SPORTS, Stories

Cyclists to Zoom Through Barrio Logan

April 23, 2018

By Mario A. Cortez

(Photo/ Kawika Photography)
Courtesy of San Diego Bicycle Club)

The San Diego Bicycle Club is getting ready to celebrate the 22nd edition of the Barrio Logan Grand Prix this Saturday, April 28.

The annual race has been held since 1996 and has become one of Southern California’s premier cycling competitions for riders across many skill levels and age groups.

“We have a lot of racers come from Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, and even Mexico,” said Mike McLaughlin, president of the San Diego Bicycle Club.

The 0.8-mile course is a staggered figure 8 shape and features wide turns which call for a balance between speed and control. The course runs through the west end of Barrio Logan, with riders zooming through sections of National Avenue, Newton Avenue, and Main Street, all of which will be closed to traffic around the course perimeter.

The race is sanctioned by USA Cycling and is part of its competition calendar. Finishers in top positions receive points which go into USA Cycling’s seasonal standings. Judges from both USA Cycling and the Southern California and Nevada Cycling Association observe the races and verify both the standings and times for the current season’s records.

The Grand Prix is also the state championship for the juniors division, which according to McLaughlin brings some of the top youth competitors in California to the race.

McLaughlin says that this year about 400 to 500 participants are expected to race across all age and gender categories.

The Barrio Logan Grand Prix isn’t just about competition, as there are also activities for the whole family and neighborhood residents.

“We also do a fun race for kids who show up with their bikes, there is a helmet giveaway and a bike safety rodeo,” said McLaughlin. “This year, we also added a fitness walk which takes place on the course and we allow for participants to walk two laps around the race course.”

For several years now, the Barrio Logan Grand Prix has also given back to the community through a partnership with the Logan Heights Family Health Center, as the club donates half of the event’s proceeds after expenses to the medical nonprofit.

As part of the partnership, the Logan Heights Family Health Center will be offering health screenings, free immunizations for children, and pregnancy testing for women to people during the event.

Race registration is still open on USA Cycling’s website.

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