The Arthritis Foundation is proud to host signature events across the country such as the Walk to Cure Arthritis and Jingle Bell Run. However, if walking or running isn’t in your repertoire, we also host four different Arthritis Bike Classic events – all of them currently held on the west coast in Oregon and California – though riders have come from near and far to take part in these wonderful events.
In an article about cycling, the Arthritis Foundation YES tool says, “Cycling offers efficient, low-impact exercise for millions of Americans. It is a good cardiovascular exercise that strengthens leg muscles as well as the stabilizing muscles of the core. The repetitive knee motion, without constant impact, is especially good for arthritic knees because it encourages the production and flushing of fluids through the joint, lubricating it and washing away waste products.”
Two of the cycling events, the Arthritis Bike Classic Marin, presented by Abbvie, and the Arthritis Bike Classic Pescadero, presented by Amgen, are one-day rides based out of northern California. These one-day rides feature multiple route options for those that choose to ride 16 miles or as many as 102! The Arthritis Bike Classic Marin will take place on July 15, 2017 and the Arthritis Bike Classic Pescadero is on October 8, 2017 – registration for both rides are now open and offering early bird discounts for early registrants.
The other two cycling events are multi-day bike tours that require a registration fee and a fundraising minimum. Multi-day bike events are fully supported tours – not races – for beginner or experienced riders. They each offer the opportunity to camp along the way in spots exclusive to the tour, catered meals, happy hours, honoree presentations, mechanical support and the opportunity to meet new friends along the way.
Currently in its 17th year, the California Coast Classic Bike Tour, presented by Amgen, is an 8-day ride down the coast of beautiful California and was named by Outside Magazine as one of the Best Road Biking Trip in 2015. The tour starts in the heart of San Francisco and ends in the iconic Pacific Palisades of Los Angeles overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The “CCC”, as it is affectionately known, is a full-service ride that provides the framework for one of the most incredible experiences of a lifetime.
The CCC welcomes beginners to experienced cyclists to enjoy the coastline’s famous wineries, lighthouses and beaches. The tour has had riders use road bikes, recumbent cycles, elliptical bikes, tandem bikes and even a unicycle on tour! Recently a few riders have also opted for new “pedelec” e-bikes, which improve the cycling experience by increasing the rider’s endurance and by providing power to climb hills more easily. The CCC raised over $1 million dollars last year for the Arthritis Foundation and continues to sell out year after year.
Israel Fregoso, a veteran CCC rider says, “I can talk for hours about every aspect of the CCC: riding along the California coastline, challenging climbs which leave you with just enough breath to be taken later by the views, crazy fun and fast downhills! But the people, they are what make this ride truly and absolutely the experience of a lifetime – by the end of 8 days you become lifelong friends. And if all that is not enough, you are riding for a cause much bigger than yourself, the opportunity to support the fight against arthritis.”
Last but not least, the Arthritis Bike Classic Oregon, presented by Amgen, takes place between September 16 -22, 2017. Oregon’s new route will follow mostly along the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway, which is the first official Scenic Bikeway in the United States. The mighty Willamette River will be their guide as they go from Eugene, Oregon to Champoeg State Park. Riders will make their way through wine country, quiet country roads, historic towns, farm and agricultural lands, the foothills of the coastal range and along northwestern Oregon’s waterways. Also new this year is the opportunity to do a 3-day option or the full 6-day tour, with different fundraising minimum levels for each.
Arthritis is a life-altering disease that stops one in four adults from doing what they love and keeps 300,000 kids from just being kids. You can be the difference they need by pedaling for a purpose. Regardless which bike event you choose, you’ll have the time of your life with other riders who are cycling for the same reason: raising crucial funds to support research for a cure and life-changing resources for those who suffer from arthritis in communities nationwide.