LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Skies were clear. The morning was enjoyably cool. The afternoon was welcoming in its warmth. The stars seemed to align on Saturday for the best Redbud Ride in the event’s history.
More than 1,200 cyclists from as far as New York, Texas, California and even Canada traveled to London’s 2014 Redbud Ride to bear witness to the region’s emerald landscapes, welcoming residents and ideal cycling roads.
Routes available to riders consisted of 23, 38, 70 and 100-mile options. Cyclists traversed flat roads, rolling hills, riverside paths and hidden backcountry across Rockcastle, Jackson and Laurel counties. The scenery left nearly every participant with nothing but smiles and appreciation.
“This is the best century (100-mile ride) I’ve ever ridden, hands down,” said Sean Trentholm, a triathlete from Lawrence, Kan. “It’s beautiful. And it’s so well organized: the SAG driving, the packet pickup, the route markers, the friendly people — everything.”
Volunteers stationed at rest stops at the London Farmer's Market, Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department, Letterbox Baptist Church, McWhorter Christian Church and Downtown Livingston made sure cyclists enjoyed not only the Commonwealth’s beautiful landscapes, but also its friendly inhabitants.
Melissa Harris, a member of the London Women’s League, was one of the many dressed in her pjs for the “Pajama Party” themed rest stop at Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department. Past themes by the London Women's League have included “80s Prom,” “Biker Chicks,” and “Kentucky Derby.” She claims it’s always a pleasure to see and help out new faces every year.
“It’s always fun to meet and encourage new people,” Harris said.
As riders pulled into the downtown Livingston rest stop, the chorus of “The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel, plenty of tie-dye and bell-bottoms welcomed them. The small town’s rest stop was themed to the free-spirited ‘60s.