Inclement weather could create issues for Tour de Palm Springs
Rain, wind, and even snow fell in much of the Southland for most of the day Friday, creating slick roadways and reducing visibility.
Dozens of minor accidents were reported by early afternoon through the San Gorgonio Pass, with snow and ice covering the roadways.
Earnest Rinem knows how dangerous driving in winter weather can be. He tells us, "Just drive real slow, you just got to be careful because you could always slip out. Have chains if you're going up in the mountains."
Several roads are closed until further notice because of the severe winter weather, but roadways in the valley remain open and ready for the more than 10,000 cyclists expected in the 15th Tour de Palm Springs.
The good news? Event creator Tim Esser tells us, "We are going to go rain or shine."
The cold and rainy weather may not be an ideal start, but riders are passionate and ready for anything.
Debby Maus has been making the trip to ride since 2002. She says, "The rain can be tricky because the roads are slick, sometimes it's cold because then you have to add in wind chill. We'll just, you know, game time decision."
Registration for the tour opens at 5:30 AM, and cyclists start riding shortly after. Over 50 pallets of water and mountains of food will be handed out along the one of a kind ride.
Bill Feist has been organizing registration for the tour, and knows just how unique the ride can be. "We have different side stops, it's a stop and go where the riders get their food and their drink and there will be bands playing at everyone of these," Feist says. "We even have spots in the middle of the desert and, no where else. We have riders coming in from everywhere and they tell us, I've never ridden like this before."
The ride raised $275,000 dollars last year and, thanks to the over 1,000 volunteers, looks to be an even more successful event in 2013.
"Without the volunteers this event could not happen," Esser says. "So, we're really blessed to have everyone here as a community to help support over 200 non-profit organizations."
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