The Must-Have Guide to Amgen Folsom Time Trials

amgen folsom

The Amgen Tour of California has begun, and this Friday May 20th, the tour comes to beautiful Folsom Ca for stage 6, the Time Trials. Here’s just about everything you need to know to make it an enjoyable experience.

First of all, what is the Amgen Tour of California?  The Amgen Tour of California is a Tour de France-style cycling road race created and presented by AEG that challenges the world’s top professional cycling teams to compete in 8 stages, along a demanding course across California, from the coast to the mountains, starting in San Diego, and ending in Sacramento. The teams chosen to participate have included Olympic medalists, Tour de France contenders and World Champions. This annual event is one of the most prestigious in the cycling world.

Didn’t it come through Folsom before?  Yes, it did. Folsom hosted the Time Trials in 2014, and the organizers and cyclists were so impressed with our fair city, that they promised to return, so here they come.

What’s a time trial?  Also known as ‘the race of truth’, the time trial is where each of the riders will take off, one at a time, 1 minute apart, and ride a 12.5 mile circuit. No team, no drafting, no one to push or to challenge, just a cyclist and the course.

There’s a Women’s Team Time Trial – Try saying that 3 times really fast. This year the Women’s Tour will be passing through as well, and the day will start off with the women’s team trial. It should be exciting!

So, what’s the course like? The 12.6 mile route will start on the 600 Block of Sutter, near Riley. The cyclists will take a right on Riley, which becomes Greenback, and right again on Folsom-Auburn Rd. They will then turn right on Folsom Lake Crossing, follow that as it becomes East Natoma. They next turn left on Green Valley, make a u-turn at Sophia Parkway, and head back the way they came. It should take each rider about 25 minutes to complete the course, and the difference between first and last could be a matter of seconds.

When is it again?  Friday, May 20th

The day’s schedule:

10:30am – Women’s Start

12:00 noon (approx) Women Finish

12:50pm – Men Start

3:45pm – Men Finish

Where’s the best place to watch? Almost anywhere along the route, really. At Sutter and Riley, you can see each rider as they take off. Along Folsom-Auburn, see them kick it into gear. Watch them climb the long hill on Folsom Lake Crossing and up East Natoma. The levy at Folsom Lake above Green Valley will give you a nice view as well.

Want a Time Trial Course Map?  Here ya go:

Okay, what else should I know?

Don’t miss the Lifestyle Festival along Sutter, Wool and Leidesdorff, as well as the awards ceremonies on the stage at the Historic District Amphitheater.

Engage in entertainment and interactive experiences delivered by race partners and vendors, including cycling products and demos, ideas for healthful living, family activities, games, food and more. Watch all the action on video screens, too.

Where to eat? In addition to the offerings at the festival, there are some great options on and around Sutter. For Mexican,  Q’bole sits above Sutter in the 700 block, with a great view from the balcony. The new Sutter Street Taqueria offers a more casual, less expensive option, with tacos and burritos on the menu. Haciend del Rio just re-opened at the corner of Riley and Sutter, and will have a great view of the riders making the first turn.

For Pizza, there’s Chicago Fire,which has a patio at Riley and Sutter, and Pizzaria Classico is right across the street.

British fare can be had at the Fat Rabbit, Chinese at Hop Sing, and casual American at Sam Horne’s.  Grab a deli sanwich at Beach Hut, which shares space with Lockdown Brewing Co. The Karen’s Bakery, the Folsom Bar and Grill, and ARZ Lebanese all face Leidesdorff near the finish line. \

Where to drink? Scarlet’s and the Powerhouse Pub at on Riley just below Sutter is right at the first turn. Lockdown Brewing, Hacienda del Rio, Q’bole, are all on Sutter.  Check in with each individual property, as some may have special or private parties going on.

Can we see the bikes up close?

Yes, now, don’t interfere with them, but the bike crews will be working from the Trader Lane parking lot. You can walk through and see all of the action, and some beautiful bikes.

What about parking? There ain’t none. Not in the Historic District, anyway.  The streets will be closed. You can park on Riley at Kohl’s, Wal Mart or Lembi Park and walk down, or on Natoma at City Hall and City Park. There may be some street parking available, but pay attention to signs.

Can I ride my bike? Of course! There will be 4 valet bike services in the Historic District. The bike trails will be open, making it easy to access the event from either side of the river.

What should I bring? A cowbell if you have one. Seriously, it’s a tradition.  A camera. A positive attitude.

Remember that safety is the first priority –  These bikes can get up to 45 mph, and there will be escort motorcycles, chase cars, camera cars and officials in cars. Stand clear!

Why is this important to Folsom? The whole world will be watching. This event will be broadcast nationally on NBC and around the world. Our city will be showcased like never before. The hotels are just about sold out, and thousands of spectators are expected to spend money in our hotels, restaurants, bars, shops, and gas stations. In other words, it’s great for the image and the economy of Folsom.

How can I avoid it? Stay away from the historic district!

For more detailed information, including specific street closures, go to:

City of Folsom official site:

Amgen Tour official site:

For more info about the City of Folsom or Folsom Real Estate:

Discuss with the community at:

Or, contact me, Steve Heard – Keller Williams Realty – 916 718 9577

Have fun!