Blue Ridge Brutal this Saturday

August 8, 2013

Bikers from all around will take on miles of gorgeous mountain blacktop during the Blue Ridge Brutal 100 this Saturday.

There are three BRB bicycle ride options – 102, 76 and 57 miles. The start and finish point for all of them is the Ashe Civic Center in West Jefferson. All the rides are challenging and spend at least 20 miles on the Blue Ridge Parkway, through some of the most beautiful scenery in North Carolina.

The Blue Ridge Brutal Bike Ride is an annual fundraiser event for the Ashe Civic Center.

For locals here in the county, the ride organizers want residents to be aware of these wonderful visitors to our area. Many cyclists bring their families, they spend the weekend here, they eat in our local restaurants, and they make purchases in our shops. Most importantly, locals want to stay alert when driving beside riders on the road. Extra caution is advised when passing the bike riders on the highways.

“These visitors to our area are the best people ever,” said John MacConnell, president of the Civic Center Board of Directors. “They generally tell us on the after-ride evaluations that the whole ride experience is a lot of fun. They say that it’s a wonderful day, wonderful scenery, wonderful people, and that they can’t wait to do it again.”

For a few hardy souls who want to challenge the mountain, the Brutal is offering the “Assault on Mount Jefferson.” This option is available at no extra cost, but due to Mount Jefferson State Park regulations, only 25 riders can make the mountain climb and the rider register on a first come, first serve basis. All assault riders will be transported down the mountain.

For the riders who register to climb Mount Jefferson, please be aware that, although not officially classified, it is about as near to a Category 2 climb as possible rising almost 1,500 feet over 3.1 miles with an average grade of approximately nine percent.

Helmets are mandatory for the BRB and all traffic regulations must be observed. No personal SAG wagons will be allowed. Blue Ridge Parkway rangers reserve the right to ask riders to stop if there are safety concerns or issues.

The Brutal is fully supported by SAG wagons, rest stops, mussette stops, Ham radio communication and fire and rescue squad. A hot meal, t-shirt and chip timing is included.

In addition, for this year a new Blue Ridge Brutal jersey is available. Designed with safety in mind, the main background color is bright yellow.

Registration for the race is $60. The ride tours Ashe and Alleghany counties and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The Civic Center organizers appreciate the strong welcome and support extended by the people of Ashe County for this bike ride. Considering the marketing efforts and the pre registrations to date, organizers predict 100 more riders this year than in past years.

For more information about the Blue Ridge Brutal or to get involved as a volunteer, call 846-2787.