Sports - August 25, 2010

Riders relish Tour de Menlo bike ride

Nearly 500 riders enjoyed a beautiful day of cycling Saturday in the seventh annual Tour de Menlo, sponsored by The Almanac and the Rotary Club of Menlo Park.

Three routes of 65, 45 and 35 miles were offered, starting at Menlo-Atherton High School, and all riders met for lunch at Picchetti Winery and open space district on Montebello Road in Cupertino.

The riders who left early on the 65-mile route encountered some cooler temperatures with fog and drizzle at their first rest stop on Polhemus Road in Belmont. But the fog eventually burned off leaving beautiful sunny skies for participants on all three routes.

Ride spokesman Richard Givens praised the workers and sponsors who made the ride possible.

"We really appreciate all their help," he said. "Without so many Rotary members pitching in, we could not have done this. Everyone we talked to had a great time. "

The long route headed north on the Alameda de las Pulgas to Edgewood Road, Canada Road and down Highway 92 to Bunker Hill Drive. After the Polhemus rest stop, riders descended down the Bike Bridge back to Canada Road, then through Woodside to the rest stop at the Portola Valley fire house. From there, the course took Alpine and Arastradero roads to Los Altos, and then on to the lunch stop. All riders returned to M-A on Foothill Expressway.

The shorter rides cut out the northern loop, with the 45-miler heading to the fire house and the shorter route heading straight to Montebello Road via Junipero Serra and Foothill.

Lunch was catered by Lutticken's Deli on the lawn at the winery's historic family house.

Club president Eric Hartwig said the Tour is the Rotary Club of Menlo Park's biggest fundraiser of the year, with proceeds supporting tutoring at Garfield School in Redwood City, need-based scholarships for graduating seniors at four area high schools, and various local nonprofits that participate in the Almanac's annual Holiday Fund drive.

The Rotary Club of Menlo Park has about 70 members and was established more than 50 years ago. Last year the club awarded $116,000 in scholarships and has about 20 tutors at Garfield School. The club is currently supporting a major project in Guatemala.

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