Isla Vista residents will be able to put their peddling skills to the test tomorrow in the third annual Island View Classic.
The day’s events, hosted by the UCSB cycling team, will feature numerous races ranging from an amateur cruiser race to intercollegiate competition. Cyclists will race around the Embarcadero loop and Cordoba Road, and a street fair will be set up along Pardall Road between Embarcadero Del Mar and Embarcadero Del Norte as well. In years past, the race has drawn considerable crowds.
Cycling teams from around California will participate, including many other University of California cycling teams. Despite the competition, UCSB cycling team President Jennifer Johansen said she feels confident about UCSB’s upcoming performance.
“I think we have a really good chance of taking some wins this weekend. … our team is really starting to peak,” Johansen said. “We obviously know the course really well and we’re excited to get out there and do well.”
The cycling season lasts from February until May, with the team competing at schools all over California. With multiple races held far from I.V.’s shores, Johansen said the UCSB team is looking forward to hosting a race close to home.
“The best part is that the race is held right here in I.V., and next to Halloween it’s the biggest event I.V. has,” Johansen said. “The fact that we’re able to pull this off is a great testament to how great our team is.”
Meanwhile, 3rd District Supervisor Brooks Firestone said he thought Isla Vista is a great host for a competitive bike race.
“Santa Barbara County is the bike-racing capital of the world,” Firestone said. “I think it is totally appropriate that UCSB has such an exciting criterion here for intercollegiate racing.”
For those who are not collegiate cyclists, the event offers a cruiser race open to all beginning at 3:30 p.m. Wild and wacky costumes are encouraged for all participants. As an incentive, a brand new cruiser from A.S. B.I.K.E.S. is offered as a grand prize.
Firestone participated in the cruiser race last year, where he suffered a loss to 2nd District Supervisor Janet Wolf after failing to complete the race. Firestone said he will be attending the races this weekend, but will not be participating for fear of losing two years in a row.
“It was horrible,” Firestone said. “Janet Wolf beat me and I have been humiliated ever since. … I will be there cheering – I am too afraid of the competition to enter the cruiser race again. It was brutal.”
To allow ample room for the cyclists, parking will be prohibited on Embarcadero Del Mar, Cordoba Road and Embarcadero Del Norte. The event will last from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday – but cars should be moved off the streets before 1 a.m. Saturday if they want to avoid a towing, according to the I.V. Foot Patrol. IVFP Lt. Brian Olmstead said that it is important for residents to move their car prior to the designated time in order to avoid excessive towing fees.
“The tow fees are getting expensive,” Olmstead said. “We want to make sure people get their cars out of there so they aren’t getting towed.”
Olmstead also said the IVFP will be present at the event, although he said not many issues have occurred in the past.
“Barricades are being put up around the race area for spectators and additional deputies will be working specifically for the event in addition to the deputies normally assigned for that day,” Olmstead said. “It usually runs pretty smoothly. It’s a good daytime event for the community.”