APPLE VALLEY — More than 200 riders are expected to participate in the 4th Annual Victor Valley Bicycle Tour that returns to the High Desert this weekend.

The tour, which winds through a portion of the Victor Valley, was created to emphasize bicycle safety and to promote the health benefits of bicycling, tour President Thurston “Smitty” Smith told the Daily Press.

The tour is organized by the Town of Apple Valley and the cities of Hesperia and Victorville, with assistance from residents and community members, Smith said.

“When you see a bike lane or 3-foot minimum passing sign along a road, the VVBT was probably behind it,” Smith said. “We’re not only about discussing safety awareness, but we’re also about physically making our community safer.”

The VVBT donated 150 “PASS 3 FT MIN” safety signs that have been scheduled for installation in Apple Valley, Hesperia, Victorville and throughout the local unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County.

The new signs reflect California state law that requires drivers to give bicyclists three feet of space before passing. Motorists who violate the law face fines that increase if a collision occurs.

“We also donated 4,000 helmets for kids in 2016,” Smith said. “The VVBT also gave the Sheriff’s Department helmets to hand out to children who they see riding without proper head protection.”

There are three main rides from which to choose:

Family Fun Ride 10 a.m.

The 10-mile route starts at Apple Valley Civic Center Park and heads toward Apple Valley Airport, then returns to the starting line. Children 12 and under ride free with a parent.

Intermediate Ride 9 a.m.

The 25-mile route begins at Apple Valley Civic Center Park and works its way along Riverside Drive in Apple Valley as it heads to Spring Valley Lake, and finally returns back to the start.

Grand Tour 8 a.m.

The 70-mile route starts at the Apple Valley Civic Center Park and goes along Riverside Drive in Apple Valley, heads to Spring Valley Lake, then winds through Victorville and Hesperia before returning to the park. Riders can opt for the shorter 50-mile route.

“The bike tour is an opportunity to get out, have fun and support bicycle safety,” Smith said. “We’re hoping to see our regulars and some new faces this year.”

For bike routes and general information on the VVBT, visit

Source: Rene Ray De La Cruz, Daily Press