It is nearing the time of year that bicycle racing enthusiasts in the area enjoy the most.
The annual Blue Ridge Brutal is set to take place on Aug. 18, and will feature three endurance races as well as the race up to the top of Mount Jefferson.
The race has been held each year since 1990, and has been a great fundraiser for the Ashe Civic Center.
This year, the race lengths will be 57, 76, and 102 miles through the High Country with a few thousand feet of elevation changes along the way.
The last couple of years have also featured the most grueling climbing event around, a 3.1-mile ride up Mt. Jefferson. Named the “Assault on Mount Jefferson,” 25 riders can register for the event that will feature a long climb up 1,500 feet and an average grade of approximately nine percent.
All three of the BRB races will start at the Ashe Civic Center and will follow different routes through the county, based on the distance of the race that each rider chooses. While each ride will be a little different, all three will feature roughly 20 miles of riding on the Blue Ridge Parkway, allowing racers to see some of the most beautiful scenery that the area has to offer.
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.
To register for the event, donate money, or to find out more about being a volunteer, visit the new website that has been set up for the Blue Ridge Brutal. The web address is http://blueridgebrutal.org.