The BigView

The BigView
By Chris Murphy

Festivals and Fun
The outdoor word starts firing on all cylinders each May. This year, we had those much needed “April Showers”, and now we are going to have May flowers, fun, and family festivals. Now is the time to makes sure your bike is all tuned up with new tires, and make sure your shoes, gloves and helmet are ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Do you love Chocolate?
Chocolate is still king in Oakdale with the Sconza Candy company. This festival has a long tradition of celebrating Chocolate, Community, Fun and Music. Two full days of games, chocolate challenges and you know, we here at the ViewCrew love car shows. This is a fun event for the whole family and there are bands every couple of hours.
Ticket info: $6 Admission for Adults, $5 Seniors, Kids 12 and under are free. Bring a canned good to gate for $1 off admission

The Fun Run 5K and 1M, will be on Sat., May 20th and the Classic Car Show both days. There will continue to be entertainment on 2 stages: Chocolate Challenge Stage with chocolate activities for the kids and community performances by dance studios, karate, zumba, etc., and our Main Stage with great local and cover bands with a variety of music
Presented by Oakdale Chamber of Commerce

Ride Your Bike
The Amgen Tour of California will invade Modesto on May 15. This puts bikes on the brain for many of us here in the Modesto area. We have grown up racing and riding all over the region and to see the best cyclists in the world, here in our city is so very cool. But for the non-racers out there; how do we all get excited about cycling? Do you remember your first ride?

Let’s make this easy. Modesto is a flat city. I think the net elevation change from east to west Modesto may be about five feet. Simply put, the biggest hill you have to climb is the Mt Modesto overpass over the freeway. Modesto can be an amazing bike town, but there is so much more to it than just putting in bike lanes. Bicycles have to integrate with the car traffic.

Bikes are part of the road network. And bikes need to follow the rules of the road. We need safe places to park bikes and there are good things happening as we roll out the new artistic and regular bike racks. Businesses should make it easy to ride, city planners need to connect the gaps in our trail network and motorists and cyclist need to respect each other. Most of all, we need to make sure that cycling is easy, affordable and safe.

As kids, bikes were our freedom and in the current age of child safety, sadly we have lost some of this freedom. But it is time to get our freedom back and create safe routes to schools and better bike racks, better local bike trails, bike parks and create a cycling friendly city from recreation, to racing to commuting. Awareness is needed from both cyclists and non-cyclists.

There are many weekly rides to go on, you don’t have to spend a billion bucks on a good race bike, cycling is the way to fitness if, like me, you have torn up your knees from years of abuse. Do you need a car at work? Could you ride? Have you checked out the route you would take. The new bike lanes on College work well and the new connection we have from East to West campus is solid. We have the Hetch Hetchy, Virginia Corridor and the Mensinger Trail that are all good ways to get across town.

But you have to start and take your first ride, maybe to the store, maybe the farmer’s market, or even a bike ride to school. So get your bike spiffed up, whether it is a cruiser, fixie, racing bike or just a clunker, it is all good when you are on you bike. Even if you never put on spandex racing shorts or dream about being in the Amgen Tour, get out and take a spin and enjoy the world around you. But please, wear a helmet.

Ride for Mom – May 13
This annual tradition was started 6 years ago by local attorney Bob Fores as a tribute to his mom Jinx, who passed away after a second battle with cancer. It will be held on the day before Mother’s Day, Saturday, May 13, 20167 and staged at Johansen High School in Modesto. The 10, 35 and 77 mile rides all include rest stops and support, swag and lunch. In addition, the RFM Organizing Team will be hosting early check-in and a pre-ride social event on Friday, May 12, 2016 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Green’s On 10th, in Downtown Modesto.

Amgen Tour of California – Stage 2 – May 15
Modesto has been a fantastic host city for the Amgen Tour in the past and this year, Modesto is host to Stage 2, a grueling run between Modesto and San Jose. This is a fantastic event as at the start, every cyclist from around the world must sign in, and that means that cycling fans can see every rider. You can watch the riders warm up, get the bikes ready and see the team vehicles. This is a warm up for the Tour de France so all of the elite cyclists will be here. Modesto USA will be the talk of the cycling world.

We need volunteers!
There are so many jobs that need to be done on race day. From course marshals, check in, route control, drug testing, and so much more, there are important things that need your help. Please register to volunteer here:

Classic Chrome meets Cycling Spokes
The race starts at 11:45, so you will want to get a spot along the downtown circuit where the riders will take 2 parade laps lead by a classic Graffiti car and by a line of classic cars before heading under the Modesto Arch and out Paradise Road to Carpenter. There will be lifestyle festival all morning along I St at the Gallo Center so you can be in the middle of the cycling excitement.

The Community Cruise
After the Amgen racers leave, the race-course will be opened to the community to do a cycling cruise. Yes, we will all cruise, on our bikes on the opening circuit and enjoy the streets of downtown Modesto. This is not a race, it is free and check in will be at 11:45.

Bike to Work Day – May 18
You can meet Modesto’s Mayor and ride to work. Meet up at Village Baking Company on May 18 at 6:00 and join cyclists from all over as they commute to work via bicycle. We all need to do this more often. If we had good share car and community bike program, it would be even cooler. There will be prizes, and morning snacks when you arrive at 10th St Plaza. From 6:30 – 8:30 am

Let’s go to the races
The Modesto Criterium has been a part of downtown Modesto for over 30 years. ModestoView publisher Chris Murphy, then a college student at CSU Stanislaus restarted the long gone Tour de Graceada in 1983 and there has been racing on the big wide streets of downtown Modesto ever since. There will be two races on this weekend. You won’t want to miss the high-speed thrill action of a Criterium when you see the cycles speeding by on a short figure 8 loop in downtown Modesto. Lots of great viewing spots and there will be high speed sprints at the finish line. On Sunday, the racers will take to the farmlands west of Modesto with a start line on Hall Road off Kiernan.
For a full schedule on all of the Nor Cal races where local cyclists will compete

May 20 Downtown Modesto
May 21 Modesto Road Race

Family Cycling Festival May 21
Fun, games, and big giant aerial BMX tricks will keep the whole family entertained. Get safety items, tips and even helmet and gear information and samples. It’s never too early to start safe cycling. Downtown Modesto all day long in front of the Courthouse and Gallo Center. Remember to ride your bike to the festival.

Ride with the Stanislaus County Bike Club
There really is no excuse to start becoming a solid cyclist. There are so many different levels and distances of rides. There are some friendly fun fitness rides and some good fast rides.

See: for group ride and support info

Here are some other resources:
On Twitter @bikemodesto
Central Valley Cruisers:
Modesto Area Bike Rides:
Eternal Rascals B.C.:
Booze Cruisers:
Rolling relics:

See: for rides of various levels starting in Oakdale.

See: for rides starting at their McHenry Village location. Check out their new location being built at Oakdale and Briggsmore.

See: for rides starting at their Turlock location.

Ride the River
If you have not been rafting, this will be an EPIC year. The river flows of the Stanislaus will be rockin, and there will be a lot of white water thrills. Check out rafting companies like Sunshine out of Oakdale and they will connect you with the type of river experience that is good for you. These trips book up early so you want to check it out. 2017 will be an amazing year on the wild river and there are nice easy float trips too.

Ride the Rails
If a nice slow cruise through the foothills is your thing, then the Sierra Railroad is the place to be. Trains leave from downtown Oakdale and take you on a meandering run up into the hills. There are Beer Trains, Murder Mystery Trains, High Noon Express and even and Old Vine Wine Train and there will be a special Mother’s Day Train on May 14th . Check to get your tix. There are even special premium lounge cars with special food and drink menus.



Posted in: news

About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.