Tour De Palm Springs brings hundreds of thousands of people, both cyclists and spectators to the valley each year.
The event started in 1998, and in the last 25 years, it has distributed nearly four million dollars to over 150 local nonprofit organizations.
This year cyclists from 46 different states headed to Palm Springs for this once a year experience.
“They’re gonna be riding anywhere from seven miles all the way up to 100 miles. I don’t know what the last count was… I think we’re somewhere between five and 6000 riders this year, which is great. We’re just about to send off our walkers. I think about 500 of them will be taken off. says Tim Esser, the founder of the event.
He says it’s come a long way from when it first started.
“It’s a feeling like no other. We had eight volunteers when we started, now we have 2500 volunteers. We raised money for 20 charities back in 1998… and now we’re about 150 charities. A total of $20,000 was raised on the very first event, now since then we’ve given away well over $4 million.”
The event would not be possible without all the volunteers donating their time for this special cause.
“It’s a great cycle. We enjoy everybody that’s part of this event.” Esser says.
The race is open to all different levels of experienced cyclists, some riding this course for the first time, and others… veteran riders.
The environment is just an added bonus, “This is the place to be. I love the desert. The desert is great. You come out here this time of the year the weather’s really nice. The people are nice, the food is good. It’s just nice to get a little break.” says Erik Sjogren, a cyclist from Carlsbad.
As one of the largest non-timed rides in the United States, people love to participate in the event, year after year.
“It’s really an amazing event man. So many cyclists. It takes tremendous courage to do what they do.” Pooh Richardson, the honorary guest says.
The event continues on tomorrow as well, so make sure to keep an eye out for all cyclists around the valley.