Tour de Menlo, the annual Mid-Peninsula bicycle ride that will be held August 20 this year, is adding a series of training rides that will give participants an opportunity to get in shape and ride with Tour de France veteran Fast Freddie Rodriguez and other notable elite riders.
The free training rides, which all start at Tour-sponsor Whole Foods Markets, will be held in Los Altos, June 4; Redwood City, July 9; Palo Alto, July 23; and San Mateo, August 6. Riders can register at Whole Foods, although it is not required.
The leaders of these rides include:
- Olympian and Pan Am Games gold medalist Eric Wohlberg and U.S. and world champion James Mattis lead the Los Altos ride on June 4. The Bicycle Outfitter will offer free bike checks.
- Seven-time Tour de France rider and stage winner of Giro d’Italia and four-time U.S. champion Fast Freddie Rodriguez will lead the Redwood City ride on July 9, joined by Chain Reaction Bicycles. After the ride riders can watch coverage of this year’s Tour de France with Freddie at the Whole Foods Snack Bar.
- Two-time Olympian and multiple U.S. Champion Dr. Christine Thorburn will lead the Palo Alto ride July 23 joined by Palo Alto Bicycles.
- Bernard van Elden, former Jelly Belly pro rider, will lead the San Mateo ride on Aug. 6 joined by Summit Bicycles.
In addition to offering space for the start and finish of the training rides, Whole Foods Markets will provide a free box lunch to the first 25 riders to sign up for the training rides. Also, riders who sign up for the Tour de Menlo at a training ride will receive a free T-shirt.
Fast Freddie and some of the other riders will also appear at the finish of the Tour de Menlo at Menlo Atherton High School. Along with a barbeque lunch provided by Lutticken’s Deli for all riders, the finish will also offer massage therapists, live jazz from Rich Ciardella’s trio, and a silent auction with hotel stays and fine dining out among the opportunities.
All proceeds from the Tour de Menlo, which is co-sponsored by the Rotary Club of Menlo Park Foundation and the Almanac newspaper’s Holiday Fund, go to need-based scholarships and local nonprofit agencies like the Boys and Girls Club and St. Anthony’s Dining Room, which serves hundreds of free meals to those in need in the Menlo Park–Redwood City area.
The Tour de Menlo offers three routes, with the 65-mile ride up to Belmont and down to Los Altos and Cupertino the most popular. But the shorter 45- and 35-mile routes are also popular and include some great scenery in Woodside and Portola Valley. Start time is 7:00 am for the 65-mile and 8:00 am for the 45- and 35-mile routes.
Photo from 2011 Tour de Menlo by Linda Hubbard (c) 2011