New Features for This Year's Tour de Palm Springs
The Tour de Palm Springs kicks off early Saturday morning at the starting line in the heart of downtown Palm Springs.
This year's Tour de Palm Springs is bigger than ever--more riders, more vendors, more money raised for charity, and even more music.
Music rings down the streets of Palm Springs as the Tour de Jazz kicks off the Tour de Palm Springs.
"It's like a miniature New Orleans, right on Bourbon street, so its just an awesome start, next year we hope to double the amount of Jazz bands, but whats great is to see all the people shopping downtown, the hotels sold out," said Tour de Palm Springs founder, Tim Esser.
The vendors and starting line are right in the heart of downtown Palm Springs this year.
"We've been really pleased with it, we've had a really good presence from the crowd, a lot of people coming by," said Phil Schweizer, at the Koobi vending booth.
And store owners say they are getting more traffic this year too.
"It's a great idea that they have the Tour de Jazz starting this weekend because the idea is it will help keep people entertained while they are downtown," said Crystal Fantasy owner, Joy Meredith.
11,000 riders are expected to attend the event, and that means they're cycling business into town.
"We know last year we raised about 180-thousand dollars for the local restaurants and hotels, and we're hoping this year will be even more, we do know that the local hotels are sold out but more importantly its for the charities," said Andrea Spiritos, the executive director of Coachella Valley Serving People in Need.
This year they hope to raise 300,000 dollars for 157 charities.
And repeat riders help out with that. This is Carsten Brandt's fourth Tour de Palm Springs, and he's come all the way from Denmark.
"Oh the beautiful area, we love it, we love to stay here, we enjoy the warmth, the nature, and just cycling around in nature," said Brandt.
Westchester resident, Don Trepany, will bike the 100 mile ride.
"Do it in about 6 hours, some guys do it faster, some people do it slower, so I think six hours will be a good time," said Trepany.
But first, many riders enjoyed the night of jazz.