Thirty-five cycling enthusiasts braved warm temperatures and a challenging course June 4 to tackle a 7.5-mile ride that continues the City of Perris’ ongoing and successful Live Well healthy-eating active-living campaign.
The ride from the Lake Perris Fairgrounds to the picturesque Lake Perris State Recreation Area marked the third in a series of four bicycle rides and hikes aimed at getting people to exercise this summer. Previous events included a 5-mile ride and a three-mile hike through the State Recreation Area.
The last event, a 5-mile hike through portions of the State Recreation Area, is set for 8 a.m. June 18.
Perris City Councilman Mark Yarbrough led a contingent of municipal personnel taking part in the recent ride. Others taking the ride included City Manager Richard Belmudez, IT Manager Arturo Cervantes, Recreation Coordinator Josh Estrada, Recreation Leader Crystal Driever and Fitness Instructor Laura Sosa.
Yarbrough said the ride illustrated how the City of Perris “leads by example.”
“We mean what we say and we say what we mean,” he said. “We believe in what we do.”
Addressing the riders, Yarbrough thanked them for their commitment to exercise on a day when temperatures topped 100 degrees.
“Spread the word that good things are happening in Perris,” he said.
Hard-core cyclist Miguel Cruz took part in the ride. Cruz routinely peddles 40-miles a day on his bicycle so the ride into the state recreation area didn’t take him out of his comfort zone but the views of the water, hills and nature areas left a distinct impression. He came away pleased.
“It was better than I expected!” he said. “You feel like you’re in a different world. I really appreciate the City of Perris putting together this great event. It’s another incentive to get out and exercise.”
Lonetta Bryan said the course posed a couple of challenging hills early on and “if you aren’t prepared for them, they will get you.”
“It’s nice to be here and get the chance to ride through nature,” Bryan said. “It’s nice and peaceful and serene. I liked it that our City encourages families to get out and enjoy healthy lifestyles.”
Grace Carrillo rides at least three times a week. Occasionally, she’ll bike all the way to Corona and has taken part in the 50-mile ride in Rosarito, Mexico. But the Lake Perris ride held special meaning for her.
“I’ve lived in Perris since 1987 and I love it,” Carrillo said. “It’s a great community.”
Yarbrough said he found the Lake Perris ride challenging, significantly more difficult that the first “family-friendly” ride over mostly flat roads.
“This was a more serious ride, no question about it,” he said. “It was a challenge, no doubt. But the riders were up to it.”