West Hills Cycling Event Set for March 21

The second annual West Hills Metric Century cycling event is coming to Coalinga again on March 21. The event will cover 61 miles or nearly 100 kilometers and will attract bicycle enthusiasts from Fresno and Kings counties.

“Now that this has become an annual event I want to see it grow as a fundraiser for scholarships and other student needs at the college,” said Carole Goldsmith, West Hills College Coalinga president. An avid cyclist, she will again participate this year.

There is a shorter ride as well as a “fun” ride, and riders start and return at the West Hills College Coalinga campus, where they’ll have lunch in the campus café. All proceeds from the event will benefit student programs at WHCC. The college is co-sponsoring the event with the Fresno Cycling Club.

Al Graves, WHCC instructor and an active member of the cycling club, is coordinating the event in Coalinga. The route will take riders up Los Gatos Creek Park Road, past the oil derricks and fields and through winding hilly terrain to the San Benito County line and back.

The “fun” ride will traverse the flat lands just north and west of the community of Coalinga, passing farm lands, oil fields, and the West Hills College Coalinga Farm of the Future with its new rodeo arena and stock facility. Riders in the mini-metric will venture an additional 13 miles up Los Gatos Creek Canyon to the County Park and back. Metric century riders will continue for 8 miles beyond the park and back.

“The last couple of miles of the ride before reaching the county line will offer some tough 8 to12 percent grades,” said committee member Tom Kulikov.

This year members of student government—led by new cycling enthusiast and Associated Student Body President Ashlee Rocha—will conduct a companion “walk/run” event for students without bicycles or helmets.

WHCC will provide a secure “valet” bike service, three rest stops, and an after-ride meal which will feature tri-tip beef, chicken and a full salad bar served cafeteria-style. In addition, special gift bags will be given to the first 100 metric and mini-metric participants to register online. Approximately 20 additional prizes ranging from $20-$250 in value, including a dinner and overnight stay for two at Harris Ranch Inn and Restaurant, will be awarded as prizes in a drawing.

Online registration is now available and will continue until March 20. To register online, follow the link posted on the Fresno Cycling Club website at www.fresnocycling.com or go to http://www.westhillscollege.com/metriccentury/

Riders can also sign in at the event on March 21, from 8am to 10am, on the west side of the campus on Highway 198/33 on Elm Street.  To facilitate those commuting from far away, the century ride will start at 9:00am, the mini-metric will begin at 9:30am, and the “fun ride” will start promptly at 10am. All riders must be on the road by 10am.

Full SAG support will be available until 3 p.m. while rest stops will be available until 2pm Lunch in the college café and patio will be available from 11:30am to 3pm, or later if required. Additional lunches for non-riders can be purchased for $12 each.

Fees to register for the event are: $45 for the 61-mile Metric Century ride; $35 for the 40-mile Mini-Metric ride; and $15 for the 17-mile Fun ride. Children accompanied by parents can participate in the 17-mile Fun ride only for a fee of $12

West Hills College Coalinga is located at 300 Cherry Lane in Coalinga, California. For further information, contact Al Graves by phone at (559) 934-2789 or (559) 284-0787 or email him at [email protected] or  [email protected].

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