Friday, May 11, 2007

The Eureka Reporter - Tour of the Unknown Coast Article

Not so unknown
by Bryan DeMain, 5/10/2007

While Vic Armijo of Team Bigfoot refers to Saturday’s cycling event as “our little backyard race,” the 29th annual Tour of the Unknown Coast isn’t so little.With “up-until-the-race registration,” and good weather, Armijo and event coordinators are expecting nearly 1,000 participants.And some of those participants are big names in the cycling community.While Lance Armstrong came, saw and conquered many years ago, the Ferndale Fairgrounds will play host to race legends Tinker Juarez and Jacquie Phelan this weekend.For Juarez, who is a two-time U.S. Olympian and seven-time U.S. champion, this will be his fourth visit to Humboldt County, but this time around he’s expecting this one to be his most rewarding.Sgt. Charles Husted from the Sacramento Police Department’s School Resource Unit will travel with a youth mountain biking program, which is designed to keep youths off the street and away from gang activity, to meet Juarez.“The program’s goal really hit home with me,” Juarez said in a news release. “There was a lot of gang activity in my home town.”Juarez will spend time with the group from Sacramento following the race.“They’re very excited,” Armijo said. “They really had their fingers crossed to meet this guy, who has really become a hero in their eyes.”Juarez is well known for his community service and using his name for outreach programs.“That’s the type of thing he’s known for,” Armijo said. “He’s not just athlete, he’s an ambassador for the sport in every meaning of the word.”Phelan, a three-time U.S. champion and pioneer for women’s mountain biking, will give a women’s bicycle skills clinic on Sunday at the Fairgrounds. Saturday will feature five events, including 100-mile, 100-kilometer, 50-mile, 20-mile and 10-mile races.With gas prices soaring and many of the riders expected to come from out of the area, free camping is available at the fairgrounds. “There’s plenty of room and that makes the trip affordable,” Armijo said. “It’s better than paying a hundred bucks for a hotel room. This way you can wake up, eat a prepared breakfast and walk to the start line.”Registration forms can be picked up at sponsor and local supporter Adventure’s Edge in Arcata.

For more information, phone Team Bigfoot at 707-845-6117.

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