1,000 cyclists coming through McDowell Sunday

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Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2013 5:23 pm

More than 1,000 cyclists are expected to arrive in Marion on Sunday morning as part of Cycle North Carolina’s “Mountains to Coast” tour.

Cycle North Carolina is preparing an all-new route for another “Mountains to Coast” tour of scenic North Carolina. The 15th annual ride is scheduled for a Spruce Pine to Atlantic Beach route, from Saturday, Sept. 28 to Saturday, Oct. 5. “With beautiful tourist stops along scenic back roads, the ‘Mountains to Coast’ trek is the highlight of the year for many cyclists from across the nation,” reads a news release from Cycle North Carolina.

Cycle North Carolina will begin its full-service, cross-state ride on Saturday at Spruce Pine Riverside Park and will arrive at Atlantic Beach on Saturday, Oct. 5, with over 1,000 cyclists already signed up.

City Manager Bob Boyette said to The McDowell News the cyclists will arrive at Historic Marion Tailgate Farmer's Market for a rest stop on Sunday morning. Around 1,000 to 1,200 cyclists are expected to come here.

The route will also pass through many other small towns and communities along the way, including Little Switzerland, Glen Alpine, Valdese, Mountain View, Newton, Catawba, Salisbury, Denton, Siler City, Pittsboro, Montcure, New Hill, Four Oaks, Pollocksville, Maysville and Swansboro. Over the course of the week, riders will bike an average of 60 miles per day. Additional overnight stays are planned for the cities of Morganton, Troutman, Asheboro, Holly Springs, Goldsboro and New Bern.

In this year’s tour, bicyclists will see some of North Carolina’s most breathtaking sites: Lake James, Lake Norman State Park, the Uwharrie Mountains, High Rock Lake, the historic Pittsboro Courthouse, Lake Jordan, Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Historic Downtown New Bern, Intercoastal Waterway, Pine Knoll Shores and much more.

Cycle North Carolina is the state’s only fully-supported ride. Luggage is transported in vehicles from one overnight host community to the next; rider support vehicles are available to aid cyclists who experience physical or mechanical trouble; indoor and outdoor camping areas with amenities are set-up in overnight host communities; and rest stops will be available every 15 to 20 miles along the route, with beverages and snacks for all participants. Riders can register for the entire distance, multiple-day options or single-day options.

Hosted by North Carolina Amateur Sports (NCAS), Cycle North Carolina is a fully supported cross-state recreational bike tour of the Tar Heel state. Formed in 1999, Cycle North Carolina is designed to “promote physical fitness and health, and provide economic impact and publicity to rural communities, while showcasing the state’s beauty, scenic attractions and cultural diversity.”

For more information on Cycle North Carolina, contact NCAS at (919) 361-1133, or visit the Cycle North Carolina website at www.cyclenorthcarolina.org.