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April 15, 2014

A Scenic Journey

Redbud Ride held Saturday

CORBIN — Cyclists gathered in front of the London Farmer’s Market early Saturday morning for the Redbud Ride. The weather was sunny and the temperatures just right for cyclists to travel one of four Redbud routes.

The routes ranged in length from the 23-mile Yellow Route to the 100-mile Red Route. Those who chose the Red Route found themselves all the way in Rockcastle County. Most of the riders took off at 8 a.m. sharp, but a few were trickling out past 9 a.m.

According to London Downtown Manager Chris Robinson, this year’s Redbud Ride saw 850 pre-registered cyclists and around 250 walk-up registrations. The numbers are a little less than what was projected, but Robinson attributes this to a slow spring.

“People haven’t been able to get out and cycle this year,” Robinson said. “They haven’t had the chance to get conditioned.”

Cyclists who did make it to the Redubd Ride were relaxed and ready to have a good time.

“I’m going to play this by ear and see how far I go,” said Ben Bryson, 32, of Somerset. “I’m just taking it easy.”

His friend, Ray Guzowski, 60, of Fenton, Mich., estimated they would go about 25-32 miles. This is Bryson’s fourth Redbud Ride and Guzowski’s second.

“I cycle about 2,000 miles a year,” Guzowski said. “It’s just exercise for me.”

A London mother-son duo, Travis Robinson, 35, and Tammy Robinson, 55, were anticipating the beautiful scenery of the ride and the feeling of being part of a major community event.

“I look forward to being part of the Redubd Ride,” Tammy Robinson said. “It’s a good thing. Southeastern Kentucky gets so much bad publicity, and this way people can see how beautiful it is and how good the people are.”

Travis Robinson agreed the Redbud Ride was beneficial to the community.

“It brings in a lot of money, and it’s something to be proud of,” Travis Robinson said. He noted the Redbud Ride also helped bring cycling awareness to London, so local cyclists could breathe easier when they share the road with motorists.

Tammy Robinson took the Yellow Route, and this was her first Redbud Ride. Travis Robinson has done the Redbud Ride for the past four years and went the full length with the Red Route.

The Redbud Ride featured rest stops every 20 miles. Some of these rest stops had meals for riders such as sandwiches or pizza. Riders also received a free Redbud Ride T-shirt. The morning of the ride saw a pancake breakfast compliments of the London Rotary Club.

London-Laurel County Tourism Co-Director Rodney Hendrickson said the Redbud Ride is the second biggest bike ride in Kentucky, after the Horsey Hundred in Lexington. He added the Redbud Ride is special because of community involvement — there were more than 200 volunteers willing to help make the ride a success.

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