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It’s RACK Ride weekend in Grayson County and motorists are cautioned to watch for riders between 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
Ride Across Central Kentucky already is registering riders from across the state and several surrounding states for the four-distance bicycle rides. The rides start at the fairgrounds with the longest 62-mile and 46-mile rides starting at 7:30 a.m. Bicyclists will ride from the Grayson County Fairgrounds on Brandenburg Road in Leitchfield, out the bypass to Salt River Road, to Mulberry Flats Road and then to Millerstown Road to Blessitt’s Store and back.
A 30-mile ride starts at 8 a.m. and the shortest distance ride, 15-miles, starts at 8:30 a.m. The shortest ride will travel from the fairgrounds to Clarkson and back. All rides should be complete by 12:30 p.m.
Motorists are urged to drive with caution around the bicycles, especially when passing.
“Give them room,” said Joyce Embry, one of the coordinators of the RACK Ride and a local bicyclist. “We ride in single file when a car comes up (making it easier to pass).”
Local cyclists will work the event and provide support to the bicyclists.
This is the ride’s eighth year in Grayson County. It is supported by grants from Grayson County and Leitchfield tourism groups and often draws more than 150 participants to the area. For information about the ride, go to www.graysoncounty tourism.com or call Embry’s Bike Shop at 259-3900.
For the ride, helmets are required and most bicyclists will wear light-colored clothing and have reflectors on their bikes. An adult rider must accompany any rider under 16 years of age, Embry said.
Riders will follow signs marked on the road. The signs have been marked earlier along the route for the racing bicyclists that started attending the event last year.
“We had three groups of racers last year,” said Embry. “They make quick turns so we made the signs further up for them.”
A local rider will “sweep” every group of riders except the 15-mile group. A sweep follows behind and makes sure everyone gets through the ride. Others will travel the route in vehicles and have supplies such as inner tubes and pumps for those in need.
“It’s just a nice social for those who like to ride bikes,” Embry said.
RACK coordinators have tried other routes in the county, including routes closer to the lakes but those were more dangerous, Embry said, because of lake and boat traffic.
“This is the safest (route) and people are used to seeing us out there,” Embry said.
The RACK Ride will likely be the first opportunity for local riders to get out on their bikes after the first day of school. Embry said most local riders will skip the first couple days of school each August to allow the traffic time to settle. Local riders meet at the Firefighter Memorial Park on Brandenburg Road most mornings and start riding at 6:05 a.m. ꆱ