Before the competition, cyclists bring love of the sport to Redlands schools

Redlands Bicycle Classic begins April 10

Before the competition, cyclists bring love of the sport to Redlands schools
Team RF Foundations gives students high-fives as they leave the school assembly on Tuesday, April 9. (Photo: Stephanie Hastings-Miranda, Community Forward Redlands)

REDLANDS, Calif. – A Redlands tradition continues this week as cyclists from across the country compete in the 38th annual Redlands Bicycle Classic. The event has become the longest-running continuous invitational stage race in the United States.

To keep the tradition rolling, competing teams kicked off the week by visiting Redlands schools in the hope of inspiring the next generation of athletes.

Elite cyclists from around the globe shared a glimpse into what it is like to be a professional cyclist and encouraged students to embrace healthy habits. For the students, it was a unique opportunity to learn first hand about the dedication and discipline that propel these athletes to the height of the sport. 

The school visits are one of the most direct ways the Redlands Bicycle Classic connects with the community during the event, said Scott Welsh, who runs media relations for the Classic.

I met up with Welsh at Sacred Heart Academy in Redlands to hear from Team RF Foundations p/b George's Cycles from Idaho during a morning school assembly on Tuesday, April 9. 

The students eagerly gathered in the schoolyard as the team introduced themselves and their diverse professions, spanning fields such as medicine, climate change, technology, business, and bicycle mechanics.

Team leader Justin Rose, an ER doctor who has been racing for 19 years, said the team is excited to be back for a second year at the Redlands Bicycle Classic.

Team RF Foundations p/b George's Cycles pose together after the school assembly (Photo: Stephanie Hastings Miranda Community Forward Redlands)

The cyclists emphasized the importance of safety - like using helmets and hand signals – and choosing healthy food to fuel one's body.

Cyclist Victor Perez Abela Maldonado explained various hand signals used by cyclists to indicate turning or slowing down. (Photo: Stephanie Hastings Miranda Community Forward Redlands)

The athletes also engaged with the students, demonstrating different types of bikes and explaining how each bike is designed for a specific purpose.

A student demonstrates the lightweight bikes used by the cyclists.(Photo: Stephanie Hastings Miranda Community Forward Redlands)

After answering student questions – including 'How much does your bike cost?' 'Why is everyone wearing the same outfit?' and 'Can you do jumps with those bikes?' – the team was cheered on by the entire student body shouting "Go RF!"

Team RF offers high-fives on their way out (Photo: Stephanie Hastings Miranda Community Forward Redlands)

Sacred Heart Academy was one of 32 schools that received visits from cycling pros ahead of the race. Students at Kingsbury Elementary met with Ribble Rebellion from Preston United Kingdom on Monday. Hustle Pro Cycling from Toronto Canada showed off their tricks at Smiley Elementary School. 

Hustle Pro Cycling visit Smiley Elementary in Redlands. (Photo: Courtesy of Redlands Bicycle Classic)

The school visits are also a chance to encourage children to join the School Duel race, which happens Saturday morning in Downtown Redlands. Same-day registration is available. Those interested can find more information can be found here.

The 38th annual Redlands Bicycle Classic begins Wednesday, April 10 with a 58-mile race in Highland. See the full schedule here.

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