Cyclebration wheels its way into Folsom

By: Matt Long, The Telegraph
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From serious cyclists to recreational riders and spectators, this year’s Cyclebration is touted to offer something for everyone. Last year’s inaugural event was deemed a huge success and organizers feel this year’s rendition will be even better. “This is an event that people can participate in,” said Robert Goss, the city’s parks and recreation director. “If you’ve got a bike and know how to ride it, we’ve got something for you to do.” There are many opportunities for competitors to show what they’ve got, whether they’re riding a mountain bike or a road bike. One of the big events on Friday is the Fam Jam at Cummings Family Park. Starting at 3 p.m. and running until 11 p.m., professional, amateur and recreational riders alike will be jumping off mounds of dirt doing all sorts of tricks on their mountain bikes. Last year this event was one of the most popular of entire weekend, as it’s truly an event that the whole family can enjoy, according to Goss. “This was a surprise success last year with 800 to 1,000 spectators stopping by to watch,” Goss said. Other mountain bike events include the Lake Natoma Mountain Bike Time Trial from Nimbus Flats to Gold Lakes Drive on Friday and the Mammoth Bar Downhill Race in Auburn , the Folsom Lake Cross Country Mountain Bike Race and the Cyclocross at Negro Bar on Saturday and the Willow Hills Short Track Race on Sunday. For road bike enthusiasts, the Folsom South Canal Time Trial is slated for Friday and the Folsom Challenge Criterium is Saturday. The Two Bridges Circuit Race, which follows a 1.3-mile course through historic downtown and over Lake Natoma Crossing and Rainbow Bridge, is the highlight of Sunday’s events. “At 1 o’clock on Sunday, the public can ride the Two Bridges Circuit Race course for a half hour during a break in the races,” Goss said. “It’s an unique and worthwhile opportunity to ride across the two bridges when it’s quiet and safe with no traffic.” For those who enjoy taking long bike rides, the Gold Rush Metric Century and Half-Metric Century will also be held Saturday. “These are endurance rides that take you through the foothills to Coloma,” Goss said. “It’s a beautiful ride, challenging, but doable. The good thing is it’s uphill on the way when your fresh and it’s mostly downhill on the way back when your tired.” Saturday’s big event is the Cyclebration Festival/Expo at Negro Bar, which will be a great place to go and enjoy the company of your family and friends. The cyclocross event will be held there, beginning at 11 a.m. and going through 5 p.m. A good place to watch the races is on the beach where you can see the competitors ride in the sand and conquer some obstacles. “There will be a festival there with about 65 vendors, music and more,” Goss said. “The Folsom Trails Family Treasure Hunt starts there and so does the Lake Natoma Cruiser Ride. The treasure hunt was a lot of fun last year and the cruiser ride around Lake Natoma is a 12-mile ride, which is very well supported with refreshment stops.” Folsom resident Lori Scheel, her husband, Jeff, and their kids Ryan and Kevin are looking forward to Cyclebration. “It’s a fantastic event to draw people into Folsom and show them what we have to offer,” Scheel said. “I’d love it to become the event that defines the city.” Tom Morrical of El Dorado Hills said he and his daughter plan to attend some of the events. “I plan on doing the mountain bike time trial and the Folsom Lake Cross Country Mountain Bike Race,” Morrical said. “Other than that we’ll go walk around and check it all. It sounds like a lot of fun.”