A Locals Guide To The Best Places To Watch The 2015 Redlands Bicycle Classic, Stage By Stage.
The 2015 Redlands Bicycle Classic is set to be another great edition of the race that creates Legends. With the Highland Circuit race on opening hostilities for the professional Men and Women, a new stage in Yucaipa with a mountain top finish in Oak Glen, plus the brutal Big Bear Time-Trial, Brutal Downtown Redlands Criterium and Infamous Sunset Loop, there is an incredible amount of bike racing to see and enjoy.
With all of the excitement spread across five days of racing, the Redlands Bicycle Classic Organizing Committee has created a list of the best spectator areas to check out all the racing action. Enjoy!
The Highland Circuit Race, Day 1, Wednesday April 8th:
-This race has will consist of fourteen laps for Pro Women and twenty laps for the Pro Men, the course is fast and technical with many great areas to watch. This is a great course to bring your bicycle and ride the alongside the course to choose your own, best viewing area!
-Location 1, The Start/Finish Area: Being that this race course is fast and spectacular, it makes the Start/Finish area one of the best viewing areas. The racers will be crossing the start/finish line many times and during the race there were will be intermediate ‘sprint’ points that keep the racing action fast and exciting. This area offers a great place to hear the announcers as well as the opportunity to see the riders come up the incredibly steep finishing hill (a 15% grade!) and then speed away down the hill into turn two two at nearly 50mph!
-Map: Baseline Street just west of Church Street near the Brightwater Senior Center – Google Map
-Location 2, Turn Two: Once the riders cross the start/finish line and go through turn-one, they rush downhill across a wide boulevard that will see over two-hundred riders rushing to be at the front of the peloton. This 40+mph downhill section is complicated by a technical ninety-degree right turn at the bottom. This is a great place to get a respect for how fast these Pro Women and Pro Men are. You will be impressed not just by their speed, but how closely they ride to each at these speeds.
-Map: Church Street and Jack Rabbit Trail, near Arroyo Verde Elementary School – Google Map
-Location 3, Feed-Zone: Although this spot offers a limited viewing of the entire course, it offers a glimpse into one of the most unique aspects of bicycle racing…the feed-zone. These riders will be be speeding by the area at 30mph reaching for nourishment from trusted team support members. If you have never experienced the chaos of 200 thirst crazed riders reaching for their beverage of choice, this is something to see!
-Map: Webster Street between Saguaro Way and Baseline Street near the Imanuel Baptist Church – Google Map
The Big Bear Time-Trial, Day 2, Thursday April 9th:
-On this stage riders start at thirty second intervals and finish at very quick intervals, making the start/finish line a great place to see the racing action first-hand. The Time-Trial stage is a special stage that sees each individual riding alone working at their maximum level to cover the course in quickest manner possible. Be sure to check out the special, purpose-built bikes and equipment the riders use to achieve speeds over 30mph in a solo-effort!
-Location 1, The Start/Finish Area: The start/finish area is where the riders will begin and end their incredible solo efforts, the area is a great viewing spot for spectators who can cheer for their favorite riders or teams. Be sure to check out the special ramp that the riders start from to get up to speed quickly.
-Location/Map: North Shore Drive/Rte 38 east of Big Bear Ranger Station Road – Google Map
-Location 2, The Course Turn-Around In FawnSkin: The Big Bear Time-Trial features a spectator friendly, out-and-back, format that sees the riders blaze a trail toward this turn-around area and then return to the start/finish area. The turn-around gives spectators a glimpse of how difficult the individual effort can be for each rider, this is their only moment of rest and, sometimes, the facial expressions or ‘suffer faces’ are priceless!
-Location/Map: North Shore Drive/Rte 38 near Cherokee Street in Fawnskin – Google Map
The City of Yucaipa Road Race, Day 3, Friday April 10th:
-The City of Yucaipa Road Race offers spectators a large viewing area, the course is long with a lot of climbing which will make the race incredibly difficult on the riders. This is a classic European Style race course, a series of fast and challenging loops followed by one big push to the finish, ie the final climb to Oak Glen. This will be an epic day of bike racing!
-Location 1, Rte. 38 Ranger Station: This course features multiple ascents of the energy zapping climb of the Rte. 38. The intersection of Rte. 38 and Bryant Street is a great place to see the damage that this lengthy climb will do to the Pro Women and Pro Men.
-Location/Map: Rte. 38 at Bryant Street near the Ranger Station – Google Map
-Location 2, Oak Glen Village Summit Finish Area: The racers will be gasping for air all the way up the climb to the Oak Glen Village and making their final push at the finish line, making this the single best place to view the race.
-Location/Map: Oak Tree Village on Oak Glen Rd near Harris Road – Google Map
-Location 3, Anywhere on Oak Glen Rd: Cycling is a unique sport in the sense that it offers very little barrier between the spectators and the racers. The climb to Oak Glen offers spectators the opportunity to get out on their own bikes to ride the same road as champions from across the world. Any place where you can cheer, encourage, and otherwise see the immense effort every athlete must put forth to conquer this brutal mountain is a great spectator spot!
The City of Redlands Downtown Criterium, Day 4, Saturday April 11th:
-The Downtown Criterium is known as the fastest and most technical criterium race in the United States. The racing will be fast and the proximity that these riders race together at will impress as the peloton speeds by at over 30mph.
-Location 1, The Start/Finish Area: The start/finish area is a great place to see the speed of criterium racing first hand, the riders will be passing this area many times and the racing will be very aggressive. We recommend you take the time to get close to the fencing in order to feel the rush of the peloton as they pass by, it is an incredible experience! Also, be sure to check out the Parking Structure across from Martha Greens Eating Room as a way to see more of the course.
-Location/Map: Citrus Avenue across near Martha Greens Eating Room and Provident Bank – Google Map
-Location 2, The Final Turn: The final turn on this course is the last in a sequence of technical and challenging turns that keeps each rider intensely focused. The final turn is where the decisive moves will be made throughout the race for ‘point sprints’, ‘time bonsues’, and the race win.
-Location/ Map: Citrus Avenue and Cajon Street near Redlands City Hall – Google Map
-Location 3-…, Every Turn: This race course offers spectators so many opportunities to see the racers up close and personal. We strongly suggest you walk the course and check out each turn as these riders will be putting on a show throughout the entire course, there is so much action to see in this criterium!
The Beaver Medical Group Sunset Road Race, Day 5, Sunday April 12th:
-The Beaver Medical Group Sunset Road Race is a classic in American Cycle Racing, this course is fast, technical, and brutally leg-breaking. There is not bad place to view the race, but here are a couple that we can recommend. As a side note, when viewing this course, we encourage you to get close to the action and cheer for your favorite rider or team, but please be careful crossing the street as the riders pass with ferocity of a speeding train!
-Location 1, The Start/Finish Area: This is the same area as the Downtown Criterium, there will be a lot of great racing action on the course as the Pro Women and Pro Men do laps on the criterium course before heading uphill through the streets of Redlands to the brutal Sunset Loop.
-Location/ Map: Citrus Avenue across from Martha Greens Eating Room near Provident Bank – Google Map
-Location 2, The Redlands Fire Station: This is a great viewing area for spectators with plenty of room to bring the family and set up camp for the day. The riders will be swooping downhill and break-neck speeds only to turn back up the hill heading for another lap of the infamous Sunset Loop!
-Location/ Map: Simonds Parkway on Garden Street across from the Redlands Fire Station – Google Map
-Location 3, The Top of The Ridge Street Climb: The top of Ridge Road represents the first steep pitch of the Sunset Loop, this climb confronts the riders with slowing their momentum and requiring incredible power to overcome. The riders will be fighting to maintain their speed and complete the remaining climb of Sunset.
-Location/ Map: Ridge Street at Sunset Drive – Google Map
-Location 4, The Feedzone Area: At the top of the Sunset Loop is the Feedzone Area where the depleted riders will be desperately reaching for water and food before they speed back toward the Fire Station to hit the climb again. Watching the team support staff in the Feedzone Area is impressive as they place themselves right in the path of the racers in order to deliver nutrition to their riders!
-Location/ Map: Sunset Drive at Puesta Del Sol – Google Map