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A cycling celebration

  • James Randolph competes in the Monkeydrome mountain bike race during the third annual Sonoma County Bike Expo in Santa Rosa on Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012. (BETH SCHLANKER/ PD)

Nearly everything associated with cycling, from brightly colored riding gear to vintage and new bikes to a mountain-bike race at a hastily built velodrome, could be found Sunday at the third annual Sonoma County Bike Expo.

“It is a celebration of everything that has to do with cycling,” said Gary Helfrich, executive director of the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition and organizer of the event. “People really don't know how intense the bike scene is here.”

The expo got rolling with an early morning 10-mile ride that drew 70 people, starting and ending at the Second Street parking lot at D Street, where 70 vendors filled the lot.

Andrian Tamblin of Santa Rosa rode there with his family.

“It has everything for the tourist who comes here to ride, to the elite pro athletes,” Tamblin said. “There looks like there are lots of good deals on bike gear.”

Jeremy Sycip of Santa Rosa and other bike builders had a full shop set up to build a steel frame for a raffle winner.

Calfee Designs of Monterey had bikes made with frames of bamboo, a cheap and plentiful material that they are teaching residents to use in Third World countries to construct inexpensive bikes for transportation.

Rick Marraffino rode from his Rohnert Park home to see what was new in the world of cycling.

“I always rode as a kid and I am trying to do more of it,” Marraffino said. “It is amazing how innovative bicycles get year to year.”

Some cyclists used the expo as a way to empty out their garages of old and unused parts.

“This is out of our garages and backyards, from the five of us, we ride bikes all the time,” said Loren Soltes of Santa Rosa, who was in a booth with tables of old parts. “We are into recycling and reuse. It is not about the money, it is about keeping the parts going.”

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