By Erika Giovanetti
June 5, 2013. All over the region, bikers are preparing for this weekend’s Black and Blue Double Century Bike Relay, a race showcasing the beautiful and rigorous mountain roads of Northwestern North Carolina and Southwestern Virginia.
The race takes place this Saturday, June 6, beginning at 6 a.m. at the Riverside Restaurant on the banks of the New River in Todd and ending at the same location at 10 p.m.
The Black and Blue is a double century, or 200-mile, race consisting of at most 200 teams of one to eight participants. Those racing in a group may compete in a relay, breaking up the 200 miles into smaller sections. If a group has eight members, each participant will race 25 miles. You may also participate as a solo rider, completing all 200 miles of the race alone.
The race is split up into eight 25-mile stages and covers 16,287 feet of elevation gain. The course primarily consists of scenic country roads as it takes racers through rural back roads.
If you’re not familiar with the High Country’s climate, prepare for a variety of weather conditions. The climate of the mountains that the course runs through is comparable to the climate of Canada. Be prepared for rain, high-speed winds, and quickly changing weather conditions based on elevation and region.
Aid stations are set up at every exchange zone, with eight support stops in total. The stations include water, Gatorade, Hammer Nutrition products, fruit, bagels, peanut butter, pretzels, M&M’s and/or Coca Cola. Support stations are intended for unsupported riders, such as those who are participating solo or teams with few participants. For eight and four person teams, it is recommended that you provide your own fluids and fuels to team members. For a list of what refreshments are available at which stands, click here.
First aid will also be available every 25 miles at the support stations. Teams with support vehicles on the course should be prepared with their own first aid kits, ice, and other miscellaneous remedies.
Solo riders are permitted to prepare drop bags for support. Drop bags must be clearly labeled with the rider’s name, drop location and mile marker. Riders may leave their drop bags or other gear at the support stations, and they will be brought back to the finish line via sag vehicle. Drop bags must be submitted to the registration/check-in table at least 15 minutes prior to the race on Saturday or at packet pick-up on Friday evening.
Riders may register online here until June 5 or at the race day on-site. Prices vary depending on the number of participants and when you register. Entry fees will not be refunded and are not transferrable. Each team must have a captain who regulates communication between the team and the Black and Blue. Participants may register and pick up their race packets June 7 from 5 to 8 p.m. or June 8 from 5 to 5:45 a.m. at the starting venue. All participants must check in at the starter’s table no later than 15 minutes prior to the race starting time.
On the night before the race, Friday, June 7, from 5 to 8 p.m., there will be a Pre-ride Pasta Dinner at the Riverside Restaurant. The meal is all you can eat and consists of vegan pasta with marinara, salad, bread, and soft drinks. Reservations are required and must be made and paid by Thursday, June 7. To make reservations for the dinner, click here.
Camping is available on-site at the start/finish venue of the Riverside Restaurant for $15 a tent or $20 for an RV. Port-a-johns and potable water are available, but there are no indoor restroom facilities or electric hook-ups. Upon arrival, campers must check in at the front desk of the Riverside Restaurant.
The Riverside Restaurant is located at 7181 Railroad Grade Rd. in Todd. For more information, contact Ken and Kristin Sevensky at 336-877-8888, email [email protected] or visit http://blackandbluerelay.com.