For the past 18 years, bikers from all 50 states and more than eight countries have joined together each year for North Carolina’s only cross-state, fully supported bicycle tour from the North Carolina mountains all the way to the coast.
This year, Chapel Hill was selected as one of eight stops along the Cycle NC Mountains to Coast Ride, which will bring more than 1,000 people to Chapel Hill on October 3 and 4.
The ride will start in Jefferson and conclude in Swansboro, with Chapel Hill serving as the finish line of the third leg of the journey.
While the bikers ride though town, Chapel Hill Police will be staged at strategic points along the route to allow people riding bicycles and people driving motor vehicles the safest opportunities to share the road at busy intersections and areas with low visibility.
The town released a statement asking those who can avoid the inbound and outbound routes of the riders to please do so in order to increase the safety of the people riding as well as limiting any travel delays.
The inbound route will take place on Tuesday, October 3, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. as riders travel along Dairyland Road through Orange County, with a planned stop at Maple View Farms. The route will continue on Homestead Road with the final stop for the day at Homestead Park where participants will be greeted by Special Olympics participants.
The outbound route will be from at 7:30 a.m. until 10 a.m. on Wednesday, October 4, at the Chapel Hill Greenway that connects to Homestead Park.
Those participating will enter the road on Vintage Drive in the Vineyard Square and Parkside neighborhoods, and will continue on Weaver Dairy Road Extension onto Old Larkspur Way through the Larkspur and Chapel Watch neighborhoods, once again utilizing a Chapel Hill Greenway which connects to Eubanks Road.
Cyclists will then use Eubanks Road to travel into Durham County on their way to the final destination for day four, Knightdale.
Those who plan to travel along those routes at those times are asked to please plan ahead, use caution and watch out for abnormally heavy traffic at times.
On the night of October 3, residents should note that participants and guests from Cycle NC will be using Chapel Hill Transit to travel downtown Chapel Hill for dinner and entertainment, and some will be staying in one of four hotels in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.
Extra buses will be added to the NS route to accommodate the additional people riding the bus.
Homestead Park along with the Seymour Senior Center will serve as camp sites for the cyclers.
On those days the Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Department will reserve the first bay of parking spaces at the Aquatics Center for swimmers and the remaining spaces will be used for the event.
People representing 39 states, the District of Columbia and three countries ranging from ages eight to 86 will ride at least one leg, including Town staff.
Officials say the ride was developed to promote North Carolina’s scenic beauty, heritage tourism, visitor attractions, historic sites, state parks, healthy lifestyles and the benefits of bicycling.
Since it began in 1999, Cycle NC has stopped overnight in more than 100 North Carolina towns and visited nearly 700 North Carolina communities.
For more information about the ride, visit Cycle NC’s website.