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Tour d' Aliso Viejo Serves Three Courses and Lunch

August 24, 1995|RICK VANDERKNYFF | Rick VanderKnyff is a member of The Times Orange County Edition staff. and

Sometimes it seems that mountain bikers have left road cyclists in the dust, at least in popularity. So last year's debut of a new road bike event, the Tour d' Orange County, was a welcome development.

The Tour d' Orange County isn't coming back this year--at least by that name. Thanks to the arrival of a new title sponsor (the Aliso Viejo Builders Co-Op), it's been reincarnated as the Tour d' Aliso Viejo. Billed as a "farewell to summer bike and barbecue," the event takes place Sunday and includes courses of 50, 25 and 10 miles.

More than the name has changed. The extension of Pacific Park Drive, which now connects to Oso Parkway, has allowed a redesign of all the courses. The rides are now safer, more scenic and less convoluted, according to Kelly Keegan of Elite Racing, the event organizer.

The event drew "close to 1,250 last year," Keegan said. As for this year's field, "we don't know yet, but we'd sure like to get about 1,500."

All three courses are non-competitive rides beginning at Aliso Niguel High School and winding through the hills and canyons of South County. The 50-mile course (opening at 7 a.m.) is described as "very hilly with steep climbs" and is recommended for advanced riders. The 25-miler (8:30 a.m.) is "hilly with steep climbs" and geared to advanced and intermediate riders. The 10-mile (10 a.m.) novice course is mostly flat and is an ideal family ride.

Courses close at 1 p.m. The free barbecue--along with all the other free refreshments that come with a large-scale event such as this--will be offered at noon. Live entertainment will also be on tap, along with health and fitness demonstrations and prize giveaways.

Event-day registration opens at 6 a.m.

* What: Tour d' Aliso Viejo.

* When: Sunday, 7 a.m. for 50-mile ride; 8:30 a.m. for 25-miler and 10 a.m. for 10-miler. Registration opens at 6 a.m.

* Where: Aliso Niguel High School, 28802 Marguerite Parkway, Aliso Viejo.

* Whereabouts: From Interstate 5, exit at Alicia Parkway, head east about three miles and turn right on Pacific Park Drive. Turn left on Deerhurst; the school is at the bottom of the hill. Parking is limited, so car-pooling is encouraged.

* Wherewithal: $25 for adults, $17 for youths 18 and under (includes T-shirt and lunch).

* Where to call: (714) 548-4897.

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