Many commemorative tee-shirts
As I mentioned previously the City of Claremont held a little kick-off celebration to mark our selection as host city for stage 7 of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California. I deemed this significant enough to leave the office early (there was nothing pressing) and was not disappointed by the decision. A good crowd was on hand, probably a couple hundred, were treated to hors-d'hourves courtesy of the Doubletree Hotel and were eager to grab up the free "the climb begins here" tee-shirts. Mayor Linda Elderkin began a brief round of speeches. She emphasized the great opportunity the tour will afford to promote cycling and healthy lifestyle choices to the community, and especially the schools. Andrew Behnke, of the Doubletree Hotel, and Chair of the Chamber of Commerce, talked of the potential for lasting economic impact that the Tour will bring with it by allowing Claremont to present itself regionally, nationally, and to an international audience. Finally, Tony Cruz (yes that Tony Cruz who recently launched his new business venture) congratulated the city on the accomplishment, relating how he "cut his teeth" on many of the local mountain roads, talked of the huge and enthusiastic local cycling community, and how he already had selected his spot along the route to sit, relax with cheese and wine, and watch the race go by. The formalities ended with that, but a small ceremonial ride left the depot with police escort to mark the occasion. I finally met the principal of our local Intermediate School, a fellow cycling advocate who has done much to promote bicycling at the school, and talked briefly with friends and neighbors who all seem very enthusiastic about this venture.
Mayor Elderkin with Tony Cruz and his son
Tony Cruz with Principal Kevin Grier, and Joan Presean of the Claremont Senior Bicycle Group