The Bicycling Club of Milledgeville hosts the seventh annual April Fool’s Ride next week to raise funds for the club’s advocacy projects and activities, and to promote bicycling safety and awareness within the central Georgia area.
“The bicycle ride is geared toward all ages at all levels of fitness,” said Tom Glover, president of the local bike club. “One hundred percent of the proceeds from the ride and registration go straight into providing educational rides, training and to cover the cost of everything the club does for the community during the year.”
The April Fool’s Ride kicks off at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 30 at Central State Hospital’s Pecan Grove with on-site registration beginning at 8 a.m. for $35 per participant without a T-shirt or $45 with a T-shirt. Interested bicyclists can register early before the Monday deadline for $35 with a T-shirt. Breakfast and lunch will be provided for all registered riders.
Routes include a 30-, 50- and 73-mile ride options, which travels around Baldwin County and extends into Wilkinson and Jones counties.
“We will have support vehicles riding along the routes for help with any mechanical issues, or if riders get tired, and motorcycle marshals will also provide additional support,” Glover said. “Rest stops will also be available along the route with food, drinks and first aid. We’re anticipating around 250 participants for the main part of the ride.”
Other routes will include a 5- or 10-mile fun ride around the CSH campus for families, beginners and children.
“This year we’re adding a family component to the ride that will stay on Central State Hospital’s property,” Glover said. “All youth in grades 1 through 8 can receive a special discount rate of $10 without a T-shirt or $20 with a T-shirt, and their parents can ride for free with them in the 5- or 10-mile route. It would be really nice to have a couple of hundred kids riding with their parents.”
This year’s event is sponsored by 35 local businesses and organizations, including Central State Hospital Local Redevelopment Authority (CSHLRA), Chick-fil-A and Cogentes. Proceeds from the annual ride will be split between the local bicycle club, Rotary Club and the Oconee River Greenway Foundation.
“Last year’s April Fool’s Ride went well with about 170 riders, which was up by almost 50 percent over the previous year. We raised $4,000 and split it between the bicycle club and Rotary Club. Our other annual ride — the Deep Roots Ride — had close to 100 participants,” Glover said. “The rides seem to be picking up steam and are drawing people from all across the state, and Florida and Alabama; we’re trying to create a regional draw.”
With the theme “Milledgeville Loves Bicycles,” the ride is held in conjunction with CSHLRA’s community festival and Z97 FM’s Easter egg hunt.
Food, music, arts and crafts, a farmer’s market, Easter egg hunt, bike rodeo and various other family activities and entertainment will fill CSH’s Pecan Grove free for all attendees. Chick-fil-A and Metropolis Cafe will be on site with food for purchase during the spring festival.
“The entire day is a family-friendly atmosphere with activities more geared toward healthy living and healthy lifestyles,” Glover said. “People just need to bring their bikes and helmet, and the family because there’s something for everyone to enjoy.”
To register for the April Fool’s Ride call (404) 406-3528 or visit www.mvillebikes.com.
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