[heading]by MICHELLE TREMBLAY[/heading]

On Sunday, Sept. 8, the nonprofit group, Swami’s Cycling Club will be hosting its first ever Grand Prix cycling race in coastal Carlsbad. The mission behind the event: to promote cycling, to benefit a number of charities, including, the Boys and Girls Club of Carlsbad, the Mitchelle Thorp Foundation, the Challenged Athletes Foundation, and to show off the city of Carlsbad, of course.

The high-level bike race starts at 7 a.m., and encompasses a 0.9 mile course with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. “The public and first-timers are invited,” said Event Director, Fred Muir, who also explained that a one-day USA cycling license will be available for $5 for people who don’t hold an annual license. “This happens to be one of the safest, if not the safest, criterium course ever with only two turns,” he added.

Hoping to emulate the Dana Point Grand Prix (a cycling event, Fred noted, that is considered to be the new standard of Criterium races in the U.S.) and eventually be part of a Beach Cities Criterium Series in Southern California, the race schedule calls for 16 races ranging from a 30-minute race to one over an hour in duration. A hand cycle race is also included. But the real draw of the event is its coastal location. “Whereas most races are held in industrial parks so as not to disrupt traffic in busier downtown locations…Carlsbad has a benefit in that, from our course and expo, spectators will have a 180 degree ocean view,” stated Fred.

While the event is mainly geared toward biking enthusiasts, it still manages to offer something for everyone. To drive that point home, the Carlsbad Family Fun Ride – free to the public – will kick off the weekend events on Saturday, Sept. 7, at 9 a.m. “Based in Holiday Park, we have a full schedule of family-oriented fitness events centered around a family fun ride based on the Poker Ride concept,” said Fred. Families are sure to be satisfied with the day, as it is chock-full of activities for all ages, including, music, food, games, expos, a bike rodeo and a fitness course.

The Carlsbad Grand Prix of Cycling is sponsored by Hoehn Motors and KPRI. For more information, visit www.carlsbadgrandprix.com.

[box title=”At A Glance” color=”#228822″]

Inaugural Grand Prix of Cycling At-A-Glance:
Name of Event: Carlsbad Family Fun Ride and Carlsbad Grand Prix of Cycling
Dates: September 7 – 8, 2013
Times: Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Location: Saturday at Holiday Street and Sunday at Armado Street
Website: www.carlsbadgrandprix.com
Cost: All Saturday events are free. $25 to $35 for racing on Sunday.