2019 Mountain Mama Road Bike Challenge This Weekend

August is approaching – and with it comes the bicycles. We spoke with Laura Honaker, President of the Highland County Recreation Commission, for more information about this Weekend’s Mountain Mama Road Bike Challenge.

“This year we’re hosting the 20th Annual Mountain Mama Road Bike Challenge. The event has been going on for many years and we’ve tried to make it extra special this year to celebrate the anniversary.”

“This year we’ve added some extra activities to include the community as well as the riders – we are having the pool open free of charge all weekend – we’re also hosting a free yoga class on Friday afternoon for riders and community members – and we’re also hosting a lawn party on Saturday afternoon, and we’re trying to make it a celebration, because without the community we couldn’t keep this event going.”

“Everything will be held around the pool or the school you can find out the complete schedule and details at our website, www.highlandcountyrecreation.org.”

She talked about the ride specifics.

“The starting point of the ride is at Highland County Public School parking lot. Riders will be leaving from there between 7:30 and 8:00 in the morning, so, quite early. The majority of the riders will head over Jack Mountain and Bullpasture M,ountain doing the century route – that will take them into Pendleton and Pocahontas County, West Virginia, and then they’ll re-enter Highland County over Allegheny Mountain, back into Monterey. So be aware of them on the mountains early in the morning.”

“Some riders will be heading on 220 North, toward Blue Grass, and around Blue Grass Valley Road to Hightown and then back through Vanderpool and up 220 toward Monterey. So there will be a good amount of traffic on the road early in the morning, and then again in the afternoon. There will be people coming back up 220 from Franklin straight through to Monterey.”

“We’ve also added a new route this year. Since it’s the 20th anniversary, we wanted to include a new ride that was suggested by one of our past riders that will take riders from Snowy Mountain Road over Wimer Mountain into Blue Grass. So if you’re traveling in that area, do be aware that there will be cyclists on the road.”

If you would like to ride, but have not pre-registered, you still will have an opportunity.

“We also have onsite registration available on Friday from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at the Highland County High school gym, and on Saturday morning from 6:00 am till 8:00 am.”

Ms. Honaker concluded with a broader view of the importance of the event.

“This is a really important fundraiser for the Recreation Commission, it generates a lot of revenue. So it’s really important that we make it a pleasant experience for all these riders, so they’ll keep coming back. We’ve really worked hard over the past three years, to increase our numbers, make the ride more efficient, bring it up to date. And it’s really important that we get these people a positive experience, so I would ask you to be courteous of them when you see them on the roads. If you have riders riding by your house, if you would like to go out and cheer them on – we get so much feedback of how friendly the people of Highland County are, and we want to keep that tradition going of welcoming these people into our community because they not only provide money toward our fundraiser, but they also inject a lot of money into the local economy while they’re here.

“We have been B’n’B’s filled up – you know, we’ve been helping people find places to stay in Highland because so many people do come in. And it’s not only important for us but for our community. It’s one of the larger events held in Highland County and we really want to make it a positive experience so people will continue to come back.”

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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