Cycling enthusiast Joe Bishop describes the Wine Country Bike Trek best: “Where else can you get 3 days campsite, 5 meals, 2 bands, 3 great biking courses, Firestone Beer, and wine all included at a great price? On top of that, it all goes to a great charity, People Helping People, in the process!” For over thirty years cyclists, families, and anyone willing to get in the saddle for rides ranging from 20 to 72 miles have convened to camp out in the Santa Ynez Valley for a long weekend of pedaling to enjoy the natural beauty of the area and to celebrate pledges raised for charity. With options to sign up for one, two, or three-day rides June 20-22, the Wine Trek weekend offers an experience for everyone that is sure to provide spectacular cycling, great food and drink, and a sense of purpose for the greater good.
Since beginning in 1982, this ride continues to draw repeat participants. Donna Beal, race director of Wine Country Bike Fest says, “Many of these riders, volunteers, and sponsors have been coming for more than 30 years. With this history, we are like a family unit and love it when we get new riders.” The event provides a variety of ride options and accommodations over the three days including an exclusive, unique camping location hospitably provided by the Midland School. Local provisions of live music, BBQ’s, craft brews, and fine wines unite the affair when you get off the roads and join the party. Riders travel from all over the country to enjoy this beautiful region, and you can read more about how the valley even attracts world-class cyclists in our recent article about America’s premier cycling race, the Amgen Tour of California .
A Wine Country Bike Trek rider for over 8 years, Laureen Killenberger remarks, “Biking through the beautiful, rolling hills of the Santa Ynez Valley allows you to gain a new perspective, culminating into a huge sense of accomplishment all while raising funds for a great organization.” After partnering with the American Lung Association for many years under names like “Bike for Breath,” in 2009 the event began to raise funding for the local organization, People Helping People, when they noticed an increase in need from many of their clients. People Helping People works hard to “feed the hungry with over 280,000 pounds of groceries each year; provide shelter to prevent homelessness; prevent domestic violence; furnish counseling, medical and dental care for the uninsured; and offer at risk teens an after school youth program including homework assistance, recreational activities, and leadership opportunities.”
Beal invites riders of all experience levels to join the fun and help neighbors in need. She adds, “This ride is a true gem and a hidden secret in the valley.” For more information visit their website.