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BW Bike Issue: Time to Race

Exergy Tour plans kick off

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Warmer weather doesn't just mean that it's time to banish your sweaters to the back of your closet. It also heralds the start of the summer bike season, which means that everything from the hardest-core competitive road race to the beer-infused alley cat will be hitting the pavement in the Treasure Valley.

The impending race of the season is the inaugural Exergy Tour, which will bring 17 of the top professional women's racing teams to the area for a multi-stage event from Thursday, May 24, through Monday, May 28.

And while the public will have plenty of chances to watch the action up close, tour organizers are inviting the public to join them in a kickoff on Wednesday, May 23, by celebrating not only the competing teams but the upcoming London Olympics--in which many of the Exergy riders will compete.

The celebration starts with the Walk to London 2012, one of 20 events held around the country encouraging families to walk as many miles as possible in support of Team USA.

The walk will begin at 5:45 p.m., starting at the St. Luke's Shoreline Plaza and ending at Grove Plaza for a total of 1.13 miles and will be led by Olympians and Paralympians. Registration is free and will be held from 5-5:30 p.m. at the starting line.

Grove Plaza will be filled with music and food as walkers finish, and at 7 p.m., Exergy will hold its official team presentations of the participating teams. The event is free and open to the public.

For more info, visit exergytour.com.

Of course, Exergy is just the beginning of the race season. Here are some other dates bike fans will want to mark down on their calendars:

• Saturday, July 7, Bars and Stripes Alley Cat Race, boiseweekly.com

• Saturday, July 14, Twilight Criterium, boisetwilightcriterium.com

• Saturday, Aug. 18, Tour de Fat, newbelgium.com