First Posted: 8/29/2009
A record number of participants signed up, some from as far away as Texas, but the seventh annual Ridge Rollers Velo Tour de Gaps kept it local in the top three of the mens and womens divisions.
Mount Airys Sheila Orem took second in the womens class, finishing the 82-mile ride in four hours, 53 minutes and two seconds. The mens division saw Robert Marion, also a Mount Airy resident, place third in 4:18:28.
Riders began and finished at Westwood Park, traversing four mountains in-between: Orchard Gap, Willis Gap, Pipers Gap and Squirrels Spur. Riders who chose to avert the steep stuff were offered a 49-mile course.
A record 217 cyclists left Westwood at 8 a.m. Thats a marked increase from last year, in which 129 participants showed.
I think a lot of (the growth was) due to word of mouth, said Race Director Carol Ann Busick. We try to put out good support and give people a good ride. A lot of people who signed up said they were recommended by a friend.
Many of the out-of-town riders came from Raleigh and Chapel Hill, as well as Charlotte.
The Tour de Gaps is a charity ride that benefits Yokefellow Ministries. Cost for the ride was $25 to pre-register or $30 the day of the event. While a chunk of the money gathered is taken out for mandatory expenses there is no paid staff for the event sponsorships also play a key role in raising money.
Here are the top three finishers in each division:
1. Kenneth Gerarden, 4:18:03
2. Jake Cox, 4;18:04
3. Robert Marion, 4:18:28
1. Diana Conn, 4:48:31
2. Sheila Orem, 4:53:02
3. Stacy Richardson, 5:28:31