Tuesday, June 19 , 2018, 9:35 am | Fair 64º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Washington Students Give Amgen Cyclists Spirited Send-off

Riders speed out of Santa Barbara on their 115-mile ride to Avila Beach

[Click here for a Noozhawk photo gallery from Thursday’s Amgen Tour of California Stage 5 race.]

Washington Elementary students crowded along the chain-link fences of the school soccer field Thursday, waving signs and shimmying onto each other’s backs for a better view of history in the making.

The fervor rose further just after 11 a.m. as California Highway Patrol officers rode motorcycles past the school campus along Meigs Road in Santa Barbara, clearing the way for 128 cyclists who had just departed from the Amgen Tour of California start line on Cabrillo Boulevard at Castillo Street.

When cyclists finally materialized around the curve, the devoted fans went nuts.

Jumping up and down and shouting inaudible words of encouragement topped a list of reactions.

The enthusiastic send-off began day five of the Amgen Tour of California, which started the day in Santa Barbara after a sprinting finish on the waterfront Wednesday.

The 750-mile race began on Sunday in Escondido and will conclude in Santa Rosa this Sunday, after riders work their way north up the state.

After passing revelers and city streets, riders faced an elevation gain of more than 2,200 feet as they traversed Highway 154 over San Marcos Pass. The race was also set to pass through Orcutt, Santa Maria and Guadalupe before a sprint finish in Avila Beach.

Washington Elementary teacher Heather McBurnie led her first- and second-graders to the field to join the rest of the school’s students, noting that their level of excitement was probably high because it’s also near the end of the school year.

Students at Washington School in Santa Barbara hold up signs Thursday cheering on riders in the Amgen Tour of California. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)
Students at Washington School in Santa Barbara hold up signs Thursday cheering on riders in the Amgen Tour of California. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

“I thought it would be fun for them to watch,” McBurnie said. “And it’s convenient because we don’t have to go anywhere.

“No hanging on the fence, please,” she added, eyeing one of several students who couldn’t contain their excitement.

Sixth-grader Owen Richards held up a yellow poster that read, “Go cyclists!”

The 11-year-old said he added a picture of Superman to his sign because his classmates had decided that only super heroes could be biking as far and as fast as the Amgen cyclists.

Owen’s teacher, Katherine Cantu, said her students figured out the median, mean, range and mode of the miles traveled during the race. The average per day came out to 75 miles.

Fourth-grader Kai Malinowski stayed at the fence holding his paper sign (made on a placemat) until he saw the last rider pass, cheering as loudly as if the biker were in first place.

This was his first bike race, and he seemed hopeful that the cheering helped at least a little bit.

“Thousands of spectators were wild when they saw the bikes,” Kai said. “I think it was the best kind of race ever.“

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Cyclists make their way up the hill near Shoreline Park in Santa Barbara Thursday, near the beginning of the Stage 5 of the Tour of California. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)
Cyclists make their way up the hill near Shoreline Park in Santa Barbara on Thursday, near the beginning of the Stage 5 of the Tour of California. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >