October 8, 2013

Second annual cycling event offers...Thrills & Hills

By Rob McDaniel
Staff Writer


The London-Laurel County Tourist Commission and Cumberland Valley Cycling Club will host their second annual Thriller Ride on Oct. 12. 

The weekend will kick off on Friday, Oct. 11 with a Thriller Ride Block Party, which will be sponsored by London Downtown Inc.  The block party will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Weaver’s parking lot with live music by Chris Shouse and Friends.

A zombie dance coordinated by local dance teams will be at 8 p.m.. The entire community is invited downtown for the free live music and festivities. 

The following morning, registration will begin at 8 a.m. and the ride will start at 9 a.m. at the corner of 9th and Main streets.

The Halloween themed Thriller Ride offers three routes for cyclists:  the Thriller, a hilly, 63-mile route; the Zombie, a 44.5-mile rolling route that promises to leave riders feeling like the living dead; and the Halloweenie, a 25-mile route.

The Cumberland Valley Cycling Club, an organization that blossomed from the Redbud Ride, created the Thriller Ride last year to fill in the seasonal cycling gap.

Rodney Hendrickson, co-executive director of the London-Laurel County Tourist Commission, described the Thriller Ride as a shorter version of the spring Redbud Ride. 

The Thriller and Zombie routes will take cyclists through Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park, which is expected to have elaborate Halloween displays set up by campers.

Hendrickson said he will be among the cyclists riding the 63-mile Thriller route.

“It’s a beautiful route,” Hendrickson said.  “People who have lived here their whole lives rode it last year and were just blown away.  They said they couldn’t believe they’ve lived here their entire lives and didn’t know about some of the places riders see on this route.”

He said there are lots of hills on all the routes, but they’re all manageable, even for new cyclists; the longest hill only being about a quarter mile long.

“Beginning cyclists can do the Halloweenie route, it’s longer than last year,” Hendrickson said.  “They’ll be riding 25 miles, and that seems like a long distance, but they need to remember it’s not a race.  They have all day to complete the route. This is all about having fun.”

All a person needs is a bike and a helmet; no other equipment is required, although having a water bottle is suggested.

Currently, there are slightly less than 100 people registered for the event. Coordinators  expect approximately 200 to show up Saturday.

The ride’s registration fee is $35.

For more information, visit the Cumberland Valley Cycling Club on Facebook.