Bourbon, Bluegrass and Bicyclists Century ride returns to Owensboro for third year

August 4, 2018 | 12:13 pm

Updated August 4, 2018 | 1:21 pm

2017 Bourbon and Bluegrass Century ride together. Photo by Gary Emord-Netzley

UPDATE: View a video from today’s century bike ride:

[brid video=”276564″ player=”13623″ title=”Bourbon and Bluegrass bike ride”]

Bourbon, bicycles and bluegrass — the perfect combination for a fun day in Owensboro.

On Aug. 4, the third annual Bourbon and Bluegrass Century will take place at O.Z. Tyler Distillery. Riders from across the state will begin their tour-on-wheels at the bourbon distillery, then ride through rural farmland and along the Ohio and Green rivers before finishing the day with some local bluegrass music.

The cycling event will consist of three distances: the 100-mile century, the 62-mile metric century and a 30-mile ride.

The ride will be supported with SAG (support and gear) stops every 15 – 20 miles.

Becky Martin, Chair of Bicycle Owensboro, said this event will offer routes and distances for every level of riders from beginners to competitive cyclists.

The annual excursion began after Bicycle Owensboro was asked to develop a ride for the Daviess County Bicentennial in 2015.

Martin said the group thought Owensboro and Daviess County needed a signature event similar to other cities across the state — Lexington has the Horsey Hundred, Louisville has the Old Kentucky Home, and London, Ky., has the Redbud Ride.

The ride then morphed into the Bourbon and Bluegrass Century because of Owensboro’s connection with the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum.

During its inaugural year, the group had 120 riders beginning and ending their ride at Waymond Morris Park.

In 2017, the group joined with the Kentucky Century Challenge, a joint event with Kentucky Adventure Tourism to promote cycling in the state. After that, their ridership increased to 579 cyclists.

Martin is hoping for an even greater turnout this year.

Bicycle Owensboro also partners with Dream Riders of Kentucky, an equine-assisted therapy program for individuals of all ages with disabilities. Proceeds from the ride benefit their programs.

Martin said several members of the Dream Riders board are cyclists, and this year’s ride is in honor of one of the founders, Mike Clark.

Clark served as an educator and principal for more than 47 years. In his retirement, he served on the Daviess County Public Schools Board of Directors. He also helped found Dream Riders in 2003.

Martin encourages all riders to come out to this event.

There will be early packet pickup and a mixer at O. Z. Tyler Friday night and a continental breakfast will be provided for riders Saturday morning.

Lunch is provided post-ride along with live bluegrass music. This year, local musicians Annabel Watts, Corey Merritt and Pat Merritt are performing.

Visit Owensboro and the Daviess County Fiscal Court helped support the Bourbon and Bluegrass Century by paying the fee to join the Kentucky Century Challenge.

Other sponsors include several local business, restaurants and organizations.

“It takes a village to put on a ride,” Martin said.

August 4, 2018 | 12:13 pm

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