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Cyclists from 36 States Come to Banner Elk This Weekend for ‘Mountains to Coast’ Tour

A large number of cyclists representing 36 different states will be in Banner Elk this weekend for the launch of Cycle North Carolina‘s annual Mountains to Coast scenic tour, which will take them from Banner Elk through Wilkesboro, Lexington, Burlington, Sanford, Clinton and Jacksonville on their way to Atlantic Beach.

Cyclists will make their way to town on Friday afternoon, Sept. 30. Not taking the ride but want to check it out? Head out to Tate-Evans Park for a launch party that is open to the public and will include live music from 6-8 p.m. in the Robbins Amphitheatre from the band Clockworx.

For cyclists, registration begins Saturday morning.

The 18th annual ride is scheduled for a Banner Elk to Atlantic Beach route, from Oct. 1-8.  With beautiful tourist stops along scenic back roads, the “Mountains to Coast” trek is the highlight of the year for many cyclists from across the nation.

Cycle North Carolina will begin its full-service, cross-state ride on October 1st at Tate-Evans Park in Banner Elk, and will arrive at the Atlantic Beach Circle on October 8th, with 1,000 cyclists signed up.  The cyclists represent 36 states (AK, AL, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV), the District of Columbia, Scotland and Ontario.  The youngest cyclist to ride for the entire week is 12 years old, and the oldest is 89 years old.

Over the course of the week, riders will bike an average of 60 miles per day.  Additional overnight stays are planned for the towns of Wilkesboro, Lexington, Burlington, Sanford, Clinton and Jacksonville.  The route will also pass through many other small towns and communities along the way, including Valle Crusis, Boone, Ferguson, Mocksville, Thomasville, Archdale, Pleasant Garden, Gibsonville, Saxapahaw, Pittsboro, Moncure, Broadway, Lillington, Erwin, Spivey’s Corner, Warsaw, Kenansville, Swansboro, Emerald Isle, Indian Beach and Pine Knoll Shores.

In this year’s tour, bicyclists will see some of North Carolina’s most breathtaking and interesting sites: Reynolds Parkway, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Mast General Store, Whippoorwill Village, Leatherwood Mountains Resort, Junker’s Mill, Tarheel Q, Downtown Thomasville, Downtown Gibsonville, Elon University, Red Caboose Museum, River Mill Village, Downtown Pittsboro, Benjamin Vineyards, Deep River Sporting Clays, Cape Fear River Trail Park, Bentonville Battlefield, Duplin County Veterans Museum, Swansboro Waterfront Park, North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, and many more.

Cycle North Carolina 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; indoor and 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, multiple-day options, or single-day options.

The Cycle North Carolina is presented by Visit North Carolina. Partner organizations of Cycle North Carolina include: Powerade, Capitol Broadcasting Company, Lowe’s Foods, the N.C. Department of Transportation and Cycling Spoken Here.

Hosted by North Carolina Amateur Sports (NCAS), Cycle North Carolina is a fully supported cross-state recreational bike tour of the Tar Heel State.  Formed in 1999, Cycle North Carolina is designed to promote physical fitness and health, and provide economic impact and publicity to rural communities, while showcasing the state’s beauty, scenic attractions and cultural diversity.

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.