Wheels were definitely rolling along South Valley roads and trails last Saturday as the third-annual Freedom Fest Bike Classic brought more than 200 participants to take rides ranging from six miles for families to a 100-kilometer road tour for advanced riders.
“It exceeded our expectations as far as the enthusiastic feedback that we got from our riders,” said Stephanie Short, chair of this year’s Bike Classic. “We were extremely pleased that everyone had such a fabulous experience from our event. A lot of people said they’d be back next year.”
The Bike Classic was founded three years ago as a fundraising event for Morgan Hill’s Freedom Fest events including the Independence Day parade, July 3 family music fest, children’s patriotic sing, and July 4 firework show in Morgan Hill. This year, organizers added a 100-kilometer ride that started at the southern end of the Coyote Creek Trail and wound through the South Valley along the eastern foothills all the way to San Ysidro Avenue in Gilroy. The trail then continued across Day Road, down Redwood Retreat Road and through several miles of Uvas Canyon.
Many riders commented on the region’s scenic beauty along the 100K and the challenge of the Bridle Path Drive hill overlooking the South Valley, Short said.
One of the most scenic parts is Redwood Retreat Road where riders experienced the highest climb. Spread out over four miles at an easy grade, this road is a relatively easy ride through the redwood trees of Mt. Madonna. “They loved the route, so we’re going to use the same 100K route next year,” Short said. “This year’s event went so well, I would expect word of mouth to double our numbers next year.”
Morgan Hill resident Roger Winters took a 30-mile loop ride along the Coyote Creek Trail, a county park system trail, all the way to Hellyer County Park in San Jose and back. “It’s a good safe place for kids to go on,” he said. “You get a T-shirt and you support a good program, the Freedom Fest events.”
Sponsors for this year’s Bike Classic include Concept Cyclery, Shift Mobile Bicycle Mechanic, Sunshine Bicycles, Mama Mia’s Italian Restaurant, Olympic Recognition Products, Pearl iZumi, Massage Envy Spa, Performance Bicycles, Clif Bar, Specialized Bicycles, and Sports Basement.