For the second time, Blowing Rock has been chosen as the starting Host Town for the Cycle North Carolina Mountains to Coast Ride. More than 1,000 cyclists from 40 states and three foreign countries will gather in Blowing Rock on Saturday, September 28 to begin the weeklong, 483-mile, recreational trek along the state’s scenic back roads from the “mountains to the coast.”
This 21st annual ride is scheduled for a Blowing Rock to Atlantic Beach trek, from September 28 to October 5. With beautiful tourist stops along scenic back roads, the “Mountains to Coast” route is the highlight of the year for many cyclists from across the nation.
Tracy Brown, Executive Director of the Blowing Rock TDA, is enthusiastic about the selection. “We’re happy that CycleNC chose Blowing Rock again to be the start town for this epic ride across North Carolina. We’ll host over 1,000 cyclists plus some of their family members that will see them off over that weekend. About half of the riders will be camping at Davant Athletic Field and the others will be staying in local accommodations. With the addition of their dining and shopping expenditures, the economic impact will be significant,” Brown said.
The cyclists represent 37 states, the District of Columbia, and both Ottawa and Toronto, Canada. The youngest cyclist to ride for the entire week is just 6 years old, while the oldest participants are 82 years old.
Over the course of the week, riders will bike an average of 65 miles per day. Additional overnight stays are planned in Hickory, Spencer, Siler City, Clayton, Greenville, and New Bern. The route will also pass through many other towns and communities along the way, including Patterson, Yadkin Valley, Kings Creek, Lenoir, Conover, Claremont, Troutman, Cleveland, Franklin, Salisbury, Denton, and Asheboro over the first three days. The route heads southeast from Siler City through Moncure, Holly Springs, Micro, Farmville, Fountain, Ayden, Vanceboro, and through Bridgeton. Riders will pass through Brices Creek, Pollocksville, Maysville, Swansboro, Cedar Point, Emerald Isle, Indian Beach, & finally Pine Knoll Shores as they make their way to the finish.
In this year’s tour, bicyclists will experience numerous instances of North Carolina’s unique topography including ample farmland, several creeks, winding rivers, and much more. The route will pass near interesting sites in the state such as The Blowing Rock, Governor Charles B. Aycock’s Birthplace, and the Croatan National Forest. Several water features are along the route including; the Tar River, Neuse River, Yadkin River & Valley, Lake Hickory, Lake Norman, High Rock Lake (and Hydroelectric Power Plant), Haw River, Bass Lake, Lake Benson, Deep River, Trent River, Brice Creek, Bogue Sound, and the Atlantic Ocean!
“We’re excited to begin the ride again in Blowing Rock. We were able to start the Mountains to Coast ride in Blowing Rock back in 2009 and have really wanted to come back. This year, schedules worked out and our participants could not be happier. Blowing Rock has a great reputation for hospitality and riders from across the country are looking forward to being there. With everything within walking distance, our participants can easily explore what the town has to offer. We’ve got a great leadership team made up of local officials and cyclists; that’s exactly what it takes to make this event a success,” said Chip Hofler, Cycle North Carolina Director.
Three to five rest stops are scheduled daily to break up the ride and allow riders an opportunity to take a break from pedaling. Some of the featured rest stops which are planned for the ride include the Patterson School in Lenoir, Troutman Depot Shelter with nearby Randy’s BBQ & Southern Sweets, Bicentennial Park in downtown Asheboro, New Hope Valley Railway in Bonsal, the “GlaStation” in Farmville, Yoder’s Dutch Pantry in Grifton, & the Pugliese Pavilion in Swansboro.
The Cycle North Carolina “Mountains to Coast” Tour is the state’s only fully-supported ride. Luggage is transported in vehicles from one overnight host community to the next; rider support vehicles are available to aid cyclists who experience physical or mechanical trouble; outdoor camping areas with amenities are set-up in overnight host communities; and rest stops will be available every 15-20 miles along the route, with beverages and snacks for all participants. Riders can register for the entire distance, three-day options, or first-day & last-day only options. Online registration is still open at www.ncsports.org!
Hosted by North Carolina Amateur Sports (NCAS), Cycle North Carolina was developed to promote North Carolina’s scenic beauty, heritage tourism, visitor attractions, historic sites, state parks, fitness, healthy lifestyles and the benefits of bicycling to individuals and our state. During the past 20 years, Cycle North Carolina has stopped overnight in more than 100 North Carolina towns and visited over 700 North Carolina communities.
Cycle North Carolina is presented by Retire NC. Partner organizations of Cycle North Carolina include: Powerade, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, BB&T, Capitol Broadcasting Company, Harris Teeter, Sheetz, Morningstar Law Group, the N.C. Department of Transportation, NC By Train, and Trek of Greensboro.
For more information on Cycle North Carolina, contact NCAS at (919) 361-1133, or visit the Cycle North Carolina Web site at, www.cyclenorthcarolina.org.