The City of Santa Ana's Ride The Coast & Chili Cook-Off
Orange County's Hometown Run
By John Gilbert, Photography by Jim Torres, John Gilbert
The year 2006 will mark the 9th anniversary for the City of Santa Ana's Ride the Coast & Chili Cook-Off. From its humble beginnings in 1997, with Santa Ana Police Lieutenant Mike Foote spearheading the effort, the regional event has grown into a yearly tradition for over 950 members of Orange County's motorcycling public. Underwritten by the City of Santa Ana, California, and benefitting the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Ana, the 2005 event raised approximately $100,000 in cash and in-kind support to help more than 8,200 at-risk children.
On Sunday morning, June 26, 2005, riders gathered at the Santa Ana Auto Mall for a complimentary continental breakfast with Starbucks coffee and an assortment of fresh fruit. Thanks to the excellent registering assistance of the Pacific Coast HOG chapter based out of Harley-Davidson of Westminster, the pack was able to roll out right on time. Once the procession hit the public highways, a full police escort handled by the Santa Ana Police Department moved the riders toward a 12.5-mile stretch of the very scenic Santiago Canyon past Cook's Corner and on to a blast down the San Diego Freeway where they exited to Newport Coast Road. From Newport Coast, the police escorted the pack north 5.7 miles, on California's world famous Pacific Coast Highway to Old Newport Road where they entered the Newport Freeway and culminated the ride at Westfield's Main Place in Santa Ana. Upon arrival, the riders were treated to authentic tacos prepared by a crew of really good Mexican cooks. For an after-taco chaser, spectators as well as Ride the Coast riders contributed over $3,000 by sampling competition-grade chili from 40 different chili teams competing in the official International Chili Society Regional Chili Cook-Off.
For more information about how you can attend next year's Ride the Coast, log onto http://www.ridethecoast.com
By John Gilbert
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