By Jesse Wood
Watch out for hundreds of cyclists on the High Country roads next Saturday as the 18th annual Blood Sweat and Gears (BSG) charity ride will take place – assuming the weather cooperates.
BSG Ride Director Scott Nelson said that a record 1,400 people are signed up for this year’s epic ride. Because of ongoing road construction and paving on the Blue Ridge Parkway, BSG is avoiding the national treasure in the 2016 course and won’t adhere to the National Park Service-imposed cap of 1,200 participants for the event.
While the 50-mile ride remains the same, organizers shortened the century ride to a 90 miler because of the parkway-detour snafu. Nelson said the new route goes out through Sugar Grove up old U.S. 421 into Trade, Tenn. It then heads on 88 into Ashe County to Three Top Road and toward Todd on N.C. 194, where the traditional BSG route resumes, making to sure to take in the views of Snake Mountain, the ride’s signature climb.
“We wouldn’t want to deprive anyone the joy of climbing Snake Mountain,” Nelson joked.
While the ride, which begins and ends in Valle Crucis, can be seen as an inconvenience for motorists in a hurry on a Saturday morning and afternoon, the BSG ride more than makes up for any perceived disruptions on the road. Nelson said that this year’s event is expected to have an $1.25 million economic impact on the region – not counting the tens of thousands of dollars in ride proceeds that will be donated to local charities and organizations doing good work in the community.
The BSG ride is also hosting 30 military veterans from all over the country and three Watauga County Sheriff’s deputies to join in on the fun. Nelson said that BSG is “always honored and humbled” to host the men and women who serve in the military and law enforcement.
In addition, BSG will put on an incredible fireworks show again this year to cap the post-ride celebration at Appalachian Mountain Brewery and to say thank you to the volunteers, participants and community. See list of events below.
BSG Schedule of Events
Saturday, June 25, 2016
- 5:45 a.m. Parking Starts
- 6:00 a.m. to 7:00am Packet Pick Up
- 7:15 a.m. Pre-ride announcements and ceremony
- 7:30 a.m. 90 mile start
- 7:45 a.m. 50 mile start
- 6:30 p.m. – Post Ride Celebration at AMB in Boone
- 9:00 p.m. – Fireworks in Boone. Watch from AMB.
For more information and to follow the latest BSG info and news, click here: https://www.facebook.com/Bloodsweatandgearsbikeride/