LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — April and springtime means London residents can count on a handful of things both good and bad: beautiful weather, rising temperatures, high pollen counts, longer days, and occasional bouts of rain.
For your average cycling enthusiast, it’s a chance to dust off the old twelve speed, spandex, and bike helmet and get back into riding shape. And it’s time to take part in the annual Redbud Ride.
Named Active.com’s 2011 “Best Century Ride in America,” the Redbud Ride offers participants a variety of courses spanning 23 to 100 miles. The ride has grown from 26 total participants in 2008 to 1,153 in last year’s event.
“The Redbud Ride presents a great opportunity to promote health and wellness in our community while also showing our citizens what wonderful access we have to roads suitable for cycling,” said Chris Robinson, executive director of London Downtown, who hosts the event annually.
While the actual ride will take place on Saturday, April 12, festivities will begin as early as Friday, April 11 in Barbourville at 12 p.m. for the Redbud Warm-Up. For just $25, participants can choose from two route options that will make any afternoon much more enjoyable. The Barbourville ride compliments the Redbud Festival, hosted by Union College.
The seventh annual Redbud Ride will take place at 8 a.m. at 529 South Main Street in London. Four routes will be available: a 23-mile route for beginners and family group rides; a 38-mile route for adventurous first-timers or casual ride for experienced riders; a 70-mile intermediate route; and the 102-mile route standing as the event’s pinnacle and most advanced route.
“The 23-mile Yellow Route has long been known as the fun route,” said Rodney Hendrickson, co-director of the London-Laurel Tourist Commission. “This route is perfectly designed for the family or the beginner cyclist. You don’t need a fancy road bike to enjoy the route.”