Tommy Wagoner and Wal-Mart of Wilkesboro
Brushy Mountain Water Company
Event Director Scott Nelson
All the great rest stop volunteers from the Wilkes Friends of the Library organization
Registration volunteers Regina Wagoner, Judy Parsons and Todd Parsons
Matt Adams, Joe Blevins, Steve Britton, Jason Bumgarner, Matt Daye, Jim Horton, Bailey Koch, Dwight Levi, Tim Murphy, Thomas Wingler, Gary Wyatt and all the BMCC volunteers.
Wilkes County EMS, Wilkesboro Police Department, N.C. Highway Patrol and the Wilkes County Sheriff's Department
2005 RAW Wrap-Up
A record number of cyclists headed for the hills Saturday, May 7th during the annual Rides Around Wilkes road cycling event.
Event director Scott Nelson reported 223 riders registered for the RAW, a 25% increase over last year.
The RAW's grinding grades fractured the field, but three riders managed to stick together, finishing the 70-mile course within seconds of each other.
Matt Goelzer, 32, (center) of Charlotte finished first, with a time of 3:12:46. He was followed closely by Will Shore, 41, (right) of Greensboro and Charlie Pendry, 23, of Hays. Pendry is currently a professional mountain bike racer.
Not far behind the lead group was Alisha Lion
, 24, of Holly Springs. She was the RAW’s fastest female, finishing tenth overall.
The event was professionally timed for the first time this year (click here for results
), but not all riders were obsessed with finishing first. Some took pride in simply surviving the grueling event.
At 74, Luther Ashby of Hudson was the RAW’s oldest rider. He successfully completed the 25-mile route. Jim Martin
, 73, of Wilkesboro, beat riders half his age on the mountainous 40-mile course.
The RAW’s youngest rider was 13-year-old Bridgette McLean. She tackled the 70-mile route with her parents.
"Bridgette’s goal was to beat six hours and she finished ahead of schedule," event director Scott Nelson said. The Watauga County teen is preparing for the Blood, Sweat and Gears, a 102-mile event in late June. "She’s right on track with her training," Nelson said.
The vast majority riders lived within a few hours of Wilkes, but a couple came from other countries. 70-miler Morgan McArthur listed his hometown as St. Heliers, New Zealand. Wayne Paterson, 48, is a resident of Hamilton, Ontario.
Riders completed the event without injury, Nelson reported. "It was a great day," Nelson said. "The weather cooperated and the worst problems were two flat tires and a blown-up rear derailleur."
Members of the Wilkesboro Police Department, N.C. Highway Patrol, Wilkes County Sheriff’s Department and Wilkes County EMS stood at the ready to respond to any emergencies. The ride’s four aid stations were staffed by members of the Wilkes Friends of the Library organization. Regina Wagoner and members of her family staffed the registration area.
The event was tinged with sadness as BMCC members mourned the loss of club member Bruce Watts.
Watts (pictured) died of injuries received when he was struck by a dump truck while riding his bicycle in a rural area east of Wilkesboro May 3rd.
The 2005 RAW was dedicated as a tribute to Watts:
Graphic designer Jim Horton prepared memorial badges, patches and placards. BMCC members attached the patches to their club jerseys.
A collection jar was set up at the registration table to gather donations to assist Bruce’s family. An account has been established at Bank of Granite to receive donations for the Watts family.
Nicholas Cheek presented a brief devotion at 8:40 a.m. A moment of silence was observed.
At 8:45 a.m., BMCC members rode out early to the site of the accident. The club members stood in silent vigil on the side of the road as the main pack of riders passed.
"The outpouring of generosity and caring from all the riders was touching. Bruce's family was very grateful," Nelson said.
2005 RAW Photo Album
BMCC riders roll out early in tribute to Bruce Watts
Lead pack passes a blue line of BMCC riders
A winded rider
at Windy Gap
Jim Martin's still
going strong at 73
Will Shore soars down Brushy Mountain Road
Brian Pierce leans into a turn on the home stretch
Alisha Lion is booking it
down the Brushies
Catch me if you can!