200 Cyclists to Ride in Arthritis Foundation's 11th Annual Amgen California Coast Classic Bike Tour to Raise $1 Million

Cyclists from across the country will ride 525 miles down the California coast to raise awareness and funds to help those affected by arthritis

Sep 15, 2011, 11:00 ET from The Arthritis Foundation

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Approximately 200 cyclists will kick off the Arthritis Foundation's 11th annual Amgen California Coast Classic Bike Tour on Saturday, September 17, in San Francisco.  Participants, who will cycle down the California coastline over eight days, aim to raise more than $1.0 million this year for the Arthritis Foundation.  Once again, they will finish in Santa Monica at the Yahoo! Center on Saturday, September 24, after covering 525 miles.

"Since 2001, the Bike Tour has raised nearly $9 million, which has supported vital research, education and advocacy for people living with arthritis," said E. Robert Harris, M.D., chair of the Board of Directors for the Arthritis Foundation, Pacific Region. "It has also been a great way for us to let people with arthritis and their families know about the valuable support and programs offered by the Arthritis Foundation."

To raise awareness about arthritis among children, the Arthritis Foundation has named eight youth living with arthritis as the Tour's official honorees, one for each day of the Tour. "We want people to understand how devastating arthritis can be for children," said Dr. Harris. "Arthritis afflicts nearly 300,000 children in the United States, which is surprising to many people. What's more, the juvenile form of arthritis is medically different from the adult form of the disease and is often more severe."  

Long Beach resident David Ryan will be participating in the Amgen California Coast Classic for the first time on behalf of his 13-year-old daughter Caitlin, who was diagnosed with arthritis when she was three years old.  "I'm so proud to ride for Caitlin," said Mr. Ryan. "Because of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, she has had to face pain and challenges that no child should have to endure, including two hip replacements.  I'm riding to help her, and all the other families that have been afflicted by this terrible disease.  I hope that one day no parent will have to watch their child suffer."

The Amgen California Coast Classic Bike Tour is open to adults of all ages and athletic ability. The goal of the event is to raise money to support arthritis research to find a cure, as well as to improve the quality of life for those who are affected by the more than 100 forms of arthritis. Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States, afflicting about 50 million Americans. Arthritis-related diseases, such as lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and scleroderma, can be seriously debilitating and sometimes life-threatening.

The 2011 Amgen California Coast Classic Bike Tour will pursue the following route:

  • Saturday, September 17San Francisco to Santa Cruz
  • Sunday, September 18Santa Cruz to Monterey
  • Monday, September 19Monterey to Big Sur
  • Tuesday, September 20Big Sur to San Simeon
  • Wednesday, September 21San Simeon to Oceano
  • Thursday, September 22Oceano to Buellton
  • Friday, September 23Buellton to Ventura
  • Saturday, September 24Ventura to Los Angeles (Santa Monica)

To learn more, please call (800) 954-CURE (2873) or visit www.californiacoastclassic.org.

Amgen®, the title sponsor of the California Coast Classic, is a leading human therapeutics company in the biotechnology industry, and a leader in inflammation research. Amgen has brought important therapies like Enbrel® and Kineret® to rheumatoid arthritis patients.

About the Arthritis Foundation

Striking one in every five adults and 300,000 children, arthritis is the nation's leading cause of disability. The Arthritis Foundation (www.arthritis.org) is committed to raising awareness and reducing the impact of this serious, painful and unacceptable disease, which can severely damage joints and rob people of living life to its fullest. The Foundation funds life-changing research that has restored mobility in patients for more than six decades; fights for health care policies that improve the lives of the millions who live with arthritis; and partners with families to provide empowering programs and information.

Media Contact:    Kirsten Clausen
                            GolinHarris (for the Arthritis Foundation)

SOURCE The Arthritis Foundation