On Saturday, June 23, the first ever Hangtown Cranker Classic will be held in Placerville.
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A handcycle and bicycle charity ride for the disabled and able-bodied, the event is expected to attract 200 bicyclists and 100 hand cyclists along with thousands of spectators.
Starting at 9 a.m., participants will follow a scenic and challenging 10-mile course that starts at Jacquier Road and Highway 50, and then continues on the El Dorado and Webber Trestle Trails.
The ride ends around noon in the parking lot at 4369 Golden Center Drive and will be followed by a mini-Expo featuring vendors, motivational speakers and special events such as a relay race between abled people in wheelchairs racing against the disabled in their wheelchairs.
Mark Wellman, the first paraplegic to climb El Capitan and Half Dome in Yosemite Valley, will be at the Expo to give a motivational speech. A world-renowned climber, Wellman is the CEO of a company called No Limits which is located in Truckee. He is bringing a climbing wall for people to try out.
Lynn Murray, founder of a group called Placerville Mobility Support, is helping to coordinate and promote the event.
According to him, the fundraiser will raise money for three different activities: a rehabilitation fund that will help the disabled purchase equipment; toward special rehabilitation services; and to assist disabled athletes with their expenses so they can participate in athletic events.
Several organizations are helping or sponsoring the ride including the City of Sacramento Department of Parks & Recreation, Intrepid Equipment of San Diego, Reno Parks and Recreation, Sierra Central Credit Union, Rehab Without Walls, and the California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC). CPMC donated $10,000 and is the primary sponsor of the event.
Murray said they are also being graciously assisted by the El Dorado Community Foundation. The Foundation is acting as fiscal agent because Murray’s group hasn’t had its status as a nonprofit approved yet. All the money will go to the Foundation. It will process the funds and collect a small fee for doing so until Placerville Mobility Support gets its 501 (c) 3 status approved.
Murray said the event will also help bring together abled and disabled people.
“We’ve had a rash of ADA extortion in this area and we’re split because of this activity,” said Murray. “The wheelchair community is divided into two camps — the ADA zealots and the ADA moderates. This lawyer is giving a bad rap to everybody.”
Murray said nationally one in 50 people is paralyzed which translates to approximately 3,500 people in El Dorado County. The group, which was started in 2007 by Murray and Rodger Heimberg, has 50 members.
For more information and registration materials, call 530-295-7620. Or go to the event Website at placervillemobilitysupport.com/cranker-classic.php.
Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or [email protected] Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.