18th Annual Mountain Mama Road Bike Challenge This Weekend

The first week of August brings another running of what has become a Highland tradition, the Annual Mountain Mama Road Bike Challenge. We spoke with Laura Honaker, president of the Highland County Recreation Commission to learn more.

“We are preparing to host the 18th Annual Mountain mama Road Bike Challenge. We’ll be welcoming, hopefully over 200 visitors from across the East Coast. Some of them will be arriving on Friday night and either camping or staying in local hotels and bed and breakfasts. And the early on Saturday morning, we’ll have more people coming into town to register, and the ride will begin at 8:00 am on Saturday, August 5th.

“There is a short ride that takes you through the rolling hills of the Blue Grass Valley. There is a 50 mile, a 70 mile, and a century ride, which is 100 miles. The century ride will take our riders through two states, three counties, and they’ll be climbing over 10,000 feet – the amount of climb is what makes our ride unique. People come back for the scenic beauty, and it’s a big challenge, and we have a lot of people that come back year after year. For more information, you can look on our website at www.highlandcountyrecreation.org

If 10,000 feet of climb on a bicycle sounds like your idea of fun, but you did not pre-register, you’re still in luck.

“We accept walk-up registrations. The cost of the registration is $75, which includes a pre-ride breakfast, an event t-shirt, fully supported rest stops, and a post-ride meal, so it’s really a good value. To welcome our riders, we are making the pool available for free admission, and that will be open to all Highland County residents and all visitors for free on Friday, Saturday and Sunday – so anyone can come out and enjoy free pool admission all weekend.”

Ms. Honaker spoke about the community teamwork which makes the event possible, and other upcoming Recreation Commission activities.

“We’re really excited to put this ride on, and one of the greatest things is to see how many people lend their time and efforts to help us volunteer. We have over 60, almost 70 volunteers signed up this year, from members of the community that just want to help us out, and we are so grateful to have such a strong core of support within the community for this ride.

“The next thing that we have coming up is a Run To The Fair 5K – it will be the second time we’ve hosted that event. The pool will remain open through mid-August, and we have free themed fun nights every Tuesday – we invite you to come out and enjoy those programs.”

All these activities depend on the success of the road bike event.

“This is a very large fundraiser for Highland County Recreation. We depend on it to keep our pool running, to fund programs that we do throughout the year, and we really want our riders to have a pleasant experience, so we ask that you be courteous and share the road as you encounter riders out along the roads, and we want to make sure that everyone’s safe, and that they have a really pleasant experience, enjoying the beauty – all that we get to enjoy every day. Most people say we have the most beautiful ride they’ve ever done, and we really want to make it a pleasant experience, and we appreciate everyone’s cooperation to share the road and help keep our riders safe and happy.”

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle. scott@amrmail.org

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