Senior Staff Writer
BERLIN - Nearly 240 bicyclists competed here Saturday in sanctioned events for points in their quest for regional and greater titles this year; all providing a spectacle for an audience of enthusiasts, friends and relatives.
State Volunteer Medical Insurance Co. sponsored the race that used the Berlin Fire Department as a starting point, a factor that again prompted firefighters to cook and sell lunches to anybody who wanted to make a day of it and learn something about dedicated cyclists.
It was the 3rd Annual Hell of the South bike race so-named because it is modeled after the Paris to Roubaix Spring Classic in France. That race is known as the "Hell of the North" because it's difficult.
SVMIC donated $200 to the Berlin United Methodist Church for being able to use their property for parking. SVMIC donated $400 to the fire department. Riders purchased about $600 in lunches sold by firefighters.
While the event is not something that includes many Marshall County residents, it reflects a cyclist's preference for something county residents enjoy daily; country roads that are not only scenic, but without much traffic.
Still, it wasn't just a walk down memory lane as competition was fierce and there were some spills with injury.
"There were four who EMTs treated, mostly for road rash," Berlin Fire Chief Joe Greer reported on Monday. "One guy went down particularly hard."
He may have suffered a broken collarbone, Greer said. The cyclist's wife took him to a hospital.
"From our perspective things went well," the chief said. "We sold a lot of concessions and it was a good event.
"It seems as though they want to come back," Greer said.
"Oh definitely," race director Marshall Bassett said. "We want to come back next year."