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Tour de Pike to roll through Pike March 15

The 17th annual Tour de Pike will roll through Pike County Saturday, March 15, at 8:30 a.m. Bike riders of all skill sets may take part in the event which offers scenic routes and starts in Concord. ’We have people who ride racing bikes to mountain bikes to recumbent bikes ‘“ the kind they lay back and petal,’ said Kiwanis Club member Don Collins. ‘Some people even pull a stroller behind their bike to take their children along. We see all kinds of bikes and all kinds of riders.’ Participants may register the day of the event starting at 7 a.m. in front of the Concord Cafe or anytime online at kiwanispike.org. The cost is $30 if postmarked by March 8 and $35 afterward. The event is sponsored by the Pike Kiwanis Club. Proceeds help local youth through various charity events and sponsorships. Each year, Kiwanis donates to programs including sports organizations, food baskets for the needy, student achievement programs and other charities. Tour de Pike is the group’s largest fundraiser of the year. Collins and other club members ask that Pike residents help beautify their yards and make sure dogs are secured to prevent riders from being harmed. ’We don’t have an inmate crew to help us out with trash pickup anymore so we’re asking residents to pick up trash in front of their homes, especially along Highways 18, 109 and 362,’ Collins said. Several routes are available for Tour de Pike participants, including easy, moderate and expert courses. Support and gear vehicles will cover the routes to offer help or rides if needed. Refreshments will be served in each town. All pre-registered participants will receive a T-shirt. ’The short route is from Concord to Molena and is about eight miles. That route is Highway 18 from Concord to Molena,’ he said. ‘We’ll pick the riders up and bring them back to Concord. It usually takes about an hour to ride the eight miles.’ Expert cyclists can ride 25 to 35 miles an hour. Two more difficult routes are offered which cover beautiful areas of the county. ’The 66 mile ride ‘“ or the metric century ‘“ goes from Zebulon to Williamson via back roads, then to Gay and back to Concord,’ Collins said. ‘The 100 mile century ride goes to Gay, then to Molena, doubles back through Zebulon on a different route and then back to Concord.’ For information or to register go to kiwanispike.org.

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