By Samantha Bailey and Zena Taher
The City of Santa Clarita held its Hit the Trail event on Saturday, May 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bridgeport Park, encouraging residents to bike Santa Clarita’s local trails.
The free, non-competitive and COVID-friendly event invited cyclists to ride on one of four courses leading to an outdoor setup at Bridgeport Park. The first 200 riders to arrive were given gift bags containing a cooling neck wrap, stress ball and other items.
The event was altered this year to allow for proper social distancing.
“In normal years, we’ve had one start point and have a little kick off,” said David Knutson, events administrator for the City of Santa Clarita. “Then they go out, and there’s different routes along the course so they can detour.”
This year, those participating in the event were able to choose from four different trails to get to Bridgeport Park.
The trails consisted of the Central Park course, the Iron Horse course, the Sports Complex course and the Lost Canyon course. Trails ranged from as short as 3.5 miles to as long as 15.5 miles.
Unlike in previous years, riders were not required to travel from the designated start to finish line at a set time. Instead, they could join the trail from a spot of their choosing at any time between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
“This year it’s a passive event, so we’re here from 10 to 2 and you can start whenever you want,” said Knutson. “In previous years, we would start at 10 and end at like 11 because the wraps weren’t that long.”
Noely Serrato and her boyfriend, Alex Allevato, rode their bikes as part of the event.
“I like riding through the trails a lot,” said Serrato. “It was also a fun way to get our Saturday going and get involved and see what is going on.”
She also expressed enthusiasm about getting to know Santa Clarita’s biking community through the event.
“I know it is a very big and involved community here in Santa Clarita,” said Serrato. “Actually getting to meet everyone and have that connection has been the best part.”
The cyclists were able to ride along the wash to see a sneak peek of the newest section of trail that has yet to open.
“I always like to see new trails being added because I bike all the time,” said Allevato.
Officials from the event encourage those who are interested to join in next year’s event.
“We want to see people out there, we want to see people be healthy, we want to see people ride, we want to see people engaged,” said Joel Beck, Santa Clarita Events Coordinator. “That’s why we do this.”