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Morgan Hill
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December 2, 2021

Our Town: Recent cycling events a smashing success

I just returned from a solo motorcycle trip across the great Southwest. Traveling mostly two-lane blacktop, there were few distractions other than the iconic, beautiful countryside.

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So what does one do with all of that time in one’s own head? Well, if you had spent the recent past in Morgan Hill, you could reflect on some of what happened when the Amgen Tour of California came to town.

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Leading up to the Tour of California race itself, I was promoting the events put on by and for the Morgan Hill community. This is how they went.

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A big effort was made to reach out to our school kids by the folks from Specialized Bicycle Components and the Amgen ToC representatives, which had a huge impact on our youth. I saw the faces of two kids on race day who felt a personal affinity with the Tour of California event. I think some dedicated young bicyclists were created.

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The first Morgan Hill Bike Party was a huge success. Two special rigs that looked like giant speakers with disco lights traveled with the wave of about 120 reveling riders through city streets in what was an incredibly fun and safe evening.

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The Amgen ToC Kick-Off Concert was a huge success with more than 1,000 people enjoying a special night of music and dozens of kids in the parking lot riding in their own Bike Rodeo. Thank you to those involved for making both events huge successes.

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The Mother’s Day Ride with the Mayor was a huge hit with more than 70 riders showing up for a beautiful morning ride and pancakes.

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Specialized held a rare open house, and it seemed like the entire community showed up. It was impressive. They opened up the doors to their sprawling facility and were overwhelmed by the interest that their community showed in what they are doing right here in Morgan Hill. I think Specialized felt the love.

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Race day was impressive. To see our downtown turned into a world-class sports venue overnight was astounding. Not only was the transformation of our downtown amazing, but the whole well-oiled machine that was created to manage street closures and every little detail involved in hosting an event of this magnitude worked at a truly world-class level.

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This local effort was staffed mostly by employees of the city of Morgan Hill. Led primarily by the very same person who was so involved in bringing this event to our community, our city staffers put together an event that has already been recognized for its superior and possibly procedure-setting operations.

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Once again, we in Morgan Hill did it our own way and did it better.

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I’m sure there will be some statistics to quantify the benefit to our community, but for now I’m just proud to see what just happened in our little town. Did you see the aerial shots during the broadcast?

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We currently have a healthy bicycling culture, and I hope it continues to grow. I think we’ve arrived as a world class bicycling community.

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John McKay is president of the Morgan Hill Downtown Association, city planning commissioner and co-founder of the Morgan Hill Tourism Alliance. He can be reached at [email protected]

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