Monday, April 14, 2014

Not a Real Assault

Mountain biking in our area is very popular.  We have many strenuous off-road trails.  Even biking on the mountain roads is quite a challenge for bicycles.  Our county has welcomed the bikers and Transylvania County calls itself the "Cycling Capital of the South."

Logo from the Chamber of Commerce
(You knew there would be a white squirrel involved)

The "Assault on the Carolinas" is an annual event that draws people from all over the country.  Sponsored by the Pisgah Forest Rotary, the money raised is used to promote their various charities, services, and scholarships.

The Assault is a very popular event, limited to 1,000 bikers.  Each year the event is filled up within days of registration.  This past Saturday, the bikers assembled in downtown Brevard to begin the Assault.  There are three different rides; a 40K, a 60K, and a 100K.  The riders enjoy the beautiful mountains and valleys.  The 100K includes a challenging ride up to South Carolina's Caesar's Head State Park.  Saturday was sunny and beautiful...a perfect day for the ride.

[The following photographs were taken from the Assault Web site:)

The Walnut Hallow course meanders through some lovely farm land along the East Fork River.

The bikers start in large waves.

Most of the riders are single file on the mountain roads.
It's often a long file.

The Assault routes pass by all three gates of our community.  It goes without saying that we do not leave the community during the Assault.  There are too many bicycles to think of passing them.

All along the route, people gather to encourage the bikers.  Various businesses along the routes provide water and refreshment stations.  The bikers are thoughtful and leave all cups at the stations and do not add litter to the roads.

Policemen are stationed at intersections on US 276 to direct traffic and allow the bikers access.  Downtown there are craft booths, food stations and music, giving the town a festival atmosphere.

We welcome the Assault on the Carolinas.  It is only for one day.  I must admit I am less welcoming at other times when my trip home is interrupted by the slow-moving bicycles pedaling up the steep hills.  But that has become a part of living in the mountains.  And it's a small thing compared to all the other riches we enjoy.


Cheryl said...

I have never ridden a bike. We have many cyclists in our area but generally one or two at a time. Nothing on the grand scale of your assault.
It is great to watch those, who love the sport, put themselves to the test........

Mary Lee said...

The tires are probably rotting on my bike from lack of use. Holy moly, I can't imagine riding a bike in the mountains, even if they are called mountain bikes. :)

Our neighborhood is a favorite route for cyclists. I confess to getting aggravated sometimes, like when they're riding three abreast so they can talk. (Maybe I'm jealous because they can pedal and talk at the same time.)

Anonymous said...

It's been a long while since Roger and I have gotten on our bikes. One of the reasons we plan on moving from the foothills back to the coast is so we can do more riding. Out here in the country on long winding highways, it's too dangerous to get on the road, and there are no real bike lanes. We like a place that is really welcoming to bike riders!

Ms. A said...

I couldn't do it, but my hat's off to those who are able. Great way to enjoy the beauty!

Arkansas Patti said...

I desperately miss biking. I rode everyday in Florida but that was in the flat lands. I just can't manage these Ozarks. I so admire those that can tackle mountains.

KGMom said...

Interesting name for a bike ride: Assault.
A couple of years ago, we were in Taormina in Sicily when the Giro D'Italia came through. People lined the streets, craned necks and watched and waited.
Then WHIZZZZZ---in about 15 seconds all the racers went streaking through the town, and that was it!

NanaNor's said...

Hi there, We had many races like this one when we lived in Ca. and now we have one big one here in Colorado. It is always fun to watch.
You are making me want to get back on my bike again. Too many things to get done though.
Hope you have a fantastic day!

Lise said...

Can you imagine climbing the mountains on a bike? It's more than I would attempt. We have one guy who rides up and down our surrounding mountains, he probably participated. He may be only one person, but I'm always extremely cautious when he's on the road...there's barely enough room for two cars to pass, never mind with a biker present. Slow and steady, that's my motto!

Vicki Lane said...

It's a grand area for biking. And a good chance for us car folk to slow down and enjoy the scenery.

Tara said...

in the mountains surrounding Boulder, Co., cyclists love to challenge themselves on the steep narrow roads. Can be quite a hazard for them and motorists. When visiting, I've learned to drive nice and slow with eyes wide open in anticipation of a cyclist. You don't want to pass them on the narrow road at a curve, so you must go slowly slowly. I admire their athletic prowess.

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone.

Cheryl - I always imagine a lot of bicycles all over the UK.

Mary Lee - We didn't even bother to move our bikes when we came to the mountains.

Donna - We had those kinds of races in Milwaukee. Zoom, and there they go.

Lise - No, I cannot imagine riding on these mountain roads. There is no place to pass even one car until you get down the mountain.

Tara - I also expect to see a bike around every curve. I put on my flashers until I can safely pass.

The Bug said...

Something for me to aspire to? Nah - I think I'll stick with my (relatively) flat terrain here in Xenia!