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Cycle NC tour to spend Monday night at Transportation Museum

SPENCER – Cycle North Carolina’s 21st annual “Mountains to Coast” ride is scheduled for a Blowing Rock to Atlantic Beach trek from Saturday through Oct. 5. With tourist stops along scenic back roads, the route is the highlight of the year for many cyclists from across the nation.

Cycle North Carolina will begin in downtown Blowing Rock and arrive at the Atlantic Beach Circle on Oct. 5, with roughly 1,000 cyclists in tow.

On Monday, cyclists will arrive at the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer at midday. The museum will be an extended stop for riders, with showers and other amenities offered there. Cyclists also will view museum exhibits, tour the Bob Julian Roundhouse, and, in the evening, hear railroad folklore on Legends By Lantern tours.

“Cycle N.C. included the museum as a rest stop last year, and we saw what a great opportunity this could be,” said Kelly Alexander, executive director of the Transportation Museum. “This year, riders will have the chance to experience our museum, our local history and the great amenities Rowan County has to offer.”

The F&M Bank Trolley will transport cyclists to downtown Salisbury restaurants, breweries and attractions throughout the evening, with many of those locations opening for special hours. Some will camp overnight on the museum grounds, while others will stay in local hotels.

“We are excited to welcome Cycle N.C. back to Rowan County,” said Tara Furr, chief marketing and communications officer for the Rowan County Tourism and Development Authority. “As an overnight stop on the 2019 ‘Mountains to Coast’ route, cyclists will have the opportunity to spend more time here in Rowan County and to explore what makes our community an original and unique destination.”

Additional overnight stays are planned in Hickory, Siler City, Clayton, Greenville and New Bern.

The cyclists represent 37 states, the District of Columbia, and Ottawa and Toronto, Canada. The youngest cyclist to ride for the entire week is 6, while the oldest participants are 82.

Over the course of the week, riders will bike an average of 65 miles per day.

In this year’s tour, bicyclists will visit farmland, creeks and winding rivers. The route will pass near site such as Blowing Rock, Gov. Charles B. Aycock’s Birthplace, Croatan National Forest and the Transportation Museum.

Water features along the route include the Tar River, Neuse River, Yadkin River and valley, Lake Hickory, Lake Norman, High Rock Lake and the hydroelectric power plant, Haw River, Bass Lake, Lake Benson, Deep River, Trent River, Brice Creek, Bogue Sound, and the Atlantic Ocean.

Three to five rest stops are scheduled daily to break up the ride.

Cyclists’ luggage is transported in vehicles from one overnight host community to the next. Rider support vehicles are available to aid cyclists who experience physical or mechanical trouble. Outdoor camping areas with amenities are set up in overnight host communities. Rest stops are available every 15 to 20 miles along the route, with beverages and snacks for all.

Riders can register for the entire distance, three-day options, or first-day and last-day options. Online registration is open at www.ncsports.org.

Hosted by North Carolina Amateur Sports, Cycle North Carolina was developed to promote the state’s scenic beauty, heritage tourism, visitor attractions, historic sites, state parks, fitness, healthy lifestyles and the benefits of bicycling. Over the past 20 years, Cycle North Carolina has stopped overnight in more than 100 towns and visited more than 700 communities.

Cycle North Carolina is presented by Retire N.C. Partner organizations include Powerade, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, BB&T, Capitol Broadcasting Co., Harris Teeter, Sheetz, Morningstar Law Group, the N.C. Department of Transportation, N.C. by Train, and Trek of Greensboro.

For more information on Cycle North Carolina, call 919-361-1133 or visit www.cyclenorthcarolina.org.

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