By Matthew Cabe
APPLE VALLEY — The Chuck Hansen Tour de Apple Valley bicycle tour was canceled last year — after six years in the town — when complications halted the expansion of the event into Hesperia and Victorville, but a new, regional bicycle tour will come to the High Desert in the wake of Tour de Apple Valley’s demise.
The Victor Valley Bicycle Tour will begin at 6 a.m. Saturday in Hesperia, and Apple Valley Mayor Pro Tem Barb Stanton called the event one of her proudest accomplishments.
“When the Tour de Apple Valley began faltering, I didn’t want to let it go,” Stanton told the Daily Press. “I knew it was something we needed, but it needed to be bigger to bring together multiple communities.”
The tour will be the first of its kind in the High Desert, according to Stanton, who said the event wouldn’t have been possible without the joint effort of the tour’s board of directors, which includes former Hesperia Mayor Thurston “Smitty” Smith.
“It’s difficult for officials to find funds to help present events like this,” Stanton said. “We were able to gather enough funds to do this the right way, and Smitty was unstoppable. He went gangbusters, and including him was one of the best decisions I’ve made.”
The tour features 100-mile, 50-mile, 25-mile and 10-mile routes for bicycle enthusiasts to traverse, and all were designed by Hesperia City Engineer John Leveillee, who himself is an avid bicyclist.
The tour will begin adjacent to the Courtyard Marriott Hotel at 9619 Mariposa Road in Hesperia and continue into Apple Valley and parts of Victorville. The Courtyard Marriott will have special rates for riders coming from out of town to participate in the event, according to Stanton.
All proceeds gathered from the event will be used to fund children’s bicycle safety rodeos throughout the Victor Valley.
For more information on the Victor Valley Bicycle Tour, visit victorvalleybicycletour.com.