Tuesday, Oct 22 2013 06:00 AM

City investing in 2014 Gran Fondo event

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The proposed route for the Tehachapi Gran Fondo would give cyclists a tour of the greater Tehachapi area.

Michelle Vance, the city's community outreach coordinator, continued her campaign to drum up support for the proposed September 2014 Gran Fondo cycling event during the Oct. 7 meeting of the Tehachapi City Council.

"Everywhere I go, I think the crowds are getting to know what it is, because we've talked about it so much lately," Vance told council members, when asking for funding of up to $10,000 to kick-start the event.

The money, she said, would pay for logistical and planning support from Bakersfield-based company Sambarn Promotions, which is estimated to cost $7,500.

"Gran Fondos are probably one of the largest growing cycling events in the nation," said Sam Ames of Sambarn. "The main part of our focus is to make sure that you have a fantastic event, that the event showcases the city well, that it's safe. And we can provide the experience and the expertise that we've had with other events like this one, and make it memorable and grow."

Organizations throughout the city are partnering up to pull together the event, Vance said, including the Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Parks District and the Tehachapi Tourism Commission. The Tourism Commission is able to apply for a $10,000 grant from the Board of Trade, Vance said. This funding would be on top of what the city is contributing.

The Greater Tehachapi Economic Development Commission pledged $2,500 to the event at its October meeting.

The Kern Board of Trade grant is not promised or awarded yet, but Vance expressed confidence that they can secure it.

"Every [Board of Trade] board member came over to our booth, and we have a map of the Fondo, and they came over and they were so excited because it's something different [from what they normally fund]," Vance said.

The revenue from the event will go toward the non-profits who help put it on, Vance said.

More information on the event can be found at

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