Bicycling enthusiasts are just a few days away from the annual Blue Ridge Brutal race through the High Country.
The race is set for this Saturday, Aug. 18 and will feature three separate races through the county, based on the amount of distance that each rider wants to race. Races are set to begin at 8 a.m. and will start and end at Ashe Civic Center in West Jefferson.
The Blue Ridge Brutal has been held each year since 1990, and has been one of the best fundraisers for the Ashe Civic Center.
Race lengths this year will be 102, 76, and 57 miles over several thousand feet of elevation changes. All three races will begin and end at the Ashe Civic Center, and will follow different routes through the area. All three rides will feature roughly 20 miles of riding on the parkway.
In addition to the three endurance races, riders can also compete in a grueling climb up Mt. Jefferson. The “Assault on Mount Jefferson” is open to 25 riders to climb up 1,500 feet of elevation.
Riders are required to wear helmets at all times, and should obey all North Carolina traffic laws for bicyclists. Park Rangers also require each rider on the parkway to have lights on the front and rear, and want riders to proceed in single file while on the Blue Ridge Parkway
All biking routes will be clearly marked with signs in different colors for each route. Riders will receive maps showing all routes and distances, as well as turns for them to follow.
Rest stops will be set up along each course. There will be six stops on the 102-mile event, four stops on the 76-mile race and two stops on the 56-mile race.
Volunteers are going to be set up on the course handing out mussette bags for the riders, while others will be around to help assist in simple bike repairs such as tire and bike chain repair. It is recommended that all riders carry spare equipment to fix their own bikes, should any issues arise. There will be no guarantee that the volunteers will be in the area to help fix the mechanical problems.