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Rollin' Round the River Ride
coming up Saturday, Sept. 24th, 2005
"Magical History Tour" of the scenic upper Yadkin valley
features rest stops at living history sites

Scores of cyclists will cruise the scenic upper Yadkin River valley Saturday, September 24th, 2005 as the Brushy Mountain Cyclists Club and Wilkes County Special Olympics stage the fourth annual Rollin' Round the River benefit bike tour.

The Rollin' Round the River Ride features 20 and 50 mile route options through the upper Yadkin River valley.  

Both routes begin and end at the Wilkes Family YMCA on N.C. 268 west of Wilkesboro at 9:00 a.m.  Registration opens at 8:00 a.m. in the back parking lot at the Y.

The ride features a rolling out-and-back route that's a snap to follow and flat enough that everyone from novices to hard-core racers can participate.
The ride follows N.C. 268, a North Carolina Scenic Byway and part of the federally-designated Overmountain Victory Trail. Rest stops on the ride are located at Whippoorwill Academy and Fort Defiance, two living history sites with plenty to see and do.

20 mile route

The 20-mile route rolls through the hills west of Wilkesboro with scenic views of the lake and the surrounding mountains.  The 20-mile route's turn-around point is Whippoorwill Academy and Village, a living history site with a 19th century schoolhouse, a replica of Daniel Boone's Yadkin Valley cabin and an extensive collection of Tom Dooley memorabilia. Site director Edith Carter will be on hand the morning of the ride to answer your questions and share tales about the rich history of the upper Yadkin valley. The ride's first rest stop will be located in the picnic pavilion at Whippoorwill Academy.

50 mile route

The 50-mile route follows the Yadkin upstream into the broad farming basin known as Happy Valley.  The route features a rest stop at Fort Defiance, the 18th century home of William Lenoir. In September 1780, Lenoir led a contingent of patriot forces to Kings Mountain, site of a pivotal battle in the fight for American independence.

Revolutionary war re-enactors will be on site Sept. 24th, commemorating the 225th anniversary of the assembly of patriot troops on their way to battle. A visit to Lenoir's authentically furnished home (pictured above) is a true trip back in time. Admission to the house is $5. The ride's second rest stop will be at the entrance to Fort Defiance, within easy walking distance of the house and grounds.

A fun ride for riders of varying abilities

The Rollin' Round the River Ride is a bike tour, not a race. Seasoned cyclists will find this to be a fast course with long sections ideal for riding in pacelines.  More casual riders can take the ride slower and enjoy the scenery and the historical attractions at the rest stops.

Riders ranging in age from 13 to 73 successfully completed the ride in 2004. Participants included a father-daughter tandem team and five riders age 65 or older.

There is no time clock and no ranking of riders at the Rollin' Round the River Ride. Everyone's a winner!

The route is a simple out-and-back design, making it just about impossible to get lost. The out-and-back design also enables riders to trim the route to any length desired. Terrain is rolling. Hills aren't terribly steep and there are no extended climbs. Elevation spread on the 50-mile route from the high spot near Patterson to the lowest point near the shores of Kerr Scott Lake is only 327 feet.

Ride benefits local Special Olympics cyclists

The Rollin' Round the River Ride is a bike ride to benefit the Wilkes County Special Olympics cycling team. Member Chris Clarida won a gold medal and two silver medals in the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Dublin, Ireland in June, 2003.  Proceeds from the 2002 Rollin' Round the River Ride helped make Chris's trip to Dublin possible.

Proceeds from the 2005 Rollin' Round the River Ride will be donated to Wilkes County Special Olympics to assist the local Special Olympics cycling team.

Rollin' route featured in regional cycling guide

The Rollin' Round the River Ride is getting a lot of attention! It's included in Road Cycling the Blue Ridge High Country, a collection of 26 road cycling routes released in 2003 by John F. Blair, Publisher. The route is described in the "Happy Valley Tour" chapter of the book.

Ride is fully supported

Rest stops for the ride will be staffed by Wilkes County Special Olympics volunteers.  Two SAG vehicles will patrol the route to help any cyclists needing assistance. Registration fee for the ride is $20 and includes rest stops, support and a post-ride picnic.

The Rollin' Round the River Ride is sponsored by the Brushy Mountain Cyclists Club and Wilkes County Special Olympics.

The Brushy Mountain Cyclists Club promotes cycling in Wilkes County through rides, meetings, service projects and special events like the Rollin' Round the River Ride and RAW, the club`s Rides Around Wilkes spring road cycling event. The BMCC-built Dark Mountain Trail is located 2.3 miles from the start/finish site at W. Kerr Scott Dam, so bring your mountain bike and enjoy some sweet singletrack!

Wilkes County Special Olympics seeks to provide year-round athletic training and sports competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities or related developmental disabilities.  Special Olympics gives these individuals continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families and other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
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