Record-breaking School Duel brings families out for Bicycle Classic

It was all smiles Saturday as students raced across the finish line with teachers, parents and friends cheering on

Record-breaking School Duel brings families out for Bicycle Classic
7 year-old girls line up at the starting line for the 2024 School Duel race. (Photo: Community Forward Redlands)

REDLANDS, Calif. – The Redlands Bicycle Classic brings professional cyclists from around the world to Redlands for five days of intense racing.

The event also draws the community together as both spectators and participants. This year, a record number of kids signed up for the School Duel event on Saturday morning April 13 in Downtown Redlands.

Organizers say around 600 students pre-registered for the event, plus another roughly 100 signed up during day-of registration, making this year's school duel registration the highest yet.

From the youngest racers aged 3 to the teenagers aged 17, all participants raced down Citrus Avenue in courses tailored for their age.

The atmosphere was electric, with the racers being met by the smiles and cheers of Redlands Unified School District teachers in pink shirts as they triumphantly crossed the finish line.

Winners of the 8 year old girls race cross the finish line. (Photo: Community Forward Redlands)

Amy DeDoes, a transitional kindergarten teacher at Judson and Brown Elementary, has been volunteering for the event for as long as she can remember.

"I love the kids races because I'm a teacher and it's just such a good community event. It brings everyone out to have a good time and it's grown a lot over the years," said DeDoes.

The volunteers helped keep the kids on course, handed out medals and even tied a few shoes at the starting line.

Amy DeDoes, a TK teacher at Judson and Brown Elementary, hurries away from the starting line after tying a 6-year old racer's shoe laces. (Photo: Community Forward Redlands)

The event, sponsored by Stater Bros. Charities, is part of an effort to involve the wider community in the Classic and bring the love of the sport to local students.

Ahead of the event, professional cyclists visited 32 schools across Redlands.

The 38th annual Redlands Bicycle Classic wraps up on Sunday, April 14.

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