Cycle Eastlake

Phillip Brents

Fri February 28, 2014 1:01pm

Dust off your riding helmets and racing gear because Cycle EastLake is just around the corner. This year’s event is scheduled for April 26.
There are several ways to register for this event, which serves as the largest annual fundraiser for the EastLake Educational Foundation, a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization. 
Registration closes by mail on April 20 and online on April 23, though participants may still register on site on race day, starting at 5:30 a.m. at Otay Ranch Town Center.
For up-to-date registration fees, visit the website at
All proceeds from Cycle EastLake benefit six public schools supported by the EastLake Educational Foundation. EEF Executive Director Nicole Graichen said the event is a family fun day that promotes healthy living and supports local schools.
“We are amazed each year at how the community comes together to support the EastLake Educational Foundation through this event,” Graichen explained. “We are extremely grateful to everyone that dedicates their time and energy to make this great day happen. Because of this wonderful community and events like Cycle EastLake we were able to give $150,000 for the technology programs at our local schools this year.”
The first Cycle EastLake took place in 1998. Last year’s event, supported by 800 riders and runners, raised $36,000.
It is through funds raised by events such as Cycle EastLake that nearly 7,500 students are given the ability every day to acquire the skills and tools needed so they can thrive in a complex, highly technological knowledge-based world, according to Graichen. 
Since its inception in 1995, the EastLake Educational Foundation has provided more than $1.5 million in funds to area schools.
The EEF awarded $150,000 to six Eastlake area schools to fund technology for the 2013-2014 school year — Eastlake Elementary, Salt Creek Elementary, Olympic View Elementary, Arroyo Vista Charter School, Eastlake Middle School and Eastlake High School. Each of those six schools received $20,000, with an additional $30,000 in “extra credit” awarded to three schools that participated by volunteering for EEF events in different capacities.
“When today’s children begin to enter college or the professional world they are expected to be exceedingly proficient in all aspects of the technological tools they will use which is why we do what we do to support the schools,” Graichen noted in a foundation release.
Ride and run
Riders and runners may explore the hills, lake and scenic views with bike rides that include the ever popular road bike rides, family roll-and-stroll, as well as a mountain bike and poker ride.
Back by popular demand is the EastLake Half Marathon that showcases some of Chula Vista’s best park district scenery, mountain and lakeside views and well-maintained, low-traffic running trails.
The half marathon starts at 6 a.m. at the REI outlet at Otay Ranch Town Center.
Cycling events include a 100K tour, 25-mile ride and 18-mile mountain bike and poker ride.
Besides the half marathon, other running events include a 10K and the 4.2-mile family roll-and-stroll.
The 100 K (62.8-mile) cycle tour starts at 6:30 a.m. The scenic course traverses a bridge on Highway 125 in both directions, looping past Southwestern College, the Olympic Training Center and the Lower Otay Reservoir leading to an intense seven-mile climb up Honey Springs Road. The top three men and women to conquer the incredible hill will win prizes.
The 25-mile Marty Garcia memorial ride starts at 7 a.m. while the 18-mile mountain bike and poker ride starts at 7:20 a.m.
The 25-mile bike follows the 100K route before curving away from the steep incline in favor of long, slow hills and smooth, flat roads to even things out.
The 18-mile mountain bike and poker ride covers a challenging course by the Olympic Training Center. At five points along the course, cycling card sharks will have an opportunity to collect their aces, kings and queens to see who will cash in with the best hand at the finish line. A sixth, bonus card will be handed out at the end of the race.
The half marathon and 10K runs will be timed but not chip-timed, and results will be posted on the EastLake Cycle website. The 10K run starts at 7:40 a.m.
The family roll-and-stroll event starts at 8 a.m. and is open to joggers, walkers and even pets. Runners of all ages and ability levels are eligible to participate. The registration fee covers a family up to six members.
All registered Cycle EastLake participants will receive a colorful commemorative T-shirt, goodie bag and refreshments at the finish line.
Not up to biking or running? The YMCA Healthy Kids Day and City of Chula Vista Go Green and Clean Family Day is scheduled 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The on-site event will feature family activities, including a light bulb exchange, bounce house for kids, youth fitness demos, community programs, entertainment, dancing, family music, healthy food, more than 75 information booths, give-a-ways, opportunity drawings and camp fashion show.
More than 10,000 are expected to attend.
Course support
Rest stations will provide water and each route features arrows or guides at every turn. Roving mechanical support will be available on the 25-mile and 100K routes. A mid-point snack will be provided on the 18-mile mountain bike and 100K ride.
Safety first
Cycle EastLake is a participatory event, not a timed race. Bike helmets are required and bike checks are recommended. Participants are advised to obey all traffic signals as all roads are open to automobile traffic.
Children under 17 years old must be accompanied by an adult on all rides. Courses are subject to change due to weather, road construction and other unforeseeable conditions.

Volunteers are encouraged to help get the event off to a start, and are especially welcome on event day. Those wishing to volunteer their services may email to become a volunteer. Community service verification letters will be available, if needed. All volunteers receive a colorful event T-shirt.