SAN DIEGO, April 22 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Despite travel warnings renewed just one week ago by the U.S. State Department, thousands of Southern Californians traveled to Baja on Saturday for the Rosarito Ensenada 50 Mile Fun Bicycle Ride(R), enjoying a weekend of mariachis and tacos and no incidents involving tourist security. “We’re pleased everything turned out just as we expected,” said promoter Gary Foster of Bicycling West in San Diego. “Everyone felt safe, and we had a lot of fun.”
Tourism in Baja is recovering from dramatic drop-offs caused by the U.S. media’s focus on violence in the border region. “The reporting has caused a lot of damage to the industry,” said Foster. “We had a crowd of 30,000 and had no problems with security.” Spring break similarly brought 150,000 tourists to Tijuana, Rosarito, Ensenada and Mexicali, also without incident.
Baja California State Secretary of Tourism, Oscar Escobedo, was in Rosarito Beach to start the event. “The Rosarito Ensenada Bike Ride gives us a great opportunity to promote Baja California through a healthy activity like cycling. It shows the entire world what we have to offer here and why so many people visit Baja California,” said Secretary Escobedo.
Rosarito’s Mayor, Hugo Torres, also helped start the ride. “All of us here were very happy to see thousands of people enjoying the Rosarito Ensenada Bike Ride this past weekend. We extend our congratulations to all of the riders who accomplished so much on a perfect Baja weekend,” said Mayor Torres. “As it has been for all the years we’ve hosted it, the event was wonderfully organized and the riders and their companions were exceptional guests. We look forward to seeing them all back soon and for many years to come.”
While non-competitive with a reputation for fun, the event provides participants with world class support, including helicopter evacuation for medical emergencies, water and Powerade stations, and sag trucks for riders needing a lift. After a serious day of cycling, riders relax at the Finish Line Fiesta and watch the sun set on the Ensenada waterfront to live music, food, and a few thousand Corona beers.
The 50 mile tour begins in front of the Rosarito Beach Hotel, and continues south along the Pacific Coast and inland through rural countryside to Ensenada. Rosarito Ensenada raises money for International Red Cross and also collects donations of used bicycles for distribution to needy families in Baja. The next ride is September 27, 2008. Registration is open to the public.
The Rosarito Ensenada events have consistently attracted thousands of cyclists from Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange Counties since 1979. This event also brought riders from 23 other states, Canada and England. “It’s good news from Baja to balance the bad,” concluded Foster, “and it’s great to see a crowd back in Baja.”
For photos, participant quotes, demographics, etc. visit RosaritoEnsenada.com or call 1-858-483-8777