by Vanessa McCracken
Sunnyside Bicycles discount at the end of this post.
Ride the blossoms and soak up some of the prettiest scenery the Central Valley has to offer at the upcoming 28th Annual Reedley Lions Club Blossom Bike Ride on Saturday, March 4!
A must-do ride for all ability and experience levels, the Blossom Ride is a great way to celebrate living in the Central Valley. Pedaling past the endless rows of blossoms against the backdrop of the beautiful green foothills, you can’t help but appreciate just how pretty the Valley can be.
If you’ve only ever driven past the blossoms, you are truly missing out. Being out on your bike and seeing and smelling the blossoms up close is a different and remarkable experience. The sheer volume and diversity of the blossoms in and around Reedley is astonishing and makes for an extraordinarily beautiful ride. Plus it’s a fundraiser for the Reedley Lions Club, which is an incredible organization committed to its community, so it’s a win-win.So let’s talk more about the ride itself. You can register for one of four options: a 60-mile hilly ride; a 40-mile kind-of-hilly-but-mostly-flat ride; a 20-mile flat ride; or a 10-mile family fun ride. If you’ve been riding all winter and love a challenge, you’ll love the 60-mile route that takes you up Elwood Road through Wonder Valley. If, like me, you had every intention of riding all winter but somehow didn’t, then by all means, that 40-mile route is for us. The 40-mile route combines some of my favorite rides in one, and we’ll be treated to beautiful blossoms as well as all the beauty the Kings River and Tivy Valley offer. If you’re just dipping your toes in the cycling thing, have been doing spin classes, and want to treat yourself to fresh air and gorgeous views, or are warming up for the 35-mile California Classic Ride, the Freeway ride, then the 20-mile route would be perfect for you. And for anyone wanting to make this a family tradition, how stoked are you that the Lions Club brought back the family friendly 10-mile fun route again this year? With these four route options, anyone can get out and bike the blossoms. What a perfect way to usher in spring!
Now that you’ve decided to do the ride (You have decided, right? Register here!), let’s go over what to expect that day. On the morning of the ride, you’ll be given a route map to keep you on course during the ride. In addition to the maps, volunteers will have gone through and marked where to turn along the course so you can stay on track along the way. (If you prefer to upload the routes directly into your computer, you can get the routes here.) There will be rest stops with food and water along the course, and there will be SAG drivers along the way to assist with any problems that may arise. A ride like this can’t happen without the help of all the volunteers, so please be sure to thank all them as you come across them!
Even though there will be SAG drivers out there to assist with problems, there are still a few things you’ll need to carry with you on your ride. First and foremost, make sure you have a good helmet that fits correctly. If you can’t remember when you bought your helmet, or you aren’t sure how to adjust it to properly protect your head, please stop by the shop and we’ll be happy to help show you how. You’ll also want to carry a couple spare tubes, an inflator of some sort, and a couple tire levers in case you get a flat on the ride. Even if you don’t know how to fix a flat, chances are someone else on the ride will be able to stop and help you if you have the right supplies. (If you don’t know how to fix your flat, come to our Flat Repair Demo February 11 or register for one of our hands-on flat clinics.) Of course, you’ll want to have some water and food on you for the ride; the rest stops are fantastic, but it’s good to have your own in case you need it between stops. I recommend riding with a headlight and taillight even in the daytime—the more visible you are out there, the better—and I also suggest sticking a photocopy of your ID and health insurance card in your seat bag in case of emergency.
If this is your first time riding in a big group like this, I highly recommend attending my Smart Cycling Basics chat on February 12. Riding in a group is a little different than riding by yourself, and I’ll go over what to expect on a big ride like this and some basic group riding etiquette, in addition to some rules of the road that you’ll want to know since, you know, you’ll be riding on the road. The clinic is totally free, and just my way to help people feel more comfortable and empowered on their bikes. I hope you’ll join me!
After you do this ride and see how much fun it is, the next can’t-miss ride on the calendar is the California Classic ride, where you can ride on the freeway! Seriously, how lucky are we to live and ride where we can go from biking the blossoms to biking the freeway in one month? We love the Central Valley!
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6105 E. Kings Canyon Road #104
Fresno, CA 93727
(559) 255-7433 (RIDE)
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