The Tour de Palm Springs has raised over $4,000,000 for Coachella Valley charities since 1999.
Tim Esser had an idea on January 31, 1998. He would hold a bike event in Palm Springs that would allow local cyclist to ride 5, 15, 25 and 50 miles. 400 cyclists rode in the first event, known at that time as Spokes for Different Folks. Tim, however, being the guy that never goes only part way, decided to use the event as a launch pad for his own personal ride across America. It took him 30 days to cross the country from Palm Springs, California to Jacksonville, Florida. When it was all over Tim had survived his chase vehicle crashing and catching on fire, a fall that sprained his shoulder, rain in the valleys, snow in the mountains and tornadoes on the plains! But, he made it.
The first event raised $20,000 and was hailed as a great success by all who participated. Tim, along with his mother Fran, set up a not for profit organization called CVSPIN. Even though many cyclists may think that CVSPIN means to turn over their bicycle pedals as fast as possible in the Coachella Valley, it actually stands for Coachella Valley Serving People In Need. The first Tour de Palm Springs was held in 1999. The number of riders exceeded 1,000 and a 100 mile (century) ride was added. In 2001, the Coachella Valley Desert Business Association recognized the Tour de Palm Springs as the best event in the Valley. The competition included the Bob Hope PGA Tournament, the Dinah Shore LPGA Tournament, The Skins Game and the Tennis Masters Series. Every year the Tour de Palm Springs continues to attract more and more riders. The money generated has gone to help many organizations in the Coachella Valley. In 2015 over $179,000 was donated to 80 local charities that in their own special ways met the varied needs of the people in the Coachella Valley.