Roads closed, riders excited for this weekend's bicycle race
By Ivory Riner
Over 200 bicyclists are gearing up for the competitive "Hell of the South" bicycle race Saturday in memory of Dr. Laray Rector.
"The hardest part of this race are the bumpy roads. This course has pretty descent climbs," said Chrysa Malosh, Team Novo Nordisk athlete from Nashville.
Malosh is an avid rider who says she races as a way to help manage her type 1 diabetes, and as a stress reliever. Recently she started a cycling group at Volunteer State Community College.
She along with women from her area are excited to be competing in the first bicycle race of the season, one that Malosh says will be a great turnout.
To get prepared, Malosh has been practicing the course.
"Snake Creek Road has to be the most difficult because it has a lot of loose gravel," she said.
She said because of this, bikers will have to keep on their toes to be able to adjust to pop ups that may be an obstacle.
Malosh is to compete in the 44 mile trek, which she said is going to be difficult for her with it being the first race of the season.
"It's going to be difficult because after you're done with the first lap, you know what to expect when going for the second lap. You're tired and you have to do it all again."The race has been held in Berlin for the past six years, but due to lack of space, it was moved to Lewisburg.
Cary Whitesell, Director of Parks and Recreation, is busy preparing for what she thinks is one of the biggest competitions to hit Lewisburg.
Whitesell is in need of volunteers to help with traffic control. They will need to stop traffic as the bicyclists travel through each road. She prefers volunteers to be 17-years-old and above.
Racers are to park their vehicles at Cosmolab located at 1100 Garrett Pkwy. The starting line will be on Old Belfast Road, just inside the city limits.
Competitors will take Old Belfast Road, turn right on Fishing Ford Road and another right on Talley Road, not to be confused with Talley Station Road. From Talley Road racers will take another right onto Spring Place Road, right on Snake Creek Road and a left onto Stammer Road. From Stammer Road there will be another right onto Spring Place Road, right onto Ellington Bypass, right on Higgs Road and ending with another right onto Old Belfast Road.
Developers of the trek intentionally highlighted the worst roads in Lewisburg to make it tough for competitors.
This route is approximately 22 miles, but racers who are to compete in the 44- and 66-mile treks will take the route for a second and third time.
With beginner racers starting at 7:45 a.m., category three master runners start at 12:50. The race is to end around 4 or 5 p.m.
It is to be held despite of rain, sleet or snow.
"We understand that there will be people from all over the country who are real serious riders participating. I'm familiar with the course so I am personally going to ride the 22-mile course," said Jim Bingham, co-coordinator of the race.
"We are so privileged to have the interest of participants and to honor Dr. Laray Rector, who was an avid cyclist."
Dr. Rector's family, including his widow, Susan Rector, and son Evan Rector, who was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident before his father's passing, are to make an appearance at the race.
When asked what he would like to tell the participants, Bingham replied, "Number one, be safe. Number two, welcome to the greatest city on the planet."
To volunteer, contact Whitesell at (931) 808-3039.