Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

 

First Tour de Perris a Resounding Success

Perris Mayor Daryl Busch said he would have been pleased to host 100 riders in the inaugural Tour De Perris bicycle ride, an event created to help the City celebrate its centennial.

So the Mayor could not hide his delight when 350 riders from all over California and out of state descended on Perris to take part in the Tour De Perris. The riders included participants from Hawaii and New York who shipped their bicycles to Perris for the big ride.

Busch and members of the City Council were inundated with compliments from riders, who said the Tour De Perris was one of the best-organized rides of its type they’ve ever seen.

Riders praised the course as tough and challenging, said the volunteers who worked at rest-stops along the route were friendly and offered plenty of liquids and snacks and urged the City to make the event an annual occurrence.

More than 100 riders participated in the 100-mile ride. These riders are waiting for the start of the big race in front of Perris City Hall
More than 100 riders participated in the 100-mile ride. These riders are waiting for the start of the big race in front of Perris City Hall.

Busch, in comments made to the riders who took off at 7 a.m. from Perris City Hall, did not rule out that the Tour De Perris might become a yearly event.

“The response has been tremendous,” he said. “It’s a terrific day for everyone. We want everyone to enjoy the ride.”
Wave after wave of bicyclists took off in the 100-mile ride, which snaked from Perris City Hall to the Lake Perris State Recreation Area, through Murrieta and Temecula, San Jacinto and Menifee before returning to Perris. The 100-mile course featured long and steep upgrades near Lake Perris, on Goetz Road south of Perris and in the Temecula Wine Country.

Shorter rides of 62, 30 and 8 miles left City Hall in regular intervals after the long ride.

A large contingent of City staff and volunteers helped make the Tour De Perris a success.

These riders strain as the take a hill on Goetz Road south of Perris
These riders strain as the take a hill on Goetz Road south of Perris.

The City team was led by City Manager Richard Belmudez, Assistant City Manager Ron Carr, Deputy City Manager Darren Madkin and employees from the Housing Division, Public Works, Information Technology, Parks and Recreation, Development Services and Administration.

Perris Mayor Pro-Tem Joanne Evans and City Councilman Mark Yarbrough also spent hours chatting with riders and soaking up the fun-filled festivities.

“This is just an awesome event,” Evans said. “I am thrilled and delighted with the turnout. The results have been remarkable.”

Yarbrough completed the 30-mile course. He said he was inspired by his 3-year-old grand-daughter Halle, who is battling leukemia.

“She’s fighting for her life,” Yarbrough said. “I know she was riding along with me. This was a great event. I can’t thank City staff enough for making his a signature event for Perris. The course was as challenging as I thought it would be. The view was great, especially that of Lake Perris. It was a great event, a great event.”

Perris City Manager Richard Belmudez and Information Technology Support Specialist Marden De Castro chat with Perris City Councilman Mark Yarbrough, who completed the 30-mile ride
Perris City Manager Richard Belmudez and Information Technology Support Specialist Marden De Castro chat with Perris City Councilman Mark Yarbrough, who completed the 30-mile ride.

Redlands rider Joey Ferrell, 46, came across the finish line first among the 100-mile riders, completing the course in 5 hours 43 minutes. Like other riders, Ferrell said he would love to see Perris stage another ride 2012.

“I feel exhausted but excited,” Ferrell said. “The course was invigorating. Nice course, good people, good weather.”

Ferrell burned 7,385 calories while completing the course. He used another number to rate the Tour De Perris.  On a scale of 1 to 10, Ferrell said the ride was “definitely a 10.” He said he rides often and trained for the Tour De Perris by cycling 115-miles every weekend for a month along the Santa Ana River Trail.

Ferrell said he would use his contacts to help promote another Tour De Perris and said he hopes the City will sponsor a similar event next year.

Perris resident Will Vicente came home second in the 100-mile Tour De Perris.

Perris Mayor Pro-Tem Joanne Evans congratulates Joey Ferrell of Redlands, first to finish the 100-mile Tour De Perris
Perris Mayor Pro-Tem Joanne Evans congratulates Joey Ferrell of Redlands, first to finish the 100-mile Tour De Perris.

“I’m so proud of my City,” Vicente said. “This event was awesome.”

While the hard-core riders kept up a frantic pace, many of those who took part in the family-oriented 8-mile ride said they just wanted to spend some quality time with loved ones. That sentiment prevailed for Rebekah Robinson, who completed the short-course with her son, Austin Hocher, 7. He was one of the youngest riders and showed his enthusiasm for the event by saying “I finished” minutes after completing the course.

“This was a good event for the City,” Robinson said. “It’s great that they sponsored an event that families could participate in.”

Derick Lajom, a chiropractor in Perris, came to Saturday’s event with his wife, Kathy; daughter Kelsey, 12, and son Nicholas, 8. He said the short 8-mile ride provided a terrific chance for some good exercise.

“What an awesome idea,” Lajom said. “It’s promoting health and physical fitness for the entire family.”
Perris resident Laura Rodriguez took part in the 8-mile ride and called the event “wonderful, wonderful.”

The Lajom family flashes the thumbs-up after their 8-mile ride. They include Kelsey, Kathy, Nicholas and Derick
The Lajom family flashes the thumbs-up after their 8-mile ride. They include Kelsey, Kathy, Nicholas and Derick.

“The City of Perris is a great City,” Rodriguez said. “The people who run it put on some many great events for the residents.”

City resident Emory Pearson arrived at City Hall before the sun rose. He said he sometimes rides the 20-miles to his job in Riverside to train and stay in shape. He made sure he registered months before the ride so he was guaranteed a jersey, t-shirt and goody bag of gifts. All riders also received a Tour De Perris medallion.

“I love to ride and I support the City for creating this great event,” Pearson said. “The City is making great strides in improving its infrastructure and expanding its economic development.”

Pearson said the jersey created for the Tour De Perris was outstanding, one-of-a-kind. He said he looks forward to collecting additional Tour De Perris jerseys from the event in 2012 and beyond.

Perris City Manager Richard Belmudez congratulates a young rider after crossing the finish line
Perris City Manager Richard Belmudez congratulates a young rider after crossing the finish line.

“Years from now I would love to have a stack of them in my home,” he said.