Record numbers of participants are entered for the Tour de Peninsula community cycling event, based at Coyote Point Park, August 2nd, and six-year event sponsor Kaiser Permanente couldn’t be happier about it.
“Kaiser Permanente has been a long time supporter of TdP because it aligns well with our focus on the health and wellness of our members and the communities we serve,” said Kaiser Permanente’s director of public affairs, Stacey Wagner.
Health care providers such as Kaiser Permanente and government alike encourage people in their communities to adopt an active lifestyle as part of a comprehensive approach to health that involves prevention as well as cure of disease.
The Tour de Peninsula, aka TdP, started out almost 25 years ago, as an irreverent and fun event that grew out of satirical newspaper columns. Over the years it has grown far beyond that.
Julia Bott, TdP director, and the executive director of the San Mateo County Parks Foundation, said, “TdP is a ride with remarkable diversity in its participants and its route, so we’re able to help everyone meet their bicycling objectives. Having the support of large organizations like Kaiser Permanente and Whole Foods Market gives the event great stability, and it helps us, the event organizers, meet our goal of providing funds for Bicycle Sunday on Cañada Road.”
For Kaiser Permanente this aspect of the event was a no-brainer: parks are a great place to pursue the active lifestyle. “We are delighted to support a cause which benefits the parks throughout San Mateo County because our parks are wonderful assets that everyone can truly benefit from,” said Stacey Wagner.
That the riders are as diverse as the courses is immediately apparent when standing at the start line at seven a.m. on ride day. “It’s always rewarding to see so many people from so many walks of life at the TdP each year,” she says.
Another wellness-related TdP sponsor is the Plus 3 Network, a website that provides corporations and communities with online wellness programs to encourage people to lead active, healthy lifestyles. “The Peninsula is blessed with miles and miles of hiking and biking paths and the Tour de Peninsula is a great showcase and reminder to get out of the office and enjoy San Mateo County’s amazing parks,” said Plus 3 spokesman Rick Sutton.
Webcor Cycling, a former pro racing team turned bicycle advocacy organization, which still includes world championship and Olympic athletes, has attended the ride for the since 2010 as on-course helpers for both the open and kids rides. Everybody thinks they’re pretty game for showing up to help out at an event that cocks a snook at the pro racing scene. Team director, Ted Huang, says his riders have a great time there. “Having bike racing roots, it’s important for us to show that even if we wear lycra and used to, or still do race, whether you’re riding a ‘townie’ or a racing bicycle, we’re all out there for the same reasons: health, fitness, and to be outdoors. Over the years we’ve seen the TdP grow and flourish. It’s great to be among the smiling participants and event helpers, but the most fun part is riding with the kids at the end, that’s our highlight.”
One thing TdP has kept over the years is a sense of fun: another important component of healthy living.