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Bob Kellar: Take a spin on the city’s trails

Posted: February 10, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 10, 2014 2:00 a.m.
 

Santa Clarita residents are enjoying one of the warmest winters on record, which means there are more opportunities than ever to get outdoors and enjoy our local bike trails.

Our city includes more than 70 miles of trails and 20 miles of paseos across varying terrain, providing a variety of rides for cyclists of all levels.

Santa Clarita’s trails and bike-friendly policies are just a few of the ways the city helps encourage a healthy lifestyle for residents. Because of these efforts, Santa Clarita is also home to several local clubs that celebrate different ways to get active outdoors; from the Santa Clarita Velo cycling club, to the Santa Clarita Runners’ Club and beyond.

The city of Santa Clarita has worked since its inception to implement a system of interconnecting bike trails for the community to enjoy. Today, the resulting network includes paved paths for road cycling and miles of trails across acres of rugged open space, perfect for mountain bikes.

The city will add even more mileage to its trail system with the grand opening of the new Golden Valley Road bike trail extension on Thursday at 9 a.m. This new trail extension will link Centre Pointe Parkway with Soledad Canyon Road, providing yet another level of connectivity on Santa Clarita’s trail system and offering a new route for community cyclists to discover.

The city also provides convenient guides to show residents how to use and access Santa Clarita’s excellent trails and open space. For example, BikeSantaClarita.com provides numerous helpful resources for cycling in Santa Clarita. Residents can access information on local cycling events, suggested routes to school, open space maps, news and tips on trail classifications, etiquette and safety.

Now, community members can access this and more information in the palm of their hand with the new Hike Santa Clarita app. The free app includes virtually everything residents need to know about Santa Clarita’s trails in one convenient place, including interactive maps marked with bicycle icons to indicate bike-friendly routes, as well as information on trail mileage, photos, directions to trailheads and much more.

More than 1,300 people have downloaded the app since its launch in early January.

However, Santa Clarita residents aren’t the only ones who benefit from our city’s trails and terrain. Some of the world’s best cyclists will also spin through our streets when the 2014 Amgen Tour of California comes to Santa Clarita on May 16 and 17. 

Santa Clarita will host both the Stage 6 and Stage 7 “starts” this year, becoming the first city in the Amgen Tour of California’s history to be selected for two stage starts within the same race. I am so proud of Santa Clarita for being chosen as a host city yet again, and can’t wait for the community to share in the excitement of this world-class event.

More information on the race routes and start locations will soon be available, so stay tuned for more details.
This year will also mark the return of Hit the Trail, one of the city’s most popular events held in the lead-up to the Amgen Tour of California.

This community bike ride and cycling celebration is a great way to experience Santa Clarita’s beautiful trails and outdoor space and helps the entire community to get into the spirit of America’s greatest race.

Planning for this year’s Hit the Trail event is currently underway, with official announcements to follow soon.

My favorite part about Santa Clarita’s trail system is that you don’t need to be a world-class cyclist to enjoy them.Anyone who spends time cycling in our city can attest that our trails offer numerous ways to get outside, get active and stay healthy, regardless of experience level. 

Whether you’re riding through the historic Iron Horse bridge with the family, or climbing rugged Towsley Canyon toward its peak, pedaling in Santa Clarita pays off in the form of incredible views and a healthier you. I welcome all of our residents to give our trails a try in 2014. 

Bob Kellar is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at bkellar@santa-clarita.com.

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