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2005 RRRR
It was fun in the warm September sun as a record number of cyclists rambled through the scenic upper Yadkin River valley during the fourth annual Rollin' Round the River Ride.  Cyclists from Asheville, New Bern and plenty of points in between completed rides of up to 50 miles through the historic upper Yadkin River valley Saturday, September 24th.  

All told, 93 cyclists participated in the 2005 event, a 27% increase in ridership over 2004.

The 2005 Rollin' Round the River Ride drew a diverse crowd, with riders ranging in age from 12 to 74.  About a third were female.  

Plenty of riders made it a family affair.  Twelve year old gymnast Keri Souther of Statesville rode with her dad, Brian.  Several sets of siblings, including Ron and Robert McGrady, Dona McNeil and Clara Culnon, and Annette Brinkley and Alice Salthouse, completed the ride.  The cycling McLean family of Deep Gap celebrated Lou's birthday with a brisk spin. Daughter Bridgette tipped everyone off about the celebration.

2005 Rollin' Round the River Riders

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The ride raised $1,500 for Wilkes County Special Olympics.  Special Olympics volunteers staffed the rest stops and start/finish site.  Special Olympian Chris Clarida, 26, of Moravian Falls completed the 50-mile route. Chris won a gold medal and two silver medals in the cycling competition at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Dublin, Ireland in June 2003.

Members of the Brushy Mountain Cyclists Club organized the ride and provided technical support. "Everyone got back safe and sound," ride director Tim Murphy reported. "It was a happy day in Happy Valley."

Riders roamed through quiet countryside, but there was plenty to see and do at the ride's two rest stops.

At Whippoorwill Academy in Ferguson, Edith Carter regaled riders with tales of Daniel Boone and Tom Dula. The facility's schoolhouse, Boone replica cabin, chapel, art gallery and Tom Dula museum were open for riders to see. In the afternoon, R.G. Absher and friends played for guests at a car rally. The cyclists got to enjoy the music from the shade of Whippoorwill's picnic shelter.

At Fort Defiance in Patterson, riders took a trip back in time. A Revolutionary War period reenactment was taking place on the grounds of General William Lenoir's 1792 home. The still of September was periodically punctuated by the loud boom of cannon fire. On the grounds, a frontier surgeon/dentist set up shop, his "office" filled with a collection of grisly tools used in the trade 200 years ago.

2005 Rollin' Round the River Ride Photo Album

It was hot and hazy as these riders rolled through the valley
near Ferguson.

Chris Clarida, Wilkes County Special Olympics director Harold Bowlin and cycling coach Keith Summerford  at Whippoorwill

The Morganton Mafia takes a break at Whippoowill Academy

A paceline powers past Laura Foster's gravesite in Caldwell County.

Luther Ashby, 74, is stylin'
in his full BMCC kit. He was one of the oldest riders on the tour.

Now this is my idea
of a rest stop!

Sparta's Debbie Brady (right) isn't ready to trade in her washing machine for an old-timey wash board.

A wagoner
spurs his team on
at Fort Defiance.

Natasha Ray's 50-miler was the longest bike ride of her life.

Deborah Boulware and Debbie Brady chill out on the steps
of Gen. Lenoir's 1792 home.

Kisa Posey and her dog greet some riders at Fort Defiance

These riders had  it made
in the shade.