[popeye]What began 16 years ago as a small community cycling event in Eastlake has flourished into a highly anticipated, renowned event among San Diego cyclist. On Saturday April 28th, the Eastlake Educational Foundation presented the 16th Annual Cycle Eastlake and again successfully raised needed funds to help six local Eastlake schools.

This year’s event spun into high gear once again at the Otay Ranch Town Center in front of the REI store. Registration opened at 6:30am for riders from all over San Diego County to get checked in. There were three different courses for riders of all ages and skill levels. The first set of riders left at 7:30 for the 100k course. The second set of riders departed at 8am for the 25 mile Marty Garcia Memorial Ride and the last set of riders left at 8:30am for the 18 mile Mountain Bike & Poker Ride.  Individual riders and teams tested their endurance and skills in each of the courses. Riders were encouraged to ride at their own pace and enjoy the Chula Vista scenery as they ride.

“This is one our biggest fund raising events and to see all of these riders come out and take part, it is just amazing,” said Executive Director Nicole Graichen of the Eastlake Educational Foundation. This was her first event as director for the EEF. “We had over 100 more riders who took part this year than last and I heard many of them say registration was a lot easier this time.”

The Eastlake Educational Foundation (EEF) was established in 1995 with the mission of raising funds to support public schools within the community of Eastlake. All of the money raised from events like this goes back into the schools. The EEF, over its 16 years existence, have donated over $1.5 million dollars to schools to help purchase new technology for the students. All of the board members are volunteers as well as the staff needed to run fund raising events like this. To find out more about the EEF and how you can help please visit their website by clicking here. You can also find out about how to take part in their upcoming golf tournament.

“I look forward to this event each year,” said San Diego resident Susan Martin as she got ready to ride in the 25 mile course. “It’s not a race so you can just enjoy the ride and take in the perfect weather and beautiful Chula Vista back country.” The 25 mile ride is dedicated to Marty Garcia a Chula Vista resident who lost his life while riding in 2005. His wife was on hand and thanked all of the riders who took part in the course before they left. Several riders wore special jerseys recognizing Marty with his name and image.

After the ride participants were treated to music and fun at the Otay Ranch Town Center. Local business vendors had giveaways as well as information on healthy living. Kids could also get a free bike helmet courtesy of Cox Communications. REI was on hand helping riders get tuned up before the ride. Riders could also fuel up with free bananas, granola bars and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Many of the participants ride these Chula Vista bike trails all the time, this is just more of a formalized ride. Eastlake has so much to offer cyclist, and what better way to share its attributes and raise money for local schools than with this wonderful yearly event.

To see more photos from Cycle Eastlake then click here for our full gallery.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://chulavistaliving.com/images/kurt-bunch.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Kurt Bunch is the owner of Chula Vista Living. You will often find him at all of the city events taking video or photos to add to the website. Kurt loves to promote the city and let residents know about what is going on in their community. Chula Vista Living was started with just that goal. To follow Kurt Bunch for more coverage of Chula Vista events click here to follow him on Twitter.[/author_info] [/author]