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Cyclists hit the streets and dirt in SLO

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Although San Luis Obispo missed out on the 2010 Tour de California, local bicycling enthusiasts can still get their kicks in the coming days. Two significant races, the SLO GranFondo and the SLO Cyclocross, are scheduled to provide local cyclists with opportunities to ride with pros or compete for medallions forged by members of the Tall Bike Posse.

“It’s exciting to see such excellent events take place in this county, and I hope they go down without a hitch,” said Dan Rivoire, executive director of the SLO County Bicycle Coalition.

The Tall Bike Posse, a local group of art-inclined bicycle enthusiasts, took it upon themselves to create medals for the Cyclocross. The 52 medallions are made of old bike parts, including tubes and chain links.

The GranFondo—which begins on Oct. 23—is a reincarnation of the popular “Pedal to the Pier” ride for charity and gives riders of all skill levels a chance to ride with the local HTC-Columbia race team, including former U.S. time-trial champion Evelyn Stevens. The ride consists of three routes: the Piccolo, Medio, and GranFondo (25, 50, and 100 miles, respectively).

Registration for the GranFondo is $125. All proceeds from the event go to “Alpha,” a local nonprofit organization that provides services to new families throughout the county.

On Oct. 24, the SLO Cyclocross will take place at El Chorro Park. This intense mountain bike race takes place on a mixture of pavement and dirt and showcases a variety of obstacles, including sand pits and spirals for riders to smash their knobby tires through.

Registration for the Cyclocross begins at 7 a.m. and closes 20 minutes before the start of each race. The SLO County Bicycle Coalition with be providing $5 beers as well as a pancake breakfast. Proceeds will go to the Bicycle Coalition and the SLO County Parks Junior Lifeguard Program.

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