Annual Cycling Event in California Raises Over $1 Million to Fight Arthritis, Impacting Nearly 60 Million Adults and Hundreds of Thousands of Children in the U.S.

September 27, 2023

Presenting Sponsor Amgen’s Legacy of Support has Helped Raise Critical Funds and Awareness for Arthritis Foundation for Over 20 Years

LOS ANGELES – September 27, 2023/ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – The 23rd annual California Coast Classic Bike Tour presented by Amgen, kicks off this coming Saturday in San Francisco en route to Los Angeles. Two hundred cyclists will embark on the eight-day, 525-mile tour while raising funds and awareness for the Arthritis Foundation and the nearly 60 million U.S. adults with arthritis.

Typically, at least 40% of California Coast Classic riders either have arthritis or are riding for a loved one with the autoimmune disease that affects one in four Americans. This year, at least 80 of the approximately 200 riders have identified themselves as living with arthritis.

Kate Tatar, a second-year rider from San Francisco, writes on her fundraising page, “I’m riding this year for people like 2019 Kate who sometimes wouldn’t walk to the bathroom in the morning before her ibuprofen kicked in. I ride for the kids with juvenile arthritis who can’t run around on the playground like their peers. I ride for the patients who’ve run out of biologics options, for the patients who can’t take NSAIDs [nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs], for the patients who have severe irreversible joint damage. I ride for all of us with a chronic health condition who have to cope with both fatigue and decision making our friends don’t have to think about. I ride for my CCC family who keep returning every year to raise money for a cure.”

“Arthritis is the nation’s leading cause of disability impacting nearly 60 million adults in the U.S., including hundreds of thousands of children with juvenile arthritis” said Gunjan Thiagarajah, vice president of Amgen Inflammation. “For over 20 years, Amgen has sponsored the California Coast Classic, and we are proud to continue to support the Arthritis Foundation and riders who dedicate their time to this important initiative.”

The California Coast Classic is the Arthritis Foundation’s National Destination Event and top fundraiser bringing in $1 million annually that goes directly to programs, services, and support for millions of Americans.

“We’re riding for our families, our friends, our co-workers, and we’re riding for cures,” said Steve Taylor, president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation who will be riding the first three days of the tour this year. “Amgen has been a tremendous partner of the California Coast Classic and the Arthritis Foundation for decades, and thanks to this partnership, we have had a positive impact on millions of people with arthritis, some of whom will be riding right alongside us next week.”

One in every four Americans is living with arthritis. It’s the number one cause of disability and a growing health crisis affecting nearly 60 million adults and hundreds of thousands of children in the U.S. It is also responsible for $304 billion in medical costs and lost earnings, and causes 172 million missed workdays each year. Since 1948, the Arthritis Foundation has invested over half a billion dollars in research, with more than $22 million coming directly from the California Coast Classic.

“This is a special year for us on the California Coast Classic,” said Shannon Marang Cox, National Senior Director of the California Coast Classic Bike Tour at the Arthritis Foundation. “It’s the Arthritis Foundation’s 75th anniversary, we have a field of 200 riders, and we’ve already topped $1 million in fundraising before the tour has even started. Our great thanks go out to so many volunteers, sponsors and of course the riders like Kate and hundreds of others who make all of this possible.”

The Arthritis Foundation is leading the fight to conquer everyday battles through life-changing information and resources, access to optimal care, advancements in science, and community connections. Funding from events like the California Coast Classic goes directly to Arthritis Foundation programs that increase quality of life with patient education and advocacy; improve access to health care; provide fee-free summer camps for children; and conduct research for better treatments and cures for the myriad forms of arthritis.

The 2023 California Coast Classic presented by Amgen dates are September 30 to October 7. More information about the bike tour, including its detailed itinerary, is available at the California Coast Classic website and in this short video. The self-paced pedaling adventure is open to cyclists of all levels and welcoming of e-bike riders. It is Gran Fondo Guide’s “Best Charity Bike Tour” and has been named one of “The 30 Best Road Biking Trips” by Outside Magazine.

Early registration for the 2024 California Coast Classis is here.

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About the Arthritis Foundation

The Arthritis Foundation is fighting for all people who live with arthritis. As a Champion of Yes, the Arthritis Foundation’s mission is to turn the obstacles arthritis causes into opportunities. The Arthritis Foundation champions life-changing solutions and medical advancements, and provides ways for people to connect, break down barriers in health care and join the fight for a cure — uniting hearts, minds, and resources to change the future of arthritis. To join the fight to cure arthritis, visit  arthritis.org.

About the California Coast Classic Bike Tour
The Arthritis Foundation’s California Coast Classic Bicycle Tour Presented by Amgen, “The Ride of a Lifetime”, is the winner of Gran Fondo Guide’s Best Charity Bike Tour Award. Now a National Destination Event and the Foundation’s top fundraiser bringing in over $1 million dollars annually, the California Coast Classic began in 2001, and continues to support resources and research to find better treatments and a cure for arthritis. Beginner and experienced cyclists are encouraged to join the 8-day, fully-supported, 525-mile journey down the coast of California from San Francisco to Los Angeles from September 30 – October 7, 2023, and registration information can be found here. Supporters who cannot come to the in-person tour are invited to join the Arthritis Challenge Experience, a choose-your-own adventure that connects participants to the vibrant CCC community. For more information, visit arthritis.org/californiacoastclassic.

Media Contact:

Julie Kelly, SPEC PR, 760.672.2527 (cell), julie.kelly@specpr.com