The new racing season kicks into full swing as the all-volunteer Redlands Bicycle Classic Committee (RBC Org Committee) is plotting and planning another epic edition of the opening event of the 2012 USA Cycling National Racing Calendar cycling series. The event will be held March 22nd-25th, one week earlier than last year’s event, and will kick off the cycling season under the warm SoCal sun for four stages of fast and furious bicycle racing as teams look to establish early supremacy in the domestic racing scene.
The 2012 edition of the Redlands Bicycle Classic continues its winning partnership with presenting sponsor Loma Linda University’s PossAbilities program. Both organizations are excited for an amazing fifth year of running hand-cycle racing as an integral part of the race.
“People love to see elite athletes perform whether they are on a regular bicycle or a hand-cycle,” says Cotie Williams, Program Coordinator for Loma Linda University PossAbilities. “It is encouraging to see opportunities for hand-cyclists in competitive events increasing throughout the United States, which is a trend that has started with PossAbilities and the RBC. Each year we have more and more challenged athletes participate in the hand-cycle portion of the race and spectators love to cheer them on. This trend excites us!”
Back again to coordinate all race efforts as Race Director is Eric Reiser, accompanied by former Race Director and current Race President, Dan Rendler, the two make up the hub of the RBC Org. Committee. Both Reiser and Rendler bring intimate race knowledge built over years of volunteer support of the RBC as well as a passion for the event that has seen them rise from entry level volunteers to leaders of the RBC Executive Committee.
“Eric and I are excited to be leading a great group of committed volunteers that really pull together to make this important community event a big success,” says Rendler. “Although we always encourage and could use more volunteers, we feel fortunate to have so many people in the Redlands and Beaumont areas and surrounding communities that support this event, it makes our positions incredibly rewarding.”
As one of the oldest and longest running stage races in the United States, the Redlands Bicycle Classic has a nearly thirty year history that started as a way to draw tourism to the quiet town situated at the base of the San Bernardino mountain range. Interestingly, the most famous stage race in the world, the Tour de France, got its start for the same reason, and the symbiosis of the two events doesn’t stop there, one needs to look no further than the Redlands Bicycle Classic initiative, “Where Legends Are Born” to see further connections to the Tour de France. In the 1998 edition of the Redlands Bicycle Classic it was non-other than future Tour de France podium finisher and winner, Cadel Evans, who was fighting for the top spot of the podium in the overall General Classification, he ultimately finished second place to Jonathon Vaughters, another legend of the sport that has history with the Redlands Classic.
With exciting and decisive courses being laid out both on the roads of Redlands and the city of Beaumont the 2012 edition of the Redlands Bicycle Classic is sure to be a nail bitter all the way to the finish and live up to all the history that has made this event legendary. Save the date and make your travel arrangements early because just as the holidays pack many surprises, the Redlands Bicycle Classic Organizing Committee is sure to do the same and bring new and challenging routes and race features that will be sure to start out this years’ NRC schedule with a bang!
The Redlands Bicycle Classic is an all-volunteer organization, managed by the Redlands Bicycle Classic Organizing Committee, comprised of active community members that seek to see the promotion of cycling and its benefits in Redlands and its surrounding communities. The 28th Annual Redlands Bicycle Classic is scheduled for March 22nd – 25th. The event was founded in 1985 by a community group, chaired by then-Mayor Carole Beswick, to promote awareness of Downtown Redlands. Since that time, professional cyclists from around the world have been racing the event, which is centered in the city of Redlands, California. The event continues today invigorated by the RBC Organizing Committee’s adoption of, and commitment to, the events’ core virtues of Health, Diversity, and the Environment. The Redlands Bicycle Classic is on the USA Cycling (USAC) National Racing Calendar (NRC) of events and is the opening round of the ten race series.
PossAbilities is a community outreach program developed by the Loma Linda University Medical Center East Campus (LLUMCEC). Its goal is to offer disabled individuals who were born with or have suffered a permanent physical injury a sense of community and provide activities and practical help to integrate them back into life-once again becoming valuable members of our communities. LLUMCEC recognizes that this disenfranchised population is often left without resources or support to deal with the many adjustments they must make physically, mentally, and emotionally in order to have fulfilling lives. Our mission is to provide new direction and hope through physical, social, educational, and spiritual interaction with peers and their community. This free membership program is tailored to persons with physical disabilities such as limb amputation, stroke, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, and others. For more information visit: www.teampossAbilities.com.