August 15, 2003

Largest Fun Ride on West Coast Expected to Draw 8,000

More than 8,000 riders are expected to take part in the 21st Annual Fall Rosarito-Ensenada 50-Mile Fun Bicycle Ride. Registration is now open for the ride, which has been a West Coast tradition for 23 years. Cyclists will gather in front of the historic Rosarito Beach Hotel 10 a.m. to start the beautiful ride that runs along the Baja California coast and inland through rural countryside from Rosarito Beach to the city of Ensenada.

The Rosarito Ensenada Bike Ride is one of the largest and longest-running cycling events in the world, and nearly one-half million people of all ages and abilities have completed the course. Last April’s youngest rider was just 6 years old, and the oldest was 84. Next month’s ride again includes a charity program allowing riders to donate their bikes to needy children through Desarrollo Integral de la Familia (DIF), a non-profit social service agency that assists low-income families in Mexico with a variety of services.

The event course is 50 miles of paved highway on the old Free Road from Rosarito Beach south to the City of Ensenada. Avid cyclists will finish in two hours, but the average time to complete the ride is about 4½ hours. There will be three aid stations along the course, offering bottled water, medical support and bike repair.

The ride begins in front of the historic Rosarito Beach Hotel at 10 a.m. The first 22 miles of the ride cruise along the ocean, through charming beach towns and undeveloped coastline. This first part of the course is mostly flat with some rolling hills. The course then turns inland, heading east for two miles through a wide river valley to the base of El Tigre. “The Hill’ is a mesa that towers 800 feet above the valley floor. The climb is two miles long and a 7.5 percent grade. Following the climb, the ride goes through eight miles of rural countryside with rolling hills and long flat stretches.

The Finish Line Fiesta, located on Ensenada’s waterfront near the cruise ship terminal, is a party for riders and spectators alike. Tired cyclists can start the celebration with a relaxing massage, then enjoy south-of-the-border cuisine from one of Ensenada’s finest restaurants. Live music will begin at noon and continue until the sun sets at Manzana Ocho, Ensenada’s city fair grounds on Boulevard Costero.

For more detailed information on the Rosarito Ensenada 50-Mile Fun Bicycle Ride, including a map of the course, details on parking, transportation, bike repair, and aid stations, or to register for the race, please visit www.RosaritoEnsenada.com.

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