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Amgen bike tour to pedal through area

There will be plenty of places to watch cycling’s best ride through town
By: Don Chaddock Telegraph Managing Editor
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As one of the world’s top cycling competitions rolls through Folsom, there are plenty of prime viewing spots. Stage 3 of the Amgen Tour of California starts in Auburn and will come down Folsom Auburn Road, turning onto Greenback Lane and crossing Sutter Street. Robert Goss, the city’s parks and recreation director, said the best place to view the cyclists on Tuesday, May 17, will be the viewing party at Riley and Sutter streets. “If you’re a Telegraph reader or resident, anywhere you feel comfortable watching the race to find a place on the side of the road, and are safe, you can watch,” he said. “I don’t want people thinking they can parallel park along the course. That’s not a good idea. Some of the better places will be the viewing party at Sutter and Riley. Anywhere from Folsom Auburn Road and Riley where they make the turn over the Rainbow Bridge, up to Natoma Street is good.” Goss said there are plenty of viewing options along the course. “Parking at Lembi Park is a great place to watch them come by. There is plenty of parking ” Goss said. “If you live in Prairie Oaks, there is a bike trail through a natural park that comes into Blue Ravine. I think it will have sparse spectators there. You should be able to see a lot and it’s comfortable.” The viewing party begins at 9:30 a.m. with riders expected through just before 11 a.m. The Folsom Spring Point Party, as the viewing event has been dubbed, features a vendor fair, disc jockey, music and a raffle for a chance to win the Folsom Prison Breakaway Custom Cruiser, donated by Bicycles Plus. Other prizes include items from REI, Hacienda Del Rio restaurant, Folsom Pro Rodeo, Folsom Aquatic Center, Folsom Zoo Sanctuary and more. Raffle tickets are $1 each or 25 for $20. Proceeds from the raffle benefit the Sierra Nevada High School Cycling organization, which supports student cycling teams from Vista del Lago High School, Folsom High School and Sutter Middle School. Goss said raffle tickets could be purchased at the event or at Bicycles Plus and Karen’s Bakery before the party. For those seeking to try competitive cycling, the city is offering the first Intermediate Sprint Point at Sutter and Riley. Riders will be competing for a cash prize at the location, according to Goss. Bicycles Plus will have a section on Sutter Street in front of Chicago Fire. “We’ll have our own area,” said Bicycles Plus sales manager Armando Enriquez. “We’ll have pop-up tents (and) we’re making a big deal out of this.” He expects the race will spark interest in those curious about cycling. “I think it’s the 15 minutes of glory. By the time the first rider rolls in until the last rider rolls out lasts about 15 minutes,” he said. “I think it will give people who aren’t familiar with cycling a really good taste of what it’s all about. It’ll be really good exposure for us.” The shop is helping the city seek volunteers for the race. “We have 105 volunteers so far,” said Goss on Friday. “We needed 70 and we certainly surpassed that.” The city is still seeking volunteers. To sign up, go to http://folsomparksrec.wufoo.com/forms/m7x3w7/. What about road closures? There will be rolling road closures in front of the racers as they pass through Folsom. “The caravan, as they call it, is 144 cyclists and 125 of various sorts from team cars to the medics to CHP to race officials, referees and sponsors,” Goss said. “You’re looking at close to 300 vehicles involved in this total caravan.” He said traffic impacts would be minimal. “It will take them only about 15 minutes or so to completely pass through Folsom. Imagine that these are the best of the best of cycling, riding at 30 mph, they can get through pretty quickly,” he said. For those seeking to get up to Auburn from Folsom, an alternate route is recommended, at least prior to the racers’ arrival. “We have a transitional closure before the caravan gets here. We’ll start controlling and guiding traffic at about 10 a.m. and we will start limiting traffic that will go toward Auburn toward the racers,” he said. “For a long time we’ll be able to cross the course or travel on the course away from the racers. That’s not a problem.” Folsom Police Department will close the road in front of the racers. “We get lots of help,” Goss said. “CHP is the primary course traffic monitors, if you will.” Some areas were of special concern. “We identified around 30 sensitive sites around the course and we made contact with these places like the high school, middle school (and) Intel,” Goss said. “We also contacted the mortuaries so we wouldn’t have a conflict with any funeral processions. We have a couple of neighborhoods that are kind of landlocked (along the course), so we’ll be mailing them.” Goss said the race is attracting national as well as international attention. “This is becoming one of the biggest races in the world,” Goss said. “There are the European grand tours, they are certainly in the top three. But the Tour of California is really growing every year.” * * * KNOW AND GO What: Folsom Sprint Point Party When: 9:30-11 a.m., May 17 Where: Sutter and Riley streets, Folsom Information: (916) 355-7285