By Donna Thornton/News Editor
The YMCA of the Coosa Valley is registering riders now for its feature cycling event of the year: The Foothills Easter Classic bike ride on April 19.
Executive Director Leroy Falcon said there is a 25-miler, a metric and a century route – meaning bikers can choose a 25 mile, 61 mile or a 97 mile ride – making it an ideal trek for bikers at all levels of skill and experience.
The ride starts at Rainbow Middle School at 8 a.m. on April 19. Registration starts at 6:30 a.m.
“It’s one of the most beautiful rides bikers can taken, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains,” Falcon said. About 100 riders have registered already, he said, and numbers last year were around 140 or 150. He said he hopes to see 300 riders participating this year.
At the end of the race, Falcon said, he will be cooking his reknowned jambalya and white beans for participants.
The YMCA’s is collaborating with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Jacksonville State University to host the Foothills Classic. Falcon said the ride benefits the FCA’s missions program and the YMCA’s scholarship program.
Falcon said there will be ride support along the route to help bikers who might have a flat tire or encounter other mechanical difficulties. Volunteers will be there with tools to make small repairs, and if a biker’s problems are beyond repair, to provide a ride back to the starting point.
“In a 97-mile ride,” Falcon said, there could be some mechanical issues. Also, he said, there will be rest stations along the route for bikers who might need a break “to sit on something other than a bike seat for a while.”
To register for the Foothills Classic riders can go to the YMCA or visit www.active.com. Registration days are planned at Academy Sports in East Gadsden on April 12 and 17, from 4 to 7 p.m.
Early registration is $25. Regular registration is $30.