Published in the May 9 – 22, 2018 issue of Morgan Hill Life

Photo by Marty Cheek
“Fast” Freddie Rodriguez, an Amgen Tour of California ambassador, prepares to “race” twins Valentino and James during a kick-off event.

South Valley has some of the best and most challenging bike rides in Northern California. The trails of wilderness attract some of the most die-hard mountain bikers. And many hardcore cyclists enjoy the winding rural byways.

This month, the South Valley region will receive international publicity for its cycling opportunities thanks to the Amgen Tour of California coming as one of its 11-city stops. The excitement of the May 16 time trials starting and ending in downtown Morgan Hill will showcase the region to millions of people around the world on TV, the Internet and print.

Thousands are expected to visit the area to get close to world-class athletes. A lifestyle festival at the Morgan Hill Community Center that day will showcase bike industry vendors as well as nonprofit organizations that advocate healthy living through physical activity.

What’s being billed as “Bike Week” kicks off the evening of Friday May 11 with a free concert at the Morgan Hill Downtown Amphitheater. If you like the music of Bruno Mars, you won’t want to miss Isaiah Pickett and his bluesy-jazzy style of crooning. The hyper-energetic Cocktail Monkeys will also perform.

The Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce, which is hosting the concert with Specialized Bicycle Components and Bike Therapy, encourages families to bring their bikes to the concert. Specialized technicians will give bikes a free maintenance check-up and Bike Therapy can help fix any problems. There will also be an area for kids to go through a bike rodeo course to teach them about cycling safety.

The fun continues May 13 — Mother’s Day — in the morning with a beginner and intermediate-level group bike ride starting and ending at the Morgan Hill Grange on Fourth Street. Cyclists returning from that ride will be able to enjoy a pancake breakfast sponsored by Bike Therapy.

The evening of Tuesday, May 15, visitors can get a peek at Specialized’s operations in their public open house where they can tour the Morgan Hill company’s museum showcasing the history of cycling, experience the wind tunnel and enjoy cuisine from the various food trucks.

We encourage families with youngsters to get involved. Amgen is going to put Morgan Hill and the South Valley on the map as a cycling destination. We live in one of the best areas in the United States for biking — and in particular mountain biking at Henry Coe. Amgen’s really going to educate the world about how valuable the South Valley really is and how our lifestyle just can’t be beat

Everyone is invited to join the excitement with Amgen’s time trials May 16. But also come to the free May 11 concert, enjoy the group bike ride May 13, and visit Specialized’s open house May 15.

Brittney Sherman is the Member and Community Engagement Director at the Chamber of Commerce. Reach her at (408) 779-9444 or at

Marty Cheek

Marty Cheek

Publisher at Morgan Hill Life
Marty Cheek is the publisher of Morgan Hill Life and Gilroy Life. He is also the co-author with Congressman Jerry McNerney of the book Clean Energy Nation: Freeing America From the Tyranny of Fossil Fuels.
Phone: (408) 782-7575
Marty Cheek