APPLE VALLEY — It was a beautiful Saturday morning at Apple Valley Civic Center as Robert Love and his two children prepared for their ten-mile bicycle ride.

“We’re getting a really late start, but here we are,” Love said, as he loaded up his son, Ace, and daughter Evianna — all dressed up in their Halloween costumes for the occasion — into a small bicycle trailer attached to his bike.

“We’re just waiting for our mom to get here,” Ace Love said, as he watched other cyclists gear up during the Victor Valley Bicycle Tour on Saturday. “Then, we’ll be ready to go.”

And less than ten minutes later, the Loves — now joined by mom Cynthia, dressed up as a superhero, began their route up to Apple Valley Airport.

Over 200 riders came out for the fourth annual bicycle tour, which winds through portions of Apple Valley, Hesperia, and Victorville. The tour was created to highlight the benefits of bicycling and promote bicycle safety throughout the High Desert.

“The focus is safety in the community, health, and getting the kids out there,” organizer Margaret Smith, wife of tour president Thurston “Smitty” Smith, told the Daily Press as she manned the registration table.

“I’m thinking we’ve got at least 240 registered riders this year,” Smith said. “And so many of our riders said they had just heard about it yesterday, so it’s great to see so many make it.”

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.

The Family Ride, which began at 10 a.m., was the shortest and easier of the routes, spanning 10 miles towards Apple Valley Airport then looping back to the park. It was expressly geared for those with youngsters, with children 12 and under riding free with a parent.

Rider Dannah Rae Rutledge got the honor of being the youngest cyclist riding solo in the Family Ride — and at five years old, the youngest to finish first.

“She’s just got a lot of stamina, I guess,” her father, Brandon Rutledge, said. “She’s been riding since she was around three years old.”

Those looking for a further challenge could take the intermediate ride, which spanned 25 miles and headed into Spring Valley Lake, or the 70-mile Grand Tour, where riders could cycle through portions of Victorville and Hesperia before coming back through the finish line.

Adelanto resident Cesar Conde opted for the 50-mile ride. He was part of a team of five, which including his nephew, brother and other family members.

“My nephew enrolled us. We like to do stuff together as a family, so he thought this might be fun for us,” Conde said. “And it was a whole lot of fun.”

It was Conde’s first time at the bicycle tour, but he said he and his family are already making plans to come back next year.

“We’re definitely doing this again,” Conde said, grinning.

For bike routes and general information on the VVBT, visit

Source: Paola Baker, Daily Press