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7 Exciting Facts About the Tour de France, and Where to Stream the Race
Lasting nearly three weeks and involving several hundred competitors, the Tour de France is one of the biggest sporting events across the globe — and in the world of cycling, it’s definitely the biggest. This much-anticipated annual race faced some setbacks during the COVID-19 pandemic, and while the world hasn’t returned to normal yet, devoted cycling fans (and those of us who simply love edge-of-our-seats competition) are eager for the big return slated for this summer.
In honor of the Tour de France’s grand 2021 re-entry to the sporting universe on Saturday, June 26, we’re taking a look at some fun facts that’ll get your anticipation building even more. Plus, you’ll discover where and how you can watch every minute of the race from the comfort of home — no cleats or helmet necessary.
Thousands of People Are Involved
You might already know that a bevy of bicyclists participate in the race — 198 riders spread across 22 different teams compete each year. But the number of people involved in ensuring the race goes off without a hitch is much higher than the number of athletes participating. Organizers take logistics to the next level with team staff members, members of the race jury, thousands of security professionals and members of the media. If you include the spectators in that count, the numbers — pre-pandemic, at least — can run into the millions . From city to city along the race route, hundreds upon hundreds of people follow the action throughout the course of the event. And organizers and support staff keep things running smoothly to the finish line.
The Race Has a Surprising Connection to a Newspaper
The first Tour de France wasn’t held because a bunch of bicycling fans got together and thought it’d be a great idea to start a competition — at least not totally. It was actually a promotional event hosted with the intention of bringing more publicity to L’Auto , a French newspaper that focused on reporting details about different sporting events. Although L’Auto has since closed down, the parent company of its replacement, L’Equipe , continues to organize the Tour de France today.
It’s Not Just Big, but Also Long
And it’s long in multiple ways, too. The race itself takes place over the course of nearly a month, with 21 different day-long segments making up the bulk of the competition. The length of the course is also extensive, however; it’s typically over 2,000 miles long and can pass through multiple neighboring countries. It wasn’t even always this short, either — in 1926, the course encompassed a winding 3,570 miles and took a full month for riders to finish.
Different Jerseys Mean Different Things
As you watch the race, you’ll notice cyclists wearing the bright kits and bibs that represent their teams — but you’ll also spot some even more unique colors and designs among the pack. One of these is a yellow jersey, called the “maillot jaune,” that’s bestowed upon the racer who had the lowest cumulative ride time for the day. Other special jerseys include the green “maillot vert,” which is awarded to the rider with the most points, and the “maillot a pois” — a red and white polka-dotted jersey given to the cyclist who earns the most points during the areas of the course that have steep inclines to climb. The rider who wears the maillot a pois is affectionately known as “the king of the mountain.”
There Was Almost Only One Tour de France
The first Tour de France took place in 1903 – and that was almost the one and only iteration of the race. That’s because newspaper editor Henri Desgrange, who helped organize the initial tour, was so aghast at the conduct not only of the fans but also of the competitors in the 1903 race that he wanted to discontinue it despite its clear appeal. Boisterous crowds turned violent, with spectators assaulting racers as they passed along the course. The riders themselves found numerous ways to cheat, disqualifying themselves in the process. But the Tour de France was so lauded — and it increased circulation of L’Auto so extensively — that the organizers had no choice but to continue hosting the event.
The Race Has Its Own Language
Bonking, anyone? As you’re watching the Tour de France, you might hear commentators use some curious turns of phrase — and many of them will be unique to the race itself. Boost your bicycling know-how by learning what these terms mean before catching one of the race segments:
- Bonking: Cyclists don’t want to “bonk” during this race; it means they’ve run out of energy and are too wiped to continue.
- Peloton: No, it’s not the fancy exercise bike you bought during the pandemic. In Tour de France context, a peloton is the main group of riders where most of the participants are cycling together.
- Sag Wagon: If someone bonks, they may need the assistance of the sag wagon. This is a car that follows the pack of cyclists and picks up those who become too fatigued or injured to keep riding.
- Musket Bag: While it may sound like something you’d find at a Civil War battleground, a musket bag is sort of like a bagged lunch — but it’s packed with energy gels, water, sandwiches and other fuel for the cyclists. It’s also called a “musette” or, sometimes, a “bonk bag.”
- Lanterne Rouge: In French, this term means “red light,” and it refers to the cyclist who’s in the very last place in the race. Being in this position gets riders ample attention, and those who know they won’t win sometimes compete for this distinction instead.
You Can Watch the Action at Home — Here’s How
Now that the race has returned to regularly scheduled programming in 2021 following its 2020 pandemic postponement, you might be eager to catch the three-week racing saga unfold from the comfort of home. Fortunately, you have the convenient option to stream the tour live on both NBC Sports and NBC’s Peacock streaming service.
The race coverage on Peacock is only available through Peacock Premium, a paid tier of the service that costs $4.99 — a worthwhile investment if you’re a serious cycling fan who can’t wait to watch this Grand Tour. NBC Sports is accessible if you’re already paying for regular cable, but without that subscription you won’t be able to stream the program online or watch it on TV unless you spring for Peacock.
Keep in mind that, if you’re not already a Peacock subscriber, you’ll receive a free weeklong trial to better help you determine if the service is right for you. You can use that to catch up on the race and decide if you want to make the month-long (or longer) investment.
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Tour De Palm Springs
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74854 Velie Way
Palm Desert, CA 92260
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I rode the century with a group of friends. The 1st sag stop had a lot of good food but was very annoying having to walk in a dirt lot that was damaging to our cycling shoes . The 2nd support station had no food left, I mean nothing but Gatoraid. And there were a lot of riders coming in all the time. So we winged it to the next stop where there was only the last of the ham sandwiches and some other items, but enough to make us well again, but nothing like advertised. Overall we were not impressed with the stops and I had a lot of complaints from our group. All the hype sent out about the great food stations had us all excited, but ended up being one of the worst supported rides I've done and I have ridden many century rides. The route was great and management of traffic by CHP was terrific, the only saving grace.
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Have a great ride dez40! Sorry I won't be there until the end of the month. Somehow our paths will cross someday soon.
We were heading out of town on Sat and saw the bikers leaving PS. Bet it was a fun time.
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George's Epic Adventures
It's about suffering and getting it done.
Tour De Palm Springs 2022
After a couple of years of hiatus because you know … COVID, the event was back on! It is a nice season opener. By most accounts there are nearly 5,000 cyclists riding various distances. I typically ride the 100 mile version. The climbing is minimal, front-loaded but only 3,000 feet all in. It’s a fast century with lots of pacelines to join or bring your own. Ride time was 5 hours 7 minutes Total Time was 5 hours 30 minutes.
The weather forecast promised to be a warm one, mid 80’s the high. We know it’s the desert and it’s supposed to be warm oh and windy. But living on the coast it is still in the 40’s in the morning and the highs are not more than 60’s for the day. This weekend in all of Southern California, and more importantly this event, was at least 20F warmer than we have been riding in all “winter”.
Typically a ride like this we can do without support and even do it as a NO NO Ride … no stops for any reason. No stops for refueling, No stops for potty breaks and No stops for regrouping. Based on the forecast I went into this event thinking a stop mid-ride and maybe one near the end if it got too hot. I joke to my friends that I am a delicate flower. After many years of racing in the coldest, wettest, windiest or hottest weather I no longer feel the need to suffer like that anymore. Now I like a pleasant 70-75F temperature range to ride and race my bike.
As it turned out, we maintained a good pace throughout the ride and finished before the heat of the day. We made the one stop mid-way about mile 53. We did not have to stop again until the finish. Many riders around me were suffering the last 10-15 miles. I had to share my electrolyte capsules, my fuel and my water with Lori. Lack of fluids was the most common complaint with some experiencing cramping and one rider vomiting sevral times in the home stretch.
You can skip ahead if you are not into data 🙂
I have taken my 5 hour file and split it in two sections. The first section combines Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the ride. The second section is for Phase 3
Phase 1 – is getting though the hundreds upon hundreds of cyclists of varying skill levels. Fitness and speed levels aside, there are sketchy riders who are not experienced at riding in such a large groups. Heck, this is a great first century for riders. You have to be on your toes and your head must be on a swivel. You are passing lots of riders but you have to be aware that you will also be overtaken by much faster riders than yourself. It is wise to yield to the right. Keeping our crew together became too difficult on the first few rollers. Those that could stay-on were lucky enough to do so because it was nearly impossible for me to turn around and look for them. It’s just not safe.
Phase 2 – this is the time we ended up in no man’s land. We have ridden hard enough to be in front of riders. We have been dropped by the really fast groups. Now we are just sitting exposed to the wind with no riders in sight. I mean there were a few here and there but no pacelines. I told the other two riders, Lori and Ray, to ease up and just keep the pedals turning but without putting in too much effort. This would be the Glass Cranks phase. You know if you pedal too hard with cranks made of glass they will shatter lol! The key now is to wait for a good paceline compatible with your abilities coming up behind you. A paceline faster than you are going alone but not too fast. You want to be able to contribute and not be a wheel sucker lol! You want to be able to share in the work and the pacing but not get blown out the back. Eventually we were passed by a good solid paceline and we jumped in.
Phase 3 – just prior to entering the SAG stop we were passed by an even faster paceline and we jumped in. We pulled in to the SAG stop with them. We got to chit chat with our mutual friends that were in this group. We were at the SAG for a little over 10 minutes. We rolled out with them and finished the event with them.
Let’s take a look at the numbers shall we
First 2 hours 43 minutes – 53 miles 189 watts Normalized power (2.8 w/kg)
Heart Rate Avg 149 Max 174
Speed Avg 19.8 mph
Elevation Gain – ~ 2000 feet
Second 50 miles
2 hours 24 minutes 49 miles 161 Watts Normalized Power (2.4 w/kg)
Heart Rate Avg 141 Max 160
Speed Avg 20.5 mph
Elevation Gain – ~ 700 feet
The Key Takeaways
In the first 50 miles there is A LOT of fighting for position, accelerating to pass large groups, accelerating to stay within your group or join other trains that are coming by faster than your group and yes there is some climbing not much but enough to raise your Normalized Power.
On the second half the pace was more sustained without the need for power surges. The riding was steady, smooth and safe. I finished the last 50 breathing through my nose. There were a few pickups here and there and the stopping and starting from traffic lights was a little taxing but we always went back to a steady pace.
All my numbers were lower on the second 50 and yet average speed was higher 20.5 mph vs 19.8 mph. I only look at power while riding. I have no idea what my current speed is at any one time. I also don’t know my average speed until I download. It is not a metric I follow since all my rides have so much climbing that the speed is so slow it’s nothing to write home about 🙂 But since I know a lot of people still don’t ride with power meters I thought I would use a metric well known to all riders.
If you are ever in Southern California in February give this century a go. Escape the cold, rain or even snowbound climates for our deserts. The event is well supported. There are police officers stationed at all the major intersections and you get the right of way. It’s as flat as any Southern California century can ever be.
The secret to riding this event is to go easy at the beginning when everyone is fighting for position. They are fresh and they may be inexperienced with pacing so let those riders go and don’t chase them. Stay within yourself and if you think you are going too hard… YOU ARE slow down. As the first few climbs transition to downhill sections grab a wheel of heavier, wider riders and hang-on for the descent. Then you will have a few sections with tailwinds enjoy those too! Once everything settles down and you are far enough in front of the yahoos find a good compatible paceline to work with and finish the event strong.
My pacing for the event was spot on. I had plenty of power at will on the last 40km. My nutrition was also spot on. I had 1400 calories in my bottles and a few treats in my pockets.
PRO TIP: put the nutrition in your bottles it is very hard to pull food out of your pockets and tear open packages while riding in a 30 person paceline over 25 mph.
You might recall at the beginning of the post I mentioned I was sharing my fuel, water and electrolytes with another rider to ensure they would finish in our selected pack. By the end it was only 5 of us left. We had dropped off passengers especially in the last 20 miles. I did not fade throughout the event and it was my choice to ride at a lower power setting, ride more efficiently and yet ultimately maintain a higher average speed on the back half vs the front half. The rider setting tempo upfront was very strong. He took short breaks and then would resume pulling at the front. I felt safe and kept Lori in this group rather than chase anything faster. My PR for the course is a 4:43 so this pace was much easier than usual.
More graphs just for fun
I am including my peak 20, 30 and 60 minute numbers. Lastly, I thought it would be interesting to section out Phase 2 for those that want a deeper dive into the No Man’s Land data – the Glass Cranks phase lol!
Thanks for reading! Please check out my YouTube channel
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Tour de Palm Springs is Saturday. Here's what you need to know about the impact on traffic
Streets throughout the Coachella Valley will be full of cyclists this weekend as the 24th annual Tour de Palm Springs prepares to host thousands participating in its charity ride and related events Friday and Saturday.
Tour de Palm Springs typically attracts between 6,000 and 10,000 cyclists from all over each year, according to its website. Profits from the charity ride have provided nearly $4 million to more than 150 local nonprofits since 1999 — and more than $180,000 for local charities in 2020 alone.
So far this year, 4,422 people have registered to participate in the ride/walk, including 161 who intend to walk in the event, according to organizers. This year's proceeds will benefit almost 100 nonprofits in the Coachella Valley.
Related: UCPIE raises more than $43k by riding in the Tour de Palm Springs
More: Desert Ability Center gives opportunities for people with physical disabilities
Online registration for the 24th annual Tour de Palm Springs has closed, but the roads haven't yet. The longest route, which is 100 miles long, begins in Palm Springs but spans the entire Coachella Valley with stops in Palm Desert, La Quinta, Indio, and Desert Hot Springs.
Here's what to expect from this year's event, whether you're planning on going to it or just avoiding it:
For cyclists, walkers
Online registration closed at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, but cyclists can still sign up ahead of the event this Friday and Saturday.
Where to sign-up: The registration booth will be located on South Palm Canyon near Baristo Road.
When to sign-up: The booth will be open to onsite registration from noon to 8 p.m. on Friday and 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday.
How much will it cost?: Onsite registration is $10 more than online registration was, making the current fees as follows:
- 100 mile: $105 (departs between 6:30 a.m. and 7 a.m.)
- 50 mile: $105 (departs at 8 a.m.)
- 25 mile: $85 (departs at 9 a.m.)
- 10 mile: $45 (departs at 10 a.m.)
- 1-3 Mile: $35 (departs immediately after 10-mile riders) This category is open to walkers and takes place completely in Palm Springs.
Day of check-in: Head to the registration booth, pick up your helmet ride stickers/walk wristbands and a gift.
Starting line: The tour starts at 475 N. Palm Canyon in Downtown Palm Springs.
For more information, visit tourdepalmsprings.com or call (760) 674-4700.
Reminders for motorists, other traffic
Several different paths will be used during the charity ride, some of which will not be closed to regular traffic. The California Highway Patrol in Indio is advising motorists and bicyclists to be mindful and "share the road."
Bicyclists should remember to ride single file and as close to the right edge of the roadway as possible, according to CHP. Another reminder: bicyclists are required to obey the same traffic laws as motor vehicles. This includes stopping at stop signs, red lights, riding on the right half of the roadway, and yielding right of way at intersections before a turn.
Drivers should slow down as they pass bicyclists and be patient when entering a roadway or making a turn. California law requires a minimum distance of three feet when passing a bicyclist, according to CHP.
What else?: Coachella Valley traffic fatalities jump 28% in 2021, pedestrian deaths fall slightly
Last year, the Palm Springs City Council pushed for the event to remain on Palm Canyon Drive — where the ride has begun and ended for the past eight years — but to find a way to reduce its effect on traffic by closing less of the street. It typically shuts down traffic through Palm Canyon between Tahquitz Canyon Way and Alejo Road for two days.
The city proposed the start and finish lines and the accompanying expo be moved from Palm Canyon Drive to Indian Canyon Drive; however, this change did not happen. All routes will start and end at South Palm Canyon near Tahquitz.
Planned road closures for this year now include:
- Dillon Road between Thousand Palms Canyon and Berdoo Canyon will be closed from 7 a.m. - noon on Saturday
- South Palm Canyon Drive from Baristo to Tahquitz Canyon will be closed 6 a.m. Friday until 6 p.m. Saturday
- Portions of Arenas Road will be partially closed on the east and west sides on Friday and Saturday (closures will be identical to those during VillageFest)
- Tahquitz Canyon Way between Palm Canyon Drive and Indian Canyon Drive will be closed 5 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday.
- All traffic heading southbound on Palm Canyon Drive will be detoured westbound at Tahquitz Canyon Drive.
- Northbound traffic along Indian Canyon will be detoured at Tahquitz Canyon starting at 6 a.m. Saturday until the final ride departs at 10 a.m.
- Northbound Indian Canyon Drive from Amado Road to Vista Chino will be reduced to one lane from approximately 6 a.m.-10 a.m. Saturday.
Related: Main street businesses push to reroute Tour de Palm Springs
Vendor expo, live music
Along with the charity ride comes a two-day vendor expo, which is free and open to the public. It takes place from noon to 8 p.m. on Friday and 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday along South Palm Canyon between Ramon Road and Tahquitz Canyon Way.
In addition to vendors specializing in bicycles, bicycle gear and outdoors wear, local organizations such as the Palm Springs Animal Shelter and the Coachella Valley Hiking Club will be present.
Want to get out?: Here's 10 things to do in the Coachella Valley this week
Friday night will also feature local jazz musicians performing in downtown Palm Springs. That night's festivities will be kicked off with a 35 piece marching band at South Palm Canyon and Tahquitz beginning at 3:45 p.m. and 4:45 p.m.
Maria Sestito covers issues of aging in the Coachella Valley. She is also a Report for America corps member. Follow her on Twitter @RiaSestito, on Instagram @RiaSestito_Reporter or email her at [email protected].
Previous reporting by Paul Albani-Burgio and James Cutchin.
The Pampered Athlete
Mixing endurance sports with leisure travel, dining and wellness.
California , Cycling , Dining & Drinks , Lodging , Palm Springs , Southern California , USA
Tour de Palm Springs: The Pampered Athlete’s Guide
Welcome to the pampered athlete and our picks for the best hotels, restaurants, coffee spots, spas and more for the tour de palm springs cycling event. before we dive into our recommendations, let us provide a little background on the palm springs area and the ride itself, in case you haven’t been there before., about palm springs california.
Palm Springs is a city of approximately 50,000 people, located in the Coachella Valley region of the Sonoran Desert, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) east of Los Angeles. It is surrounded by a number of other desert resort towns, including Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells and Desert Hot Springs.
In the early 20th century, Palm Springs became a top destination for the Hollywood elite. From there, it grew into a popular tourist destination for visitors from around the world.
Today, it is best known for its cushy resorts and spas, great restaurants, abundant outdoor recreation and lively arts scene. It’s also surrounded by a diverse range of natural environments, from the desert landscapes of the Coachella Valley Preserve and Joshua Tree National Park to the snow capped peaks of Mt. San Jacinto.
Palm Springs is too hot for our taste in the summer, with highs approaching 110F (43C). In winter, it’s a Pampered Athlete’s paradise.
In November through March, high temperatures in town average 70-80F (21-26C), while a short tram ride up Mt. San Jacinto brings you to the snow.
You can easily go for a long bike ride in the morning, snowshoe in the afternoon, eat a farm-to-table lunch in between and end the day with cocktails by the pool.
For this reason, Palm Springs is one of our favorite off-season training locations, as well as a great spot to kick off the season with an event like the Tour de Palm Springs.
About the Tour de Palm Springs
Started in 1998, the Tour de Palm Springs is one of the largest and most festive cycling events in the U.S. Typically held in February, roughly 10,000 cyclists from around the world descend on the city to enjoy the scenic ride, great food, music and gorgeous weather.
There are routes ranging from 10 to 100 miles (16 to 160 kilometers), departing between 6:30am and 10:00am. The routes are all relatively flat, with the most strenuous climbing a total of 3200 feet (975 meters).
Whichever route you choose, the ride starts and ends in downtown Palm Springs, providing easy access to great hotels, food, coffee and more. You’ll also have live bands, well supplied rest stops and SAG vehicles all along the way.
More information, including registration can be found on the event website . In true Palm Springs over-the-top hospitality fashion, they even publish the “Music, Food and Bike Mechanic” menu in advance.
What We Look For in Lodging, Food, Drinks and Wellness
When getting advice on where to stay, eat, drink and relax during an upcoming trip, it’s important to know the tastes and preferences of the people offering their opinions. That’s why we would like to share what we look for in choosing hotels, vacation rentals, restaurants, bars, coffee shops and spas for our endurance event getaways.
As the name The Pampered Athlete suggests, we’re willing to spend a little extra to make sure that our trip is enjoyable, comfortable and convenient. We don’t need five star resorts or MICHELIN rated dining experiences, but we do look for the following:
- Walking distance to the start/transition area, preferably within a mile (1.6 kilometers), so we’re in no rush on race day
- A quiet room with a king-sized bed, to ensure we both sleep comfortably
- An in-room refrigerator and coffee maker, at minimum, with a preference for a microwave, kitchenette or full kitchen, to ensure we can eat and drink what we want, when we want
- Whenever possible, we also look for extras, such as an in-room jetted tub, a balcony or patio with a view, and convenient access to spas, restaurants and barista coffee.
For dining and drinks:
- We like all types of food, so we try to go with what’s good in the local area.
- Fresh Ingredients
- Ample Portions
- Original Offerings
- Pleasant Setting
- It may also be helpful to know that Dave is a salty-carb-loving vegetarian who regularly eats “second (and third) breakfast” and that Lara leans paleo, with an insatiable sushi and seafood appetite.
- Most of our restaurant picks offer dishes to satisfy a range of dietary profiles. Though, on occasion, we may recommend a place just for its french fries or barbecue ribs.
For wellness activities, we generally look for spas with well qualified staff, relaxing settings and a good reputation among locals and visitors alike.
Best Places to Stay, Eat, Drink and Relax by the Tour de Palm Springs
If you want to stay right next to the ride start/finish, there are abundant great options downtown. A few of our favorites include:
- The jetted tub suites at Andreas Hotel & Spa and Hotel Zoso
- The spacious, private suites and bungalows at Avalon Hotel and Ingleside Inn
- The quieter location and personalized service of the Old Ranch Inn
- The kitchen suites at Drift and Casa Cody
- The Holiday House rooms with outdoor patios and showers
For those looking to use or earn or use loyalty points from major chains, we recommend the Kimpton Rowan Hotel , Hilton Palm Springs or Marriott Renaissance.
There are a few more options in the Old Las Palmas and Movie Colony neighborhoods just north of downtown. We suggest checking out:
- The kitchen casitas at Triada by Marriott
- The balcony and fireplace rooms at the Colony Palms Hotel
- The patio rooms at the Movie Colony Hotel
The north end of town, near the intersection of Palm Canyon and Vista Chino also has some fun places to stay. We particularly like:
- The comfy suites and great spa at Margaritaville Resort
- The kitchy, retro-modern rooms at The Palm Springs Hotel
- The clean, modern poolside rooms at Descanso Resort and ARRIVE by Palisociety
Of course, you can always find a vacation rental on a site like VRBO or check sites like Booking.com and Hotels.com for other Palm Springs offerings.
No matter where you choose to stay in Palm Springs, great food and drinks are nearby. The 2.5 mile (4 kilometer) stretch of Palm Canyon and Indian Canyon roads — running from Ramon to Racquet Club — houses the majority of the best restaurants, bars and coffee spots.
Here are some of our favorite restaurants downtown.
- LULU California Bistro for a wide variety of great food, day or night
- Wilma & Frieda for an elevated comfort food brunch
- Farm Palm Springs for breakfast, brunch or lunch with a Southern French flare
- Rooster and the Pig for a refined Vietnamese dinner
- El Patio for hearty, authentic Mexican dishes
- Tac/Quila and Sol Agave for modern Mexican cuisine
- The Tropicale for the retro-tropical vibe
Slightly further up the road, we like the innovative culinary creations of Workshop Kitchen+Bar and the California cuisine at Eight4Nine .
At the north end of town, we truly enjoy the dog lovers vibe and great food at Boozehounds and the wonderful sashimi and rolls at Sandfish Sushi and Whiskey .
And don’t forget the coffee. One of the first things we look for in any town we visit is a place to get a well made espresso or latte. If they roast their own beans, even better. Our favorite in Palm Spring is Cartel Roasting Co . We also enjoy Gre Records & Coffee , Bluebird Days and Ristretto.
For those who like to eat in, most of the best restaurants in the surrounding area are also on food delivery apps, such as Grubhub and Doordash .
Additional Tips and Things to Know
Finally, here are a few quick bits of information to help make your Tour de Palm Springs experience more enjoyable.
- Most of the best spas are outside of town, in Desert Hot Springs or Indian Wells/La Quinta. If you’re looking for a massage or other spa treatments in town, we recommend St. Somewhere Spa at the Margaritaville Resort or Estrella Spa at the Avalon Hotel .
- In Desert Hot Springs, we like the Desert Spa at Two Bunch Palms and the Day Spa at Azure Palm Hot Springs .
- In Indian Wells/La Quinta, our favorites are Spa La Quinta at La Quinta Resort & Club and Spa Desert Springs at the JW Marriott .
- We highly recommend taking the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to the top of Mt San Jacinto and doing a little snowshoeing or just enjoying the view.
- There is a ton of great hiking around Palm Springs. For a hike right by downtown, check out the South Lykken , North Lykken and Museum trails.
- If you’re looking for another great spring ride in southern California, check out our post on the Gran Fondo San Diego .
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- Vendor Expo
- Official Photo Service
- Lodging & Parking
- Charities Associated with the Tour de Palm Springs
- SAG Stops & Foods
26th Annual Tour de Palm Springs in Coachella Valley
February 9 & 10, 2024
“Honoring Military, First Responders, and Veterans”
Title Sponsor – Esser Air Conditioning
Online registration (Currently Open)
First 5,000 cyclists will be entered into a drawing for 1 FREE weekend stay at Palm Springs Hilton
Each cyclist and walker will receive Tour de Palm Springs finishing medal
CHECK IN LOCATION: NEAR 296 S. Palm Canyon
Babes Beer garden open Friday 2pm to 8:00pm and Saturday 11am to 5pm
Sponsored b y Babes Bar-B-Que And Brewery
The Tour de Palm Springs is one of the largest and most festive cycling charity events of its kind in America. Every year, we entertain up to 10,000 cyclists from 46 different states and 4 countries. Since 1998, and with the help of 2,000 volunteers, the Tour de Palm Springs has distributed nearly $4,000,000.00 to over 150 local nonprofit organizations.
Congratulations to our 2023 Hilton Free Nights Winner – Kevin from Alameda
Congrats to our 2023 raffle winner, gary, who won the e-bike this year.
Registration and Vendor Expo: February 9 & 10
Location: Beautiful downtown Palm Springs
Entertainment: Over 20 band concerts will occur throughout the event and rest stops
Start & Finish Line: Experience one of the most famous and festive send off and finishes in America
Route Support: Over 20 vehicles will support cyclists on routes including 25 RACES HAM radio operators
Rest Stops : 3 lunch stops, 2 snack stops, and 4 water stops are available along the routes.
Sag Foods: include hot pasta, burritos, wings, pizza, pb&js, cookies, and much more.
Volunteers: Over 2,500 volunteers will pour their hearts out to give cyclists a wonderful experience!
E-Bikes are welcome!
rentals and repairs available at Tri a Bike
PLEASE CONTACT OUR OFFICE HERE
ROUTE COLORS : 100: RED 50: BLUE 25: BLACK 10: GREEN 5: PURPLE WALK: ORANGE -->
CVSPIN 501(C)3 #33-0836672
The Tour de Palm Springs is Nationally known for many reasons and below are just a few:
- Food stops (NEW) Fine buffet foods are now served while 50 member bands entertain cyclists
- Entertainment: Over 20 bands will be staged throughout event and along routes for our cyclists
- Finish line: Cyclists are greeted by nearly 100 cheerleaders including large marching bands
- Start line: Cyclists are sent off into the streets with a nearly 200-member marching band
- Start area: Cyclists will exit thru military, police & fire vehicles with sirens on and lights flashing
- Route support: Over 30 vehicles will be used to support cyclists on the routes including vans, buses & others
- Communication: 25 RACES HAM radio operators ensure stranded cyclists will be attended to ASAP
- 1,500 volunteers: 1,500 volunteers will pour their hearts out to give cyclists the time of their life
For these reasons and more, photos & videos are shared on social media by thousands of cyclists across America.
February 20, 2021 | Downtown Palm Springs, CA
February 20, 2021 Downtown Palm Springs, CA
2020 Date has been Cancelled | Palm Desert, CA
All Events » Road Cycling
Tour de Palm Springs
February 10, 2024.
The sun-drenched roads of Palm Springs, nestled amidst the captivating mountain backdrops, are soon to witness the 26th Tour de Palm Springs – Coachella Valley . This isn’t just any ordinary cycling event. Its journey from being a humble initiative in 1998, where a mere 400 cyclists gathered, has transformed into one of America’s most significant and spirited charity cycling events. From the inaugural event that raised $20,000, this ride, organized by CVSPIN (Coachella Valley Serving People In Need), has raised over $4,000,000 since its inception. This dedication to Coachella Valley charities, ensuring every dollar remains within the valley, has rendered this event as a beacon of community spirit and philanthropy.
The Tour de Palm Springs – Coachella Valley offers a mid-winter opportunity to get a big ride in the seasonally mild desert mountain climate and welcomes 6,000-10,000 riders annually from nearly all US states and a handful of countries. Strambecco also rates the event as one of the best road cycling events in the Southwest and California .
Event & Course Info
If you’re considering being part of this epic ride, here’s a sneak peek into what you’re signing up for. Starting from the heart of Palm Springs, riders can choose from multiple routes ranging from 102, 85, 56, 34, 25, and 7-mile options. No matter which route you choose at the Tour de Palm Springs , you’ll be rewarded with stunning landscapes. Activities kick off at 6:15am with the 102-mile route which has many rolling hills and gradual climbs, but nothing too steep. 2023 routes are below but you can expect similar profiles for 2024, with total elevation gain for the 102-mile route coming in near 3,200 feet, 3,000 feet for the 85-mile route, and 2,300 feet for the 56-mile option.
This is an extremely well-supported event with over 2,000 volunteers, 30 SAG vehicles, and five food stops. Riders can rest assured as the journey is dotted with SAG stops approximating every 20 miles, depending on the chosen route. These stops are a cyclist’s haven with bike mechanics, first aid, live bands, and replenishments, including hot pasta, wings, and energy drinks. And if you face any hiccups, there are over 20 SAG vehicles, RACES HAM radio operators, and a whopping 2,500 volunteers to ensure you have a smooth ride. Entertainment before, during, and after the ride include over 20 bands, a vendor expo, a post-ride party, cheerleaders, beer garden and even a marching band!
Whether you’re a seasoned rider or just starting out, the Tour de Palm Springs promises a blend of athleticism, community spirit, and above all, an experience to remember.
Area Accommodations & Things to Do
Palm Springs, nestled in California’s sun-soaked Coachella Valley, offers travelers a harmonious blend of mid-century modern architecture, serene desert landscapes, and a vibrant cultural scene. With its historic Hollywood retreats, rejuvenating hot springs, and array of upscale shops and restaurants, this desert oasis promises a unique getaway experience. Whether you’re looking to delve into its rich arts scene, lounge by a pool, or explore the vast desert trails, Palm Springs caters to both relaxation and adventure seekers alike.
Recommended hotels for the Tour de Palm Springs – Coachella Valley include Hilton Palm Springs , the Ace Hotel , and Holiday House PS among other great options . For those that prefer a more home-like experience, there are plenty of vacation rentals to choose from whether it’s a private guest house or a hillside villa for a group. If you are up for camping, check out some of the amazing one of a kind camping locations in the surrounding area or the local KOA .
Palm Springs boasts a diverse culinary scene that marries its rich Hollywood golden era history with contemporary tastes, offering everything from chic farm-to-table eateries to iconic steakhouses set amidst its stunning desert backdrop. The city’s restaurants and cafes seamlessly blend nostalgic mid-century charm with innovative dishes, reflecting the eclectic mix of locals and visitors that flock to this desert oasis. Be sure to check out these must visit restaurants while in town for the event.
With its temperate climate, awe-inspiring desert vistas, and a plethora of activities, this California desert oasis becomes a hotspot for those eager to kickstart their year with adventure when visiting in January. Just a few miles south of downtown Palm Springs lie the Indian Canyons, a collection of stunning desert canyons and lush oases once inhabited by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. January’s mild temperatures make it an excellent time to explore these canyons. For a moderate hike, consider the Andreas Canyon Trail, a 2-mile loop that winds along a babbling stream, under the shade of California fan palms. Those seeking a challenging hike can opt for the Palm Canyon Trail, which offers 15 miles of diverse terrain, showcasing the vast Sonoran desert’s flora and fauna.
For cyclists looking for adrenaline-pumping terrain, the Coachella Valley presents an array of mountain biking trails that meander through rocky terrains, sandy washes, and undulating desert landscapes. One popular trail is the Araby Trail, which starts near the base of the mountains and climbs steeply, offering panoramic views of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley. The cooler January climate provides a respite from the desert’s typical heat, making it an optimal time for cyclists to traverse these trails.
Finally, roughly an hour’s drive from Palm Springs, Joshua Tree National Park is a haven for rock climbers. The park boasts over 8,000 climbing routes on its iconic quartz monzonite formations. While Joshua Tree offers challenges for climbers of all skill levels, beginners might consider starting at the Hidden Valley Campground, which has a variety of beginner-friendly routes. January’s cooler temperatures mean climbers can enjoy extended sessions without the searing summer sun. However, it’s essential to check the weather forecast, as winter can occasionally bring cold winds and even snow to the higher elevations of the park.
In addition to Tour de Palm Springs, CVSPIN also organizes another event in the Fall, the Patriot Ride For Our Heroes. Other premiere road cycling events in Southern California that are worth checking out are Phil’s Cookie Fondo , as well as Tour de Big Bear from Big Bear Cycling Association and Mammoth Gran Fondo organized by Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation – together both events make up the California Pass Challenge for riders that conquer both iconic rides.
For the multi-sport athletes out there, the famous Grizzly 100 & Big Bear MTB Gran Fondo from Bear Valley Bikes, part of the National Ultra Endurance Race Series (NUE) is one of the best mountain bike events in the Southwest and one worth adding to your racing calendar. Gravel enthusiasts will no doubt already have BWR San Diego on their radar, produced by Monuments of Cycling and part of their Quadrupel Crown of Gravel Series , but another event to consider is the Bovine Classic from Bike Monkey & Locomotiv Performance Coaching . Both are considered some of the Best Gravel Cycling Events in the Southwest and California , as rated by the team at Strambecco. Finally, the trail runners of the group will appreciate the best events California and the Southwest has to offer from the Catalina Marathon to Canyons Endurance Runs from Epic Endurance Events , a Western States 100 qualifier and part of the UTMB World Series .
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