The Cowbelle Classic Women's Ride of 2018.

The Cowbelle Classic Women’s Ride of 2018.

For the fourth year, Boone Area Cyclists will host the Cowbelle Classic Women’s Bike Ride on Aug. 24. The ride will start at 8 a.m. at Old Cove Creek School in Sugar Grove, and includes four route options of varying lengths and difficulty. The event is designed to accommodate women riders who are relatively new to cycling, as well as more advanced riders who are interested in riding longer and more challenging routes.

The ride’s slogan is “All women. Two wheels. One community.” The benefits of cycling for women go beyond health and fitness. Having a community of supportive riders is important as well. The goal of the Cowbelle Classic is to broaden the community of women cyclists and encourage women of all ages and fitness levels to take up the sport. Last year’s ride was filled to capacity with 175 registered riders and a waiting list, so interested riders should register soon while there are still spots open.

Because there are four routes from which to choose, riders can customize their experience and make sure they are comfortable with the terrain they will be encountering. Past riders have said that having fun is more important than being competitive. This is not a timed ride or race. The ride is designed to provide a relaxed, social and non-competitive atmosphere. However, some riders like to challenge themselves and keep track of their own time and pace.

On Aug. 23, participants are invited to a pre-ride social and Packet Pickup event at The Beacon on Highway 105 in Boone. The event will give riders a chance to pick up their bibs and other ride materials, socialize and participate in a fundraiser to benefit the family of Elayne Bishop, a local cyclist and educator who passed away this year after a prolonged battle with cancer. Last year’s fundraiser event also benefited this family and raised more than $3,000.

Women can register for the ride at cowbelleclassicride.com. The event is limited to 175 riders. Men and women are invited to volunteer at the ride. Last year’s participants said that the great volunteers were one of the best things about the ride. Visit the website for more information about how to sign up to help out. Volunteers who sign up in advance will receive lunch on ride day.

Information about the ride and a link to registration can be found at cowbelleclassicride.com. Registration is $50. The Cowbelle Classic 2019 cycling jersey is also available for purchase on the website.

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