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Cyclebration rides into Folsom this weekend

The speed of the road racers make event a fan favorite
By: Matt Long Telegraph Sports Editor
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Cyclebration, the City of Folsom?s annual celebration of cycling, will be held for the fifth time this weekend, as thousands of cycling enthusiasts will descend on the city. For the first time the event will be held in June rather than September. Organizers moved the event up three months ? closer to the beginning of the cycling season rather than at the end of it ? hoping to bring in more competitors, as they hope to draw upwards of 3,000 participants in the three-day long event. From mountain bikers to road racers, there?s a little bit of everything for cycling enthusiasts in the city?s signature event. ?We?re ready and we hope to see a whole new interest in the event,? said Robert Goss, Folsom?s parks and recreation director. ?We?re hoping the move to June entices more people to come out.? Cyclebration, dubbed Northern California?s most fun, family-friendly weekend of bicycle riding and racing, kicks off Friday with the South Canal time trial, which begins off of White Rock Rd. in Rancho Cordova, at 2 p.m. The time trial features an 11-mile out-and-back course which is completely closed to cars. Riders can expect six rolling hills throughout the course, which will present the biggest challenge. The time trial is part of the Road Bike Omnium, which also includes Saturday?s Cyclebration Criterium and Sunday?s Willow Creek Circuit Race. The criterium on Saturday will be held in the Lake Forest Business Park, as the course features two corners getting on and off Lake Forest Rd., connected by Blue Ravine Rd. Sunday?s circuit race will be ridden on a 2.4-mile course which is predominately flat with six 90-degree turns, along with several sweeping turns and offers a sprint to the finish featuring a 320-meter straight shot to the line. In Folsom the weekend begins at Cummings Park with the Fam Jam Dirt jumping event with practice beginning at 5 p.m. The amateurs compete from 7:15 to 7:45 p.m., with the pros following from 7:45 to 8:15 p.m. Awards will be handed out for best trick, best whip jam and the high jump competition. For the avid mountain bikers, the mountain bike stage race features three races, starting with the short track event at Rodeo Park on Saturday morning. The track is just more than a mile long and is ridden on mostly smooth dirt, which will test cornering speed and agility, climbing legs with short, fast climbs and close quarters. The mountain bike time trail will be held on Saturday afternoon and starts at the Folsom Rodeo Arena and will go through prison property. This five-mile course features shorter and steeper climbs, including riding on dirt and gravel roads, grass and an old flume trail. The cross country race on Sunday beginning at 9 a.m. starts on the rodeo grounds and features about 400 feet of climbing per lap with a large portion of the race on Folsom Prison grounds. On Saturday Folsom Lions City Park is the center of all the action with the Cyclebration Festival and cycling expo running all day long, as the mountain bike races, as well as the Family Scavenger Hunt going on all around the expo. There will be several bicycling vendors offering products new and old and there will also be a food and beer garden. The scavenger hunt is an event for the entire family. Each team or individual will be given a map and a list of clues which will lead them to various locations along Lake Natoma and Historic Folsom. The hunt is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with families checking in at the REI booth at the festival at Folsom Lions City Park. On Saturday there is also the Gold Rush Half-metric (32 miles), the Gold Rush Metric (63 miles) and the Gold Rush Century (100 miles) rides. Visit the back roads of the Western foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, while enjoying the unique beautiful and challenging rides of the Sierras. The rides start at the Folsom Community Center starting between 7 and 8:30 a.m. For more information on weekend events, visit folsomcyclebration.com.