Cycle Celebration honors Tahoe bicycle champions |

Cycle Celebration honors Tahoe bicycle champions

Jack Barnwell
Nate Toutolmin balances his bike in attempt to be the slowest bicycle rider during a round of "turtle racing" at the Cycle Celebration held at Heavenly Village on Saturday.
Jack Barnwell / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

People pedaled to a good cause Saturday at the Cycle Celebration at Heavenly Village as the Tahoe Bike Challenge wrapped up.

Vendors set up a bicycle valet, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) broke out its various displays of bicycle projects and priorities in the Basin, and a small bicycle parade ensued around 2 p.m. Adults and children engaged in a turtle race to determine who the slow and steady bicycle rider was, while others engaged in a tire tube changing contest.

Hundreds of participants took to the bicycle challenge from June 1 to June 14 as a way to promote alternative transportation and have a little healthy competition. A total of 2,706 trips over 17,229 miles were split among 315 riders.

For the individual most miles, Edward Apodaca had 474 miles in one trip, while Linda Bellotti had the most trips at 20 rides and 61.35 miles. Tim Grimes claimed the most elevation at 36,929 feet.

On the team side, Lake Tahoe Unified School District students and staff took the lead with 2,088.5 miles over 154 trips, Tahoe Mountain Lab had the most team trips at 296 rides over 801.5 miles. Trips per employee went to Lumos at 122 trips total between four employees.

Chris Carney, member of the Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition, called Tahoe Bicycle Challenge a good way to get engaged in bicycling.

“Basically we get people to replace their car trips with bicycle trips,” Carney said. “The friendly competition is just something they are looking forward to.”

The Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition honored two groups for their efforts in making the Tahoe Basin a more bike-friendly place. The town of Truckee was recognized for the city’s passage of Measure R, a quarter-percent sales tax increase that passed by 78 percent. All revenue generated by the sales tax pays for the creation and maintenance of bicycle trails. The tax measure is expected to generate $10 million over its 10-year lifespan.

Karen and Peter Fink were also recognized for their efforts as “all around good biking people.” Peter Fink has served on the South Lake Tahoe Measure R committee, is a member of Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association, heads the Bijou Elementary School’s BMX Club and sits on the city of South Lake Tahoe’s parks and recreation commission. Karen Fink, a TRPA employee, rides her bicycle to work nearly every day and is a founding member of the Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition.

Peter Fink called it a pivotal and exciting time for the Tahoe Basin’s bicycle scene, including South Lake Tahoe’s incoming Bijou bicycle park, the California Tahoe Conservancy’s Greenway bicycle trail and numerous others.

“There is a lot of things happening in the Tahoe Basin,” Fink said. “I think it is the right direction for the community.”

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