Tour de Tempe draws a veteran rider

For Patricia Berning, the year tends to fly by faster than a Storck Aero titanium 10-speed, MSRP: $10,000.

That’s not her ride, though. Not in this year’s 15th annual Tour de Tempe nor in any of the previous tours in which she’s competed for the past dozen or so years.

In fact, insists Berning, her competition bike of choice until a very few years ago was the trusty Gary Fisher road model she bought for $100 while she was still in college.

Now owner of Berning’s Fine Jewelry, which celebrates its 45th anniversary Oct. 15, the veteran biking enthusiast plans once again to help sponsor Tour de Tempe, not only with a financial contribution but by joining other volunteers at the registration desk on race morning.

And, once again, she’ll be ready at the line with her newest Gary Fisher wheels when the starting gun goes off Sunday, Oct. 24, at Kiwanis Park.

This year’s free Tour de Tempe consists of a 12- to 14-mile community bike ride led by Mayor Hugh Hallman, Tempe councilmembers and representatives of Tempe Bicycle Action Group along the city’s newest multi-use path addition, Western Canal. 

The ride will begin and end at Kiwanis Park. Registration starts at 7 a.m. with the ride getting under way at 9. 

Riders receive free breakfast snacks from Whole Foods, Wildflower Bread Company, Starbucks and Back East Bagels. (Participants are encouraged to bring their own water).

Because other bicyclists, walkers and joggers also use the path during the ride, tour participants are asked to be mindful and respectful to all users on the path, and particularly not to race or ride fast.

Riders will be entered into a drawing to win prizes donated by event sponsors. Short-sleeved, artist-designed T-shirts will be distributed to the first 800 registrants. 

Riders must be present and either submit a registration form or sign in at the registration table to receive a shirt. Helmets are required.

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