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Auburn’s finest gear up for ride

Gold Country Century
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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Auburn Police Captain John Ruffcorn is putting in many extra hours to make sure the many local bike endeavors this month run smoothly through the streets of Auburn. On Saturday he will get a chance to enjoy the fruits of his labor firsthand. Ruffcorn is one of several Auburn officials planning to take part in the inaugural Gold Country Century cycling event. The ride is part of a series of festivities leading up to Tuesday, when Auburn will host the start of the third stage of the Amgen Tour of California. Ruffcorn is excited to hit the road for his first organized ride. “I’m not as avid as other members of the cycling club and other members of the community, but I do ride,” Ruffcorn said. “My fiancé got me into riding several years ago and it’s become a part of my life.” Ruffcorn plans to take part in the longest of several ride options available at Saturday’s event. The metric century will take riders on a 68-mile loop that covers some of the same roads the pros will ride in the Tour of California. There is a metric half-century ride (34 miles) along with a three-mile family ride and a kids’ tricycle/small bike ride at Recreation Park. Auburn Police Chief Valerie Harris, Auburn Mayor Bill Kirby, Auburn City Manager Bill Richardson and Placer County District 3 Supervisor Jim Holmes are among the local dignitaries expected to participate. The cycling celebration at the park will begin at 7 a.m. with the start of the metric century. The half-century riders will take off at between 8 a.m. and 9 and the family ride will begin at 11. Ruffcorn is excited about the event, which he said would help further Auburn’s reputation as a destination for outdoors enthusiasts. “I think this community is a wonderful supporter of outdoor activities,” Ruffcorn said. “Every weekend you see people jogging, riding their bikes around town and this event can only assist us in promoting our community for these activities.” Same-day registration is available for each ride on Saturday. There is also registration available on Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 at Recreation Park. For more information, visit www.goldcountrycentury.com.