29th Cochise County Cycling Classic Wrap-up
Thursday, October 20th, 2016
What do you get when you gather over 300 like-minded people who love to ride bikes, add perfect weather and mix in contributing money for a great cause? You get the Cenpatico Integrated Care 29th Cochise County Cycling Classic presented by Canyon Vista Medical Center. Riders and event staff kept and eye to the sky – and the National Weather Service – the few days before the Cochise Classic. With a 60% probability of rain, everyone was making wet weather plans. But October 8 dawned clear and dry as riders lined up for 165, 95, 47 and 27 mile distances. It was a beautiful day for a bike ride.
Festivities for the Cochise Classic begin on Friday, the day before the ride. Riders pick up their rider packets and numbers, visit sponsors and talk with other riders at the expo. Many riders return every year so the Friday activities are somewhat of a family reunion as they sit around festive tables at the Cochise County Fairgrounds enjoying a cold beverage and swapping stories. Additional color was added to the festivities by Douglas High School Baile Folklorico. These enthusiastic youth danced traditional Mexican folk dance dressed in colorful costume.
Douglas ARC was again the beneficiary or funds raised by the Cochise Classic. Friday evening, at the annual spaghetti dinner cooked and served by Douglas ARC clients, Perimeter Bicycling presented a check for $5,000 to Gary Clark, Executive Director of Douglas ARC. Visibly moved by the donation, Clark said, “We couldn’t do what we do without this event. Thank you riders for coming to Douglas year after year. The money raised from this bike ride gives people here in Douglas jobs. Your kindness and generosity is genuinely appreciated. Thank you!.”
Since its inception, the Cochise Classic has raised over $433,000 for Douglas ARC, the Arthritis Foundation, Rancho Feliz and other charitable agencies.
The 2016 ride honored Alex Oden ~ cyclist, environmentalist and cancer survivor. Oden, 28, took up bicycling as part of his rehab from brain cancer in middle school. As Pima County Sustainability Coordinator, bicycling is not only part of his personal health, it helps create a healthy environment. Click to read the compelling story about Alex Oden from Pima County Communications.
Douglas Mayor Robert Uribe welcomed the cyclists at the dedication dinner Friday evening and rode the 27-mile event the next day. “When I began the ride, and even before, I said, oh 27 miles, no biggie, I can do this,” Uribe said. “But, when you find yourself mid-stretch you really have to keep a focused state of mind to keep going and finish the course. My ride was peaceful and tranquil. I loved the experience and plan to do it again next year.”
Mayor Uribe stressed the value of the event to the Douglas community. “The Cochise Cycling Classic is an important event for the city of Douglas. We take pride in welcoming visitors from all parts of the world to enjoy our city and our sister city, Agua Prieta and especially the beautiful scenery and near perfect climate,” he said. “I am looking forward to next year’s 30th anniversary. There is talks of possibly starting the event in our Historic Downtown District, what an honor that would be. The city plans to continue promoting health and fitness, especially riding bikes for commuting. We hope to increase the number of Douglas participants in the race for the years to come.”
Generous supporters of the 2016 Cochise Classic include: Cenpatico Integrated Care, Canyon Vista Medical Center, Advanced Call Center Technologies, LLC; Best Western, Douglas; Cochise County; Consulado de Carrera de Mexico en Douglas; dakotapro.biz; Douglas Police Department; Kola’s LLC; Madden Media; Pactimo; Perimeter Bicycling Association of America, Inc; PuroClean; R.A.C.E.S. HAM operators; Southwest Gas; Tail Winds; United States Border Patrol and VisitSierraVista – City of Sierra Vista Tourism Office.
Look for full coverage of the Cochise Classic in the upcoming Tail Winds Nov/Dec issue.
Perimeter Bicycling Association of America, Inc. is a non-profit organization responsible for the production of four major cycling events in Arizona, including the Cochise County Cycling Classic.