From Staff Reports
Registration is open for the sixth annual Surviving the Snake 100K/50K Bicycle Ride, set for Aug. 6. The event gives riders a scenic, challenging ride while helping support the Johnson County Community Hospital Foundation.
The 100-kilometer ride starts at Ralph Stout Park near downtown and take cyclists on some of the legendary motorcycle route known as “The Snake” along U.S. Highway 421 from Mountain City to the quaint community of Shady Valley. The 100K route includes a pass by Watauga Lake, a mountain climb with almost 1,500 feet of elevation gain over four miles, and a visit to Damascus, Va., known as Trail Town USA.
Proceeds go to the JCCH Foundation for the purchase of cardiac rehab equipment at the hospital. Last year’s ride raised about $10,000 to support the remodeling and expansion of the physical therapy department.
“This is a gorgeous ride that benefits a great cause,” said Karen Clark of the Mountain States Foundation. “Riders can have the full ‘metric century’ experience or do the 50K that doesn’t include the mountain ascent.
“It’s challenging, but it’s a fun, friendly event and the people who’ve done the ride have really enjoyed it.”
All pre-registered riders get an event T-shirt, and lunch will be provided after the ride.
Bikes hit the road at 8:30 a.m. Both rides start and finish at Ralph Stout Park near downtown Mountain City, located at 465 N. Shady St. on U.S. 421. Registration is $40 in advance, $50 on ride day. There is a 250-rider limit.
Surviving the Snake is a fundraiser ride rather than a race and will be held on an open course. Aid stations will be provided. Event-day registration will start at 7 a.m.
The course offers smooth roads, beautiful scenery and good rider support – and Mountain City is only about 30 minutes from the cycling mecca of Boone, N.C. The portion of the 100K course known as “The Snake” has hairpin turns up the long climb followed by a thrilling descent, and a fast, mostly shaded 10-mile stretch of flat-to-downhill riding from Shady Valley to Damascus, passing under Backbone Rock – all in all, a great riding experience.
For more information or to register online, visit www.mshafoundation.org/snake-bicycle-ride or call Mountain States Foundation at 302-3131.