More than 250 contestants took part in the City’s 4th annual “Tour de Perris” bicycle rides and its inaugural 5-K Power Walk to raise money for breast cancer research and treatments.
Triple-digit temperatures did not deter the riders and walkers who turned out at the Perris City Hall Campus on Oct. 4 ready to challenge themselves against Mother Nature.
Some cyclists were veterans of the Tour de Perris and planned to take on the 62-mile and 100-mile courses and came from long distances to ride. Others were first timers and hoped to finish the 30-mile course. The day’s riding activities also included an 8-mile family course and a “Tour de Tots” bicycle-training session at City Hall for the littlest riders.
Perris resident Alonzo Robles didn’t know the 62-mile ride left the campus at 7 a.m. So he arrived at 4:30 a.m. while it was still dark. It was Robles’ first extended ride and he was eager to hit the road. He said the rides encourage a healthy lifestyle and the City’s “Live Well Perris” initiative has garnered regional, state and national recognition.
“It’s great for the City to encourage healthy living,” he said.
Jennifer Orr said she would use the Tour de Perris’ 100-mile ride as a training exercise for the upcoming “Iron Man Arizona triathlon—an event that includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile marathon. Orr, who lives in Murrieta, said she enjoys the Tour de Perris because it is “close to home, I see a lot of scenery and I get to ride with my friends.” This year marked her third Tour.
Perris Valley satellite technology executive Steve Smits said he usually puts in 90-hour workweeks. Rides like the Tour de Perris provide a welcome relief. Smits often rides in San Diego as part of his training regimen.
“For me to get away from work is a joy,” Smits said. “It’s a lot of fun.
Perris elected officials were out in force to support the day’s activities.
City Clerk Nancy Salazar led the 5-K walk from City Hall through Downtown and back. Mayor Daryl Busch, Mayor Pro-Tem Rita Rogers and City Council memebers Al Landers and Mark Yarbrough also attended.
Mayor Busch opened the day’s proceedings by announcing the City’s partnership with the Susan G. Komen Inland Empire Chapter. The mayor presented Tisdale with a banner with the names of breast cancer survivors and loved ones lost to the disease.
“This is a great cause and a great organization,” Busch said. “We are pleased to support it. We have expanded our Tour de Perris since we started it in 2011 as part of our Centennial celebration. I am looking forward to a great day.”
Tisdale said she was ecstatic to team up with the City to raise money for breast cancer research and treatment. She was also pleased to see the City continuing on its Live Well Perris campaign. Exercise and proper eating are ways to maintain one’s health, she said, and also are important to people recovering from cancer and other diseases.
“Our mission at Susan G. Komen is about breast cancer treatment and research,” Tisdale said. “The Tour de Perris will help us do our job better.”
Salazar led more than 150 walkers on the 5-K excursion. The course took participants from City Hall to the west where participants scaled a small hill before heading off to Mercado Park, where obstacles were placed in their path. Then it was up D Street and back to City Hall.
Salazar said she was humbled and honored to lead the 5-K walk.
“It gives me chills,” she said as she prepared to begin the trek. “I am proud to be part of this event that honors everyone who has fought or is fighting cancer.”
Some victims of breast cancer brought family members and friends with them on the walk. Team VIP appeared with 11 members, all loved ones of Violet Isabel Palacios, a Perris woman who was diagnosed with the disease six months ago. All wore matching t-shirts.
“I’m very excited and happy to have this level of support,” Palacios said. “I am really glad the City of Perris is hosting this community event in support of us who are fighting breast cancer.”
Javier Diaz and Edgar Manjarrez walked in support of Palacios.
“We want to support our friend,” Diaz said. “We want to let her know she is not alone.”
Manjarrez said the walk provided a great morale booster to Palacios, her family and friends.
“You don’t realize how important this is until someone you know is afflicted with breast cancer,” he said.
Marilyn Loring wore a t-shirt that detailed the toll cancer has taken on her family. It bore the names of eight survivors and five loved ones claimed by the disease.
“I wish they were still here,” she said. “I miss them.”
City elected officials were on hand throughout the day’s activities and thanked the participants for once again making the Tour de Perris/5-K Power Walk memorable. Mayor Pro-Tem Rogers attended the Tour de Tots bicycle-safety course with her grandson, Jordan, 3.
“I am pleased and delighted that our Tour de Perris continues to bring people from other communities and that our Komen walk has proven such a success,” Rogers said. “These events are family friendly and most worthwhile. I am proud the City of Perris continues to offer such quality activities.”
Landers said he talked to many visitors throughout the course of the day and heard over and over a message that warmed his heart.
The message: “How wonderful the City of Perris is looking. How wonderful the City of Perris is doing.”
“I heard great things about our City,” he said. “It makes me pleased and humbled to be part of this City and this City Council.”
Yarbrough took part in the 8-mile family ride this year. In previous Tours, he completed the 100, 62 and 30-mile segments.
“Welcome to Perris-dise!” he told the crowd. “People are excited to see that the City of Perris is doing—and we are doing a lot. To hear from out-of-towners what a great job we are doing proves we are doing things right.”