Weatherill Cycling Classic slated for June 15

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WALLA WALLA — The Wheatland Wheelers Cycling Club is sponsoring the eighth annual Ann Weatherill Cycling Classic on June 15.

Weatherill was a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay, Garrison Middle School teacher, mother and cyclist who was struck and killed by an oncoming motorist passing other vehicles on a group bike ride on State Highway 124 between Prescott and Waitsburg on Mother’s Day in 2004.

In 2005, the Ann Weatherill Safe Passing Law was passed, making it illegal for drivers to pass other vehicles if there are bicyclists, pedestrians or equestrians approaching from the opposite direction.

This is a recreational bike ride offering separate routes of 30, 62 and 100 miles. All three routes start at Pioneer Park in Walla Walla and follow portions of roads in Walla Walla and Umatilla counties.

The 30-mile route follows Weatherill’s favorite ride, a gentle climb up Mill Creek Road to Kooskooskie, to encourage and foster participation by families and occasional bicyclists.

The 100-mile “Century” ride starts at 7 a.m., followed by the 62-mile “Metric Century” ride at 8 a.m. and the 30-miler at 9 a.m.

Riders are required to wear a bike helmet.

Besides facilities at Pioneer Park, rest stops with toilets, light snacks and water will be located at various points along the route.

“Our goal again this year is to make this a community wide event, increase participation and get beginning bicyclists to turn out for the ride,” ride director Luke Waggoner said. “This is a great sport for people of all ages and abilities and we just want people to get out on their bikes and get some exercise, have fun, and share the experience of the ride.

“The shorter 30-mile route can be easily accomplished at an easy pace in under three hours,” Waggoner said. “Don’t worry if you haven’t ridden for awhile. You know what they say... it’s something you never forget — like riding a bike.”

Cost is $45. Pre-registration is encouraged, but riders may register Pioneer Park on the morning of the ride. Registrater at http://www.active.com, search for Ann Weatherill Cycling Classic on June 15, 2013.

Contact Waggoner at 509-593-0185 for more information.

Proceeds are used by the Blue Mountain Foundation’s “Ann Fund” and the Wheatland Wheelers Cycling Club to promote bicycle safety programs.

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