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Tour de Pier Draws Thousands to Manhattan Beach

May 20, 2024 08:58AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Tour de Pier 2024. Photo credit: Evelyn Schmidt

The 12th annual Tour de Pier, a stationary cycling fundraiser for cancer research, drew thousands of attendees to the Manhattan Beach Pier on Sunday. The colorful and high-energy event is just under its goal of $1.5 million raised, with more donations continuing to come in.

Along with a variety of celebrities and special guests, various cheerleaders and mascots (including Bailey from the LA Kings) were on hand to cheer riders along. Attractions included a health and fitness expo, a Kids Zone with games and mini stationary bikes.

(Photo credit: Evelyn Schmidt)

Monsignor John Barry, dressed as Rocky Balboa, was also on hand to give a blessing and cheer on the crowd. 

(Photo credit: Joe Franklin)

The award-winning charity event benefits the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, Cancer Support Community South Bay, and the Uncle Kory Foundation for Brain Cancer Research. Since its inception, Tour de Pier has raised more than $12 million for cancer charities.

Riders Show Support, Ride in Tribute

Participants rode for a variety of reasons and tributes. "Riders for Ronnie" represented the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Research with orange Harley Davidson-themed gear. The foundation was created by the Hirshberg family in memory of patriarch Ron Hirshberg, a Harley Davidson fan. (Son Jon Hirshberg is one of the founders of the Tour de Pier.)

Team Talia showed their support for Manhattan Beach's Talia Frederick, who passed away last July after a battle with a rare form of cancer at age 46.

Rider Jan Dunbar, wearing a "Bike for Bill" t-shirt, said that she participated in honor of her late husband Bill. Bill had passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2013, the same year that the Tour de Pier began, and Dunbar has ridden every year since.


Other groups are familiar sights at the ride. One team, known simply as Suit Up!, has been riding for all 12 years and is known for its dapper and wildly colored suits.

Teams also traveled distances to participate; one group decked out in neon green had come from Salt Lake City.


New for this year, the Tour de Pier exhibited “Love Rides,” artwork created by South Bay artist Wendy Stillman. The vibrant, life-size painting standing at 7.5 feet by 7.5 feet portrays healing heart hands surrounded by symbols of support. The hand heart gesture has been annually incorporated into rides as a symbol of love and hope for those fighting cancer.  “Love Rides” was auctioned off at with proceeds benefiting the non-profit cancer organizations.

Award-Winning Event

The event was started by Jon Hirshberg and his friend and long-time cycling enthusiast, Heath Gregory, who collaborated on the idea of a one-day event in their hometown of Manhattan Beach, CA.

The Inaugural Tour de Pier was held in May 2013 at the Manhattan Beach Pier and raised more than $339,000 for our charities.

In March 2014, Manhattan Beach's Parks & Recreation Department won a prestigious award for Outstanding Special Event for the Tour De Pier, presented by the State of California Association of Parks and Recreation Commissioners.

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