homepage logo

Back Roads Century Cycling event returns to Shepherdstown

By Staff | Sep 9, 2016

Submitted photo Members of the Potomac Pedalers traversed many back roads in 2015 when they converged on Shepherdstown. They return to the area Sept. 18.

The Potomac Pedalers will return to Shepherdstown on Sunday, Sept. 18 for the Back Roads Century. This cycling event, the largest in the Mid-Atlantic, will draw 2,000 riders and volunteers onto five routes ranging in distance from 27 to 100 miles. All routes leave from Shepherd University, which is once again the event’s host.

The longer routes wind through Jefferson and Berkeley counties in West Virginia, and move into Clay and Frederick counties in Virginia. The countryside makes this ride one of the most beautiful in the country. Five rest stops will provide food and drink to the riders, who will celebrate their success at a music-filled celebration in Shepherdstown.

For 2016, Potomac Pedalers will introduce a program of community grants to local non-profits that in turn gather groups of volunteers. Also new for this year is a program of community lodging through which riders can stay in local homes in return for charitable contributions. A network of mobile HAM radio operators, joined by the Blue Knights Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club, will monitor ride conditions and ensure that riders comply with safe cycling practices.

Mechanical support will be provided by five bicycle shops: Spokes Etc., Mt. Airy Bikes, District Cycle Works, Element Sport and Eastern Panhandle Bicycle Company.

Matthew Birnbaum, president of the Potomac Pedalers, says that his club was so impressed by the Shepherdstown area last year that it decided to make a five-year plan.

“West Virginia’s scenery is enchanting, and Shepherdstown is such a lively and welcoming town that we didn’t need to look any further,” he said.

The Potomac Pedalers Touring Club is the largest bike organization in the Mid-Atlantic and one of the largest in North America. It is headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia. Further information about the Back Roads Century, including registration, can be found at www.potomacpedalers.org/?page=brchome.

For more information, contact Marianne Davis at m2davis@gmail.com or 203 273-7053.