By Jesse Wood
June 26, 2014. Blood Sweat and Gears is partnering with Appalachian Mountain Brewery to put on fireworks display on the Saturday, June 28, the night of the charity ride, to honor wounded veterans of the Ride2Recovery foundation.
Ride2Recovery is produced by the nonprofit Fitness Challenge to raise money for a cycling program for wounded veterans to help them overcome obstacles they now face.
The fireworks show will occur in the old Watauga High School parking lot. The Watauga County Board of Commissioners granted a request from BSG and AMB in May to use the parking lot to set off the fireworks while waiving a standard fee because of the event’s association with wounded veterans.
While no members of the public are allowed on the grounds of the old high school, BSG Ride Director Scott Nelson said that an agreement has been worked out with the Boone Mall to allow the public to gather for the display in the lower lot on the U.S. 321 side.
While Nelson said that this event was being held to honor the wounded veterans, he also encourages members of the public to come out and witness the display because he understands how the 1,250 riders on the roads on Saturday morning and afternoon can be an inconvenience to travelers.
“We know we create a disruption and maybe this is one way we can give back,” Nelson said.
Blood Sweat and Gears is a nonprofit ride event that donates its proceeds to worthy causes in the community and provides a substantial economic impact to the region on race weekend. It’s now in its 16th year.
The event consists of two rides – a 50 miler that starts at 7:45 a.m. and features 500 riders and 100 miler that starts at 7:30 a.m. and features 750 riders. Both rides start and end at Valle Crucis School. See attached maps of the entire rides that encompass many beautiful regions of the High Country – from Blowing Rock to Snake Mountain.
The post-ride celebration takes place at Appalachian Mountain Brewery in Boone, where AMB will donate a portion of its proceeds from its The 1st Revolution pints sold to the R2R program.
At 6:30 p.m., a toast for the Ride2Recovery athletes and BSG riders takes place, and the fireworks show starts at 9:15 p.m. And in between the toast and fireworks show, live music, cold beer, food, raffles and war stories – from both the grueling bike ride and global conflict – will take place.