Pedal, Walk to make a Difference in Tour de Palm Springs

For several hours on Feb. 12, Mike Czerwinski is going to be busy.

Maybe longer.

The desert cyclist will participate in the 24th annual Tour de Palm Springs, which features distances from 10 to 100 miles and takes riders through several Coachella Valley cities. Czerwinski, who will pedal the 50-mile route, is no stranger to covering long distances on two wheels. He says he rides close to 200 miles a week.

And while he can try and pack some things to take with him for the trek, there are limitations. “As a cyclist, a 100-mile ride, it’s hard… you’re by yourself,” he says. “It’s hard to carry enough food and water for 100 miles. [In this event] there’s a stop area about every 20 miles. The food is incredible, and they’ve got great restaurants that participate. It’s super organized.”

The event can attract riders from out of state and out of the country, making it as much a social event as one with a purpose. “You pedal through every city in the valley and it’s incredibly scenic and gorgeous,” Czerwinski says. “There’s a lot of places to pull over and do photo opps.

The upside to riding for hours? “The course is relatively flat, which is good,” Czerwinski says. “The challenging thing is the wind, it gets windy out here. There’s so many riders that kind of band together and you can draft off each other.”

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