250 cyclists descending on SLO County for arthritis ride

Riders participate in the California Coast Classic bike tour.
Riders participate in the California Coast Classic bike tour.

Hundreds of cyclists will be riding through San Luis Obispo County this week as part of a fundraising bike ride for people with arthritis.

As part of the 17th annual California Coast Classic presented by Amgen, 250 cyclists are riding 570 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise $1.2 million for the Arthritis Foundation, according to a news release. The riders will stay in Paso Robles on Tuesday night and Oceano on Wednesday night.

The locales will be familiar to at least two participants.

Peggy Ehling, a Paso woman who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, is marking her 10th year doing the ride. Ehling had been riding for six years when she got her diagnosis, and her fellow riders and relationship with the Arthritis Foundation “made her diagnosis much less scary,” according to the news release.

Oceano resident Kendra Laguilles is also riding. Laguilles is a staff member every summer at Camp Esperanza, which is run by the Arthritis Foundation, and is an online mentor for teens with rheumatic diseases, the news release said.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF