PICKENS — Riders — and a lot of them — came from all over to participate in this year’s Ride to the Rock.
The ride, put on by the Pickens Rotary Club under the direction of Linda Cassell, had 77 riders last year. This year there were 133.
“I was hoping for around 115,” said Cassell. “This is fantastic.”
The cyclists came from South Carolina, North Carolina and parts of Georgia to take part in either the 40-, 60- or 100-K treks up S.C. 11 to Table Rock and back.
According to Rotarian and Ride to the Rock volunteer Sara Trinkl, for some, the race alone wasn’t enough.
“We had people who told us they parked their cars in Easley, rode the Doodle Trail up here to Pickens as their ‘warm up’ and then set off on their 100K. That is some insane athleticism,” she said.
Jermonn Davis took second place in the 60K, not too shabby for his first time participating in the Ride to the Rock.
“I ride every chance I get,” he said. “I’m a truck driver so that usually means weekends.”
Davis said he recently started hauling his bike with him in the truck so he can get more time in.
“This was a tough ride, I saw that rest stop and I was like, ‘thank God,’” Davis panted as he searched out a spot to stow his bike.
“This might be a problem, I don’t know where everyone is going to put their bikes,” Cassell worried. “You don’t have kickstands.”
“Real bikes don’t have kickstands,” joked Jeff Duncan who came down the hill first in the 60K.
The final numbers aren’t in yet, but the race was estimated to have raised over $4,000 for the Pickens Rotary Club. The money has been earmarked to go toward the club’s portable defibrillator project as well as for improvements to the Doodle Trail.
“Right now our (Rotary) biggest fundraiser is the Spaghetti Dinner,” said Cassell. “But if this race continues to grow like it has been — who knows? We might have two.”
For more information on the Pickens Rotary Club visit their website at www.pickensrotary.org or visit them on Facebook at PickensRotary.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.