The Blue Ridge Brutal bike ride is set to begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday, August 9, 2014, and will continue until late in the afternoon.
The “Brutal” is one of the premiere mountain rides in the area. It offers three options of a 57-mile, 75-mile or a 100-mile ride. The event is in its 25th year as a fundraiser for the Ashe Civic Center.
The Civic Center, managed by the Ashe County Arts Council, is a 300 seat performance venue. The Arts Council will present over 15 performance events and the Ashe County Little Theater will present four theatre productions in 2014-2015. The Civic Center is also used by the community for fundraisers, benefits, beauty pageants, dance recitals and musical events of all kinds. The proceeds from the Brutal help support the operations and maintenance of the Civic Center.
The Brutal has riders coming in from all over the East Coast to challenge the mountains. An estimated 400 riders will be on the road.
The ride will start at the Ashe Civic Center on Mount Jefferson Road. The riders will proceed south from the Civic Center and turn left (east) on N.C. 163.
Riders on the route will go through the Obids and Idlewild areas before they get on the Blue Ridge Parkway. After about 20 miles on the Parkway, the riders will pass through Laurel Springs, turn right onto Ore Knob Road, then pass near Shatley Springs and Phoenix Mountain. They will go through Warrensville and Smethport, then cut off to go up to Three Top Mountain. They’ll come down to the Old Fields area then head back to the Civic Center.
As the riders come back into town, they will be passing through the intersection of U.S. 221 and N.C. 163. With heavy traffic and turn lanes at this intersection, this is one of the more dangerous areas of the bike ride for both the cyclists and for motorists. Everyone should keep their eyes open and help the cyclists get back to the Civic Center parking lot.
Fifty riders have registered for the “Assault on Mount Jefferson.” These riders will cross the first finish line at the Civic Center, then continue up Mount Jefferson State Park Road and climb all the way to the top of the mountain. This challenging addition to the ride, sponsored by Gates, is popular with the riders.
Riders who participate in the event will be supported by the Ashe County Amateur Radio Club, Rescue Squads from all over the county, and SAG wagons. Riders will receive a hot meal, t-shirt, water and support from many volunteers. This year the Brutal will feature six rest stops that are sponsored by American Emergency Vehicles, GE Aviation, Ashe Memorial Hospital, Mt. Jefferson Presbyterian Church Women’s Fellowship, SSSink and United Chemi-con.
As part of the 25th anniversary celebration, Boondocks Brewing is creating a 25th anniversary pale ale called Brutal Brew. Riders will receive one free beer and a Blue Ridge Brutal pint glass.
Sponsors include: Boondocks Brewing, Complete Human Performance, The Hotel of West Jefferson, 4 Seasons Vacation Rentals, Darrel Hamilton Builder Blue Ridge Electric, Leviton, Boone Bike and Touring, TriStacey Coaching, LifeStore Bank, Vannoy Construction and Skyline.
Cyclists can register at the Civic Center on Friday, August 8 from 5-8 p.m., or on the morning of the ride starting at 6 a.m.
Call the Arts Council at 336-846-2787 for further information.