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These pedals can make Screven boom
Whether you deem yourself an exercise enthusiast or not, there are thousands of spokes in an upcoming wheel of Screven County fortune that should generate a healthy dose of excitement.
On the first day of October, the first-ever “Between Two Rivers” Bike Ride will pedal through our scenic county. The distances will be 12, 30, 50 and 100 miles.
While some residents are already in training for the longer journeys, we would expect that many of our locals probably would rather opt for the shorter bicycle treks.
Although our community may not have a large number of overly serious bicyclists, many groups of 40 and more biking members do exist in our Peach State.
Bike clubs are located in the majestic North Georgia mountain region. Some come together in the vast metropolitan areas of Atlanta for neighborhood rides. Others rapidly pedal through the college town of Athens.
Then there are the ones who gather in Rome, Macon, Columbus, Valdosta, Augusta and Savannah and all the communities in between.
Those riders are the types of individuals the Oct. 1 event hopes to attract to coincide with our local bicyclists. The more who sign up for “Between Two Rivers” the better as the money generated goes to your county’s United Way, an organization that annually helps fund 20 local agencies for the young, the more mature, the hungry, the ill, and the less fortunate.
The United Way assists financially with the Special Olympics, Meals on Wheels, recreation department, Soup Kitchen, St. Camillus Mobile Health Clinic and Crisis Fund, just to name a few of the agencies.
Each of these could be dramatically helped with a strong representation of bicyclists from other parts of Georgia.
That sound I hear rolling in my head is the rock band Queen with frontman Freddie Mercury’s 1978 tune “Bicycle Race.”
“Bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like.”
It is in your head too now isn’t it? We need this bike ride to be on your mind, or, in this case, in your mind.
This bike ride has the potential to be something big not only for this year, but for years to come. And if you don’t think Screven County can draw some people, ask those affiliated with Boy Scouts of America. The Scout camp in the county off Poor Robin Road, the Black Creek Reservation, is just two years old and already has hosted gatherings of 700 people – with both youth and adults.
The Sylvania Sampler, set for Sept. 17 this year, always is good draw and if all goes as projected with the archaeologists’ finds at the Revolutionary War Battle of Brier Creek, Screven County could have a continuous stream of visitors.
So what would our potential guests see when they come Oct. 1? In short, what graces us each day living in this beautiful county.
The 12-mile ride takes you along Halcyondale Road, Farmdale, Green Hill, Johnson Drive, Peeples Farm Road to Brannens Bridge Road, before the riders return to the starting point at the Sylvania First Baptist Church.
The 30-mile trip goes to Brannens Bridge, Pine Grove Inn Road and from Harmony Church back to the church.
The 50-miler is to Middle Ground Church, Jackson Church, Brannens Bridge, Pine Grove Inn, Country Club Road, Bascom and then the return.
The 100-mile ride one is to Middle Ground Church, Jackson Church, Brannens Bridge, Harmony Church, Oglethorpe Trail, Plantation Road, Hiltonia, Roberts Bridge Road, Antioch Church, Buttermilk Road and Highway 21 and then back.
Early registration for each of the four routes is $30 until Sept. 16. Registration after that is $35 per person. It also is $45 per couple and $50 per family of three or more from a single household.
Water station sites will be every 12 miles on the routes, and Support And Gear, or SAGs, will be available along each ride to provide any needed assistance. The Screven County EMS and law enforcement also will be on hand.
I understand that not everybody is a bicyclist or ever aspires to be one, but you too can be part of this event. Volunteers and sponsors are always welcome, however, residents who live on the routes are asked to cheer on the riders and thank them for spending the day in Screven County.
I know that I will welcome any and all the riders when they come in just over a month and I urge you to do the same.
There’s no reason to sugar-coat this – The bike ride is a huge undertaking for United Way and the other groups and boards assisting in this project. All working together are the county chamber of commerce, development authority, City of Sylvania, governing bodies of municipalities and towns, police departments, sheriff’s office, EMS, fire departments, church congregations, clubs and many other supportive members of the community.
Thank each of you for what you have done thus far in preparation for the bike ride and what will be done between now and when the last rider is off the course.
Be a part of this event by calling the United Way office at 912-564-5770 and keep humming the song –
“Bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle bicycle bicycle.”
Enoch Autry is the publisher-editor of the Sylvania Telephone.