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Tour de Pier Returns In Triumph; More than $1.2 Million Raised

May 22, 2022 03:23PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
The Tour de Pier returned on Sunday for its 10th year, raising more than $1.2 million for cancer charities and surpassing $10 million total raised in the past decade.

The charity event, featuring cyclists riding in teams on stationary bikes, drew more than 1,500 riders and hundreds of spectators.

Money raised from the event goes to advance cancer research and provide support services for patients and families. It benefits three nonprofit organizations: the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, the Cancer Support Community South Bay, and the Uncle Kory Foundation for Brain Cancer Research.

With live entertainment, celebrities, dancing, and music, Sunday's event marked the first regularly scheduled May Tour de Pier since the pandemic began. (The ride was virtual in 2020 and it was held in September in 2021.)

Event Features Local Highlights

The event featured local bold-faced names such as Fox Sports commentator Rob Stone (who served as emcee), soccer champion and Angel City FC owner Mia Hamm, Fox Sports commentator and soccer champion Alexi Lalas, and Los Angeles Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley.

(Emcee Rob Stone introduces Mia Hamm)

At the start of the event, the Ride Safe, Ride Ready e-bike safety team (including City Councilmember Joe Franklin and local teens Justin Newman and Alex Chun) gave a brief presentation on e-bike safety, including their popular video on the importance of wearing a helmet.

(Manhattan Beach City Councilmember Joe Franklin, along with local teens Justin Newman and Alex Chun, introduce their "Ride Safe, Ride Ready" e-bike safety PSA.)

Entertainment included UCLA's ACA Lion Dance Troupe drummers and dancers.

The traditional Tiger Squadron airplane flyover did not take place due to low clouds. However, the cyclists erupted in cheers and waves when a Coast Guard helicopter took a long, slow celebratory loop over the Manhattan Beach Pier. 


Event Celebrates 10 Years

The event is the brainchild of Manhattan Beach residents Jon Hirshberg and Heath Gregory. 

Hirschberg, who started the first LA Cancer Challenge after the loss of his father Ron in 1997, came across the idea of doing a spin bike fundraiser after learning about an event that raised over $3 million in one day at cycling studios across the country. Hirshberg then approached Gregory about the idea of putting on a one-day event in Manhattan Beach. Coincidentally, Gregory had participated in a similar event in Barcelona during the 2009 Tour de France and vividly remembered the spectacle of hundreds of riders moving in unison all for a common cause. His response, Hirshberg has said, was, ā€œIā€™m all in.ā€

The Inaugural Tour de Pier was held in May 2013 at the Manhattan Beach Pier and raised more than $339,000. By its 4th year, the event surpassed the $1 million mark. Since 2013, Tour de Pier has now raised more than $10 million for cancer charities.

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