Perris Mayor Daryl Busch welcomes a pair of riders to the Tour De Perris.
Fun, family and physical fitness.
Those were the reasons that prompted hundreds of residents from throughout Southern California and beyond to take part in the second annual Tour De Perris bicycle ride and the accompanying bike-safety seminar known as the Tour De Tots.
More than 200 participants took part in the Tour De Perris, which included rides of 100, 62, 30 and 8 miles. Dozens more families and children participated in the Tour De Tots on the Perris City Campus, which culminated with the raffle of eight bicycles to youngsters 6 and under.
Perris Mayor Daryl Busch was on hand when the 100-mile “century” ride left at 7 a.m.
Riders begin their 100-mile journey in the pre-dawn twilight from the Perris City Hall Campus. More than 200 riders took part in the Oct. 6 Tour De Perris.
“This day truly offers something for everyone,” Busch said. “It’s going to be a great day. The weather is perfect for the ride. Have a great day.”
In his remarks to the assembled riders, Perris City Manager Richard Belmudez said officials were overwhelmed with the response of the inaugural Tour De Perris in 2011 and created the Tour De Tots to inspire a new generation with enthusiasm for bicycling and physical fitness.
“The response to our first Tour De Perris was so positive we wanted to do it again,” Belmudez said. “We created the Tour De Tots to instill in youngsters the passion you all have for cycling.”
Tour De Perris cyclists included people with a wide variety of jobs and interests. Those included Perris resident John Harrington, 40, a Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer who moved to the City and will retire after
completing an assignment at March Air Reserve Base. Menifee mom
and teacher Denise Bassett, 41, used the Tour De Perris as a training
day for an Iron Man event in Arizona in November. Glendora artist Conrad
Brazzel said he returned to the City to take part in the 2012 Tour De Perris
“because this is a very nice place to ride a bicycle.”
A string of riders enters the Lake Perris State Recreation Area early in the Tour De Perris.
Riders on the 8-mile course embarked on a loop that took them through portions of the Perris’ south side. The 30-mile trek included the Lake Perris State Recreational area while the longer jaunts took rider to Temecula’s Wine Country and through portions of the Hemet Valley before returning to Perris City Hall.
Along the route, Perris elected officials, staff members and volunteers worked at designated rest stops, providing water, sandwiches, grapes and other snacks for riders.
City Councilwoman Joanne Evans worked a rest stop near Ethanac Road. Many of the riders who stopped by were moms and dads with youngsters out for some early-morning quality time.
“This is a great way meet kids and their families,” Evans said. “This is where the rubber meets the road. A lot of kids are taking part in this
event and for little ones, eight miles is a lot to ride. We’ve got to be proud of them.”
Bryant Brazley, his wife, Karla, and daughter, Ianna, give the thumbs up to the Tour De Perris.
Bryant Brazley, 46, his wife, Karla, 35, and daughter, Ianna, 5, were among the riders stopping by to chat with Evans and other City workers. The family said they thoroughly enjoyed the day’s ride.
“We love it,” Bryant Brazley said. “It’s very important to stay fit and we like helping the City in healthy endeavors.”
Brazley said that he’s lost 69 pounds since January by riding and working out, in the process lowering his blood pressure and reversing diabetes.
Elizabeth Orozco, 40, her husband, Eloy, 40, and children, Jorge, 8, and Savannah, 5, wanted to take part in the first Tour De Perris last year but circumstances did not allow it. This year, the completed the 8-mile ride. Elizabeth Orozco summed up the day in one word: “awesome.”
A line of youngsters roll off at the start of the Tour De Tots, which emphasized safe-riding techniques and the importance of proper safety equipment.
“What a great event,” she said. “This is awesome for our family because it is something we can share together.”
There were plenty of other activities to share as well. Perris City Hall became a fun zone for children and families. A trio of professional BMX riders entertained a crowd of hundreds by performing a series of tricks, including a 360-degree back-flip. Martial artists demonstrated self-defense techniques. A bouncer kept the children entertained.
During the Tour De Tots, youngsters navigated an obstacle course at City Hall to improve their biking skills. The City raffled eight bicycles and safety gear as part of its commitment to bicycle safety. As a further show of support for physical fitness, Perris officials also will make a donation to charities that support youth sports and recreational activities.
Jonathan Paris and Mike Isbill hold the glass trophy given to the first-place winners in the Tour De Perris. The pair crossed the finish line together in 4-hour 56-minutes, averaging a blistering 20.6-mph over the 100-mile ride.
By about noon, the hard-core 100-mile “Century” riders closed in on the finish line. Mike Isbill, 33, and Jonathan Paris, 25, both of San Pedro, rode as a team and crossed the line together—4-hours 56-minutes after leaving City Hall. They overcame three flat tires between them to average 20.6 miles-per-hour on the 100-miler.
“The course was beautiful, the crowds were great and the event was super well-organized,” Isbell said. “The course was well marked and the rest stops well stocked. The course was very challenging and I got to get in shape while completing it.”
Paris called the Tour De Perris “a great ride.”
“You don’t get to see a lot of the scenery when you’re peddling hard,” he said. “I got to see a lot of Perris streets—and they were beautiful paved. I will definitely be back next year!”
Perris staffers Sarina Brannon and Cynthia Quintero congratulate Jetaun Washington, 29, the first woman to complete the 100-mile ride.
Perris City Councilman Mark Yarbrough completed the 62-mile ride in six hours. Although not world-class speed, Yarbrough said the overall
experience was top-notch. He thanked the City staff for making the
Tour De Perris a “ride second to none” and one that cyclists will circle
on their calendars. Staff members lined up corporate sponsors, laid out
the route, provided race mechanics and support staff and kept riders informed
with a series of press releases and facebook updates in the weeks leading up to the Tour De Perris.
That made things click, Yarbrough said.
“A really, really good ride,” he said. “To say the course is challenging is an understatement. We had a great turnout and everyone had a great time. That’s what this event is all about.”
The top woman rider was Jetaun Washington, 29, an avionics technician in the Marine Corps in Miramar. She finished the
100-miler in 6-hours 19-minutes, despite a flat tire and dropped chain.
Perris City Councilman Mark Yarbrough at the conclusion of his 62-mile ride: “We had a great turnout and everyone had a great time.”
“The City of Perris is absolutely beautiful,” she said. “The weather was great—not too hot. Riding a bike is always fun. I will definitely do it again next year.”