Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014
More Publicity, Participants Expected For September 13 Event
Perimeter Takes over Viva Bike Vegas
By Javier Morales
LAS VEGAS – The Perimeter Bicycling Association of America, Inc., has put the “Viva” back in the Viva Bike Vegas ride this September.
Knowing how important the ride is to Las Vegas and the development of cycling in the region, Perimeter Bicycling and El Tour de Tucson will produce and coordinate the Viva Bike Vegas. Perimeter Bicycling has developed collaborative partnerships with the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC), city of Henderson, city of Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) to help support and promote the ride.
The ride is set for Sept. 13 with 100-mile, 50-mile and 25-mile rides around the perimeter of Las Vegas. The century will start and end at Discovery Children’s Museum. The 50- and 25-mile events will start along the 100-mile course and will end at the Discovery Children’s Museum. Start locations for these events are presently being planned and will be announced at a later date on the Perimeter Website perimeterbicycling.com
The event includes fun rides of a quarter-mile, five miles and 10 miles – all starting and ending at Discovery Children’s Museum.
Easter Seals Nevada, Discovery Children’s Museum and Safe Nest (Nevada’s oldest, largest and most comprehensive domestic violence services agency) are three of the primary beneficiaries. In addition, League of American Bicyclists (LAB) will receive a $1 contribution from each of the cyclists’ fees. More than likely, other beneficiaries (those receiving funds from Viva) will be announced at a later date.
The ride occurs the same week of the annual Interbike, the largest bicycle trade show in North America that attracts more than 100,000 cyclists. Viva Bike Vegas will hold a one-day bicycle expo and packet pick-up on Friday, Sept. 12 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at The LINQ, the newest property of Caesars Entertainment.
“This ride is truly important to this community. The RTC has worked really hard over the past six years to keep this ride going,” Perimeter Bicycling founder and President Richard DeBernardis said. “I’ve personally worked with RTC during the first three years to assist in the organization of the event. I love this event and we are pleased to be in a position to help Viva continue in our community.”
The partnership means Viva Bike Vegas will have the “El Tour” brand in the future, eventually becoming “El Tour de Las Vegas.”
El Tour de Tucson and El Tour de Las Vegas will also be linked with riders advancing from the Las Vegas 100-mile ride to the Tucson event based on their times. Riders who break the five-hour barrier in Las Vegas event will qualify for the platinum group in the El Tour de Tucson two months later as well as in other Perimeter Bicycling annual events. Platinum cyclists are the fastest riders on the course and are placed on the front line for the safety reasons and are the first ones out the gate. Viva Bike Vegas will serve as a qualifying ride to earn entry into Platinum Category. Once riders qualify for Platinum, certification lasts for three years.
The news of the ride’s revival comes just four months after the disheartening news of the event’s cancellation.
“So many Las Vegas cyclists have for years participated in El Tour de Tucson,” said Eric Larsen, program director of the non-profit group Outside Las Vegas Foundation. “Having that model come to town, bringing 30 years of success is a great asset to our community.”
DeBernardis sees a great future in the ride.
“I don’t know how many of you have been out on the perimeter of your town … I t is absolutely beautiful,” he said. “There is so much more beauty in the Las Vegas valley that many people don’t know about because they are focused on the Strip. This ride gives people a front-row seat to all that the area offers and brings them back to see the rest of the community and experience the beauty of the city, its mountains and other scenic sites along the 100-mile perimeter. Vegas offers more than gambling.”
DeBernardis said when El Tour de Tucson started in 1983 only 183 cyclists participated. With its new title sponsor, Special Olympics, El Tour is expected to see anywhere from 10,000 to 12,000 participants in the near future. The record is 9,122 set in 2007.
The League of American Bicyclists recently awarded a “bronze” designation to the cities of Las Vegas, Henderson and Mesquite as bronze bicycle-friendly communities. DeBernardis predicted revitalization of the Vegas event will elevate that status to “silver” by the next application period in two years.
“Each higher level, including the gold and platinum bicycle-friendly categories, draws more bicycle and health-related businesses to your community, even attracting new residents because of these designations” DeBernardis said.
Denyce Tuller, director of marketing and public relations for Discovery Children’s Museum, is a bicyclist who has attended the El Tour de Tucson and has seen the benefits. Tuller, who also has participated in Las Vegas’ 50-mile ride, said Las Vegas’ affiliation with Perimeter Bicycling is a strong one.
“They have a 32-year history,” Tuller said. “Las Vegas is becoming more bike-friendly. The development of our ride here will be somewhere in between those zero to 32 years. It may take five to 10 years to build it up, but I am confident it will continue to grow.
“We’ll build upon what the RTC started. I know from the cycling community here, people will be really supportive and excited about what’s about to happen. From a major beneficiary standpoint, it’s great that Perimeter is taking over and the event will not lag for even one year.”
What: Viva Bike Vegas
Where: Perimeter of Las Vegas
When: Sept. 13, 2014
Who: More than 1,700 riders participating in various rides in and around Las Vegas.
To register for Viva Bike Vegas visit perimeterbicycling.com/las-vegas.
Visit Facebook at VivaBikeVegasElTour