OCEAN — Pump up the tires on that old Schwinn or grease the gears on your Cannondale and start training for a great bike ride with a great cause. Riders with Cycling for the Coast will take to the road on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 8 a.m. This year’s ride celebrates National Estuaries Day.
The goal of the ride is to raise awareness for North Carolina’s coastal estuaries and beaches. The money raised will benefit the federation’s restoration and protection projects.
“Participating in the Cycling for the Coast is a great way to enjoy the beautiful barrier island of Bogue Banks while also supporting the federation, an organization that is dedicated to preserving, protecting and restoring our fragile coastal ecosystem,” said Sam Bland, one of the federation’s event coordinators. “The ride will benefit the federation’s work so that we have a healthy coast to enjoy swimming, fishing and boating and to provide vital habitat for all of its natural wonders.”
The annual ride is great for all ages and biking levels, offering 20K, 40K and 80K options. The ride will begin and end at Fort Macon State Park, at the eastern tip of Bogue Banks. Riders will leave in waves, beginning at 8 a.m. with the 80K group; the 40K and 20K riders will leave a little later, biking towards Atlantic Beach and turning around at specified points on the island.
Volunteers will assist along the way with safety, snacks and water. Members of the federation can register for $35; non-members can register for $50, which includes a federation membership.
Natty Greene’s Brewing Co. will sponsor an “after party” for riders and sponsors in the Atlantic Beach Circle, beginning around noon. Jacksonville’s Bicycle Gallery bike shop will also be at Fort Macon with bike mechanics and tools, ready to help with any last-minute needs for participants.
The event is underwritten by sponsors and includes: Emerald Isle Realty, Natty Greene’s Brewing Co., First Citizens Bank, Bikes-R-In, Jarrett Bay Boatworks, Rob Lamme & Associates and Second Wind Eco Tours & Yoga Studios. Register at the federation’s website at www.nccoast.org or call 252-393-8185 with questions.