MILLEDGEVILLE — The Bicycling Club of Milledgeville (BCM) has organized middle Georgia's first ever Gravel Grinder event.
The Red Clay Ramble routing features at most 16 miles of paved roads. Riders will experience dirt and gravel roads winding through great scenery, challenging hills and very little traffic Saturday, Aug. 17.
The BCM, in conjunction with Southern Bicycle League and New Belgium Brewery, is excited to bring this unique cycling event to the community. This new annual ride will be a premier event for Georgia, as well as a compelling draw for cyclists and fans throughout the southeast.
More than 75 applicants are entered, with another 50 to 100 enthusiasts expected by the ride date. Bicycle lovers from Florida, Georgia and South Carolina have signed up.
If successful, next year's ramble will feature a race component.
“We are very excited about this event because it is the first of its kind ever held in this area,” said BCM President Tom Glover. “There are out-of-state riders as well as nationally competitive riders coming, so we have been pleased at the level of interest out there. If all goes well, we plan to make this a true Gravel Grinder race next year with a full 100-mile century competitive option, while keeping the non-competitive options as well for those just wanting to ride.”
Glover is excited about the economic boost potential. Folks in town for these rides spend money.
“As these events grow, we look to have 400 or 500 people coming into town. That's a fair amount of upper-middle class people spending money and getting exposure to our community,” Glover said.
The Red Clay Ramble offers four routes: 14, 21, 33, and 65-mile options.
Pre-registration is $35. All pre-registered attendees will receive a T-shirt.
On-site registration begins at 7:30 a.m. on Aug. 17, with the ride starting at 8:30 a.m.