Over 1,300 geared-up bike riders crowded Elks Club Road in Covington early Saturday morning for the 21st Annual Covington Century Bike Ride to benefit Project Adventure Kids. Riders stretched anxiously and smiled encouragingly to one another as the final minutes of rest counted down. At 8:00 a.m., the waiting was over and they were off, pedaling away from what would eventually become their finish line.
The overcast weather was cool, and made for a perfect start to a strenuous ride of 30, 50, 80, or 100 miles through the country. Riders from ages 8 to 77 pedaled side-by-side — first-timers and experienced bikers alike. After the grueling journey, ride volunteers greeted those who crossed the finish line with cheers and praise.
"We had our best turnout in the past 20 plus years. It’s a wonderful day and the feedback we’ve gotten from the riders has been wonderful," said Executive Director Aaron Nicholson.
In addition to getting snacks and refreshments along the way, Covington Century Bike Ride provided a free spaghetti dinner at the end of ride. Nothing but smiles covered faces as riders and sponsors mingled, refueled and even received a complementary 10-minute massage.
"It was great," said 50-mile rider Amanda MacHutta. "It hurt, but it was great."