REDLANDS, Calif. – Hundreds of youngsters will take center stage in downtown Redlands for most of the morning on April 13, 2024, during the 38th Redlands Bicycle Classic.

Over 150 children, ages three to five, will compete in 50-yard tricycle and bicycle sprints. They’ll be followed by nearly twenty heats of youth races, featuring up to 500 riders, ranging in age from six to seventeen, competing on a .65-mile.

The event includes the annual Stater Bros. Charities School Duel featuring riders from Redlands area elementary, middle, and high schools, as part of the public racing program. The races start at 8:30 a.m. and continue until noon. The event is part of the Shimano Youth Series, which has a played a big role in getting more kids on bikes across the U.S. 

The action will be centered on Citrus Avenue near 6 th Street, where the start-finish line is located, as well as at the Kids’ Corner located in the Wells Fargo parking lot. Two BMX bicycle stunt shows performed by the BMX Pros Trick Team are planned for 10 a.m. and noon.

In 2023, over 350 youth were pre-registered to compete, based on age, gender, and type of bicycle or tricycle. Another 150 registered on the day of the event.

Brian Zander, a fifth-grade teacher at Judson & Brown Elementary School and a member of the Bicycle Classic organizing committee, competed in the USA Cycling criterium race as an amateur when he was 18 and was an active volunteer for most of the 1990s in a variety of roles.

Later on, he and his wife cheered on their children as they participated in the public races. He rejoined the organizing committee in 2020 and has been involved in the School Duel portion ever since.

“We promote the event with signs, posters, slews of emails and social media like Instagram and Facebook,” Zander said. “We also have pro racers visit the schools and speak to the students in the days leading up to the event.”

Zander sees a lot of his students participating every year. “We enjoy talking about their racing experience on Monday after the event,” he said.

He enjoys watching parents, grandparents and their friends cheering on the children, and he loves handing out medals at the finish of each race.

Zander said he derives a lot of satisfaction from contributing his time and talents to an event that brings out the community to enjoy all there is to do during the Bicycle Classic. “It provides an opportunity for everyone to participate on two or three wheels or two feet,” he said, referring to the April 13th public races and the Redlands One Mile Fun Run and 5K run and family fun walk scheduled for Sunday, April 14.

The organizing committee is assisted by many teachers who volunteer their time to lend support during the public races, helping manage the event and encouraging the participants, he said.

To register for the public races, go to Children can take an online safety quiz and earn a free entry code, which will allow them to register online by April 9. Pre-registered participants receive a T-shirt and medal. Day-of-race registration is also available for a small fee.