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Bike Expo draws record crowd to downtown Santa Rosa

  • Mateo Singer, 7, left, and Austin Vo, 8, practice their road safety skills on their bikes in "Safetyville" during the Sonoma County Bicycle Expo in Santa Rosa, California on Sunday, August 18, 2013. (BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat)

Barely one week after the training wheels came off his bike, 3-year-old Miles Peebles dominated the obstacle course Sunday at the fourth annual Sonoma County Bicycle Expo.

Miles pedaled hard in circle after circle around the chalk-marked parking lot on Fifth Street between Mendocino Avenue and B Street. He was still going an hour after his family rode the expo's two-mile family bike ride through town, said his proud father Matthew Peebles, 38, of Sebastopol.

"He just keeps going," Peebles said. "He already reminds me of a pro rider I know."

Sonoma County Bicycle Expo


The annual bicycle extravaganza organized by the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition drew about 4,000 people Sunday, a record number, said executive director Gary Helfrich.

In its first year located on a closed block of Fifth Street, Helfrich said he feels the event finally found its place after previous years at Santa Rosa City Hall and near the Second Street Post Office.

"A lot of people here were already downtown, saw the signs and wandered in," Helfrich said.

Vendors hawked all things bicycle in tents lining the downtown street, from piles of odd parts to high-tech cycling computers with GPS.

A main feature of Sunday's event was bicycle building. Welders bent over their work in the coalition's Velogenesis tent.

One tent over, Craig Calfee, founder of Calfee Design in La Selva Beach, near Santa Cruz, wrapped thick twine soaked in epoxy resin around the joints of what would become a bamboo bicycle frame.

Bruce Gordon of Petaluma's Bruce Gordon Cycles took a break from working to hold the stand as Calfee worked and talked shop.

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