Bikers from all parts of the country will be in Ashe County on Aug. 9 for the annual Blue Ridge Brutal 100 race.
Each year, bikers show up to challenge the grueling elevation changes to try and complete the 100-mile ride. There are 75 and 57-mile rides for those that are not sure they can handle the longest event.
As if that is not enough, a limited group of riders that want to push themselves even more can take part in the Assault on Mount Jefferson, a three-mile climb from the bottom of the mountain to the top.
All three races begin and end at the Ashe Civic Center in West Jefferson. Each race also features a ride of approximately 20 miles on the Blue Ridge Parkway, giving riders a chance to experience some of the most beautiful terrain and countryside that the High Country has to offer.
The race is limited to 500 cyclists and riders can register online to secure a spot, or may wait until the day of the ride. However, if the race is full, on-site registration will not be permitted.
Each race begins at 8 a.m. and bikers are encouraged to arrive early to pick up rider packets and chip timers.
Racing routes are clearly marked and several volunteers will be on the route providing rest stops and small bike repair such as inner tube spares. However, all riders are encouraged to bring all parts they may need for repair as the support volunteers are not trained bicycle mechanics.
The 100-mile race will have six rest stops. The 75-mile race has four rest stops and the 57-mile event will feature two rest stops.
All racers are required to obey North Carolina traffic laws. While on the Blue Ridge Parkway, all cyclists are required to have lights in front and in rear. Riders are also asked to remain in single file or a park ranger may give tickets for those that try to ride in bunches while on the parkway.
As always, the race would not be possible without the help of numerous volunteers and sponsors. This years sponsors include Boondocks Brewing Tap Room and Restaurant, Complete Human Performance, Hotel of West Jefferson, 4 Seasons Vacation Rentals and Real Estate, Darrel Hamilton Builder, Blue Ridge Electric, Leviton, Boone Bike & Touring, TRIstacey Coaching, LifeStore Bank, Vannoy Construction, Skyline, Ashe Memorial Hospital, Screen Specialty Shop, Mount Jefferson Presbyterian Church, AEV, GE and United Chemi-Con.
*Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-846-7164 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87