jacksonville, Florida. When it was all over Tim had survived his chase vehicle crashing and catching on fire, a fall that sprained his shoulder, rain in the valleys, snow in the mountains and tornadoes on the plains! But, he made it.
The first event raised $20,000 and was hailed as a great success by all that took part. Tim along with his mother Fran, set up a not for profit organization called CVSPIN. Even though many cyclists may think that CVSPIN means to turn over their bicycle pedals as fast as possible in the Coachella Valley, it actually stands for Coachella Valley Serving People In Need.
In 1999, the first Tour de Palm Springs was held and the number of riders exceeded 1,000 and a 100 mile (century) ride was added.
In 2001, the Coachella Valley Desert Business Association recognized the Tour de Palm Springs as the best event in the Valley. The competition included the Bob Hope PGA Tournament, the Dinah Shore LPGA Tournament, The Skins Game and the Tennis Masters Series.
Every year the Tour de Palm Springs continues to attract more and more riders. The money generated has gone to help many organizations in the Coachella Valley. In 2008 over $200,000 was donated to 110 different entities that in their own special ways met the varied needs of the people in the Coachella Valley.
To see some of the organizations receiving donations from the Tour de Palm Springs, CLICK HERE.
– words provided by TourdePalmSprings.com
Local musicians boost the energy levels and give a taste of the local art and music scene: