The Blue Ridge Brutal Bike Ride will have an 8 a.m. start this Saturday, August 10. The Brutal is 30 years old. The BRB committee estimates they have had over 6,500 participants over 30 years, with many returning for several years in a row.

The proceeds from the Brutal help support the operations and maintenance of the Ashe Civic Center. The Ashe Civic Center, managed by the Ashe County Arts Council, is a three hundred-seat performance venue. The Arts Council presents over 20 performance events and the Ashe County Little Theatre presents four theater productions a year. The Ashe Civic Center is used for fundraisers, benefits, beauty pageants, dance recitals, musical and community events of all kinds.

The Brutal has riders coming in from all over the East Coast to challenge the mountains. An estimated 400 riders will be on the road. There are three ride lengths – 55, 72 and 102 miles. The ride will start at the Ashe Civic Center on Mt. Jefferson Road. The riders will proceed south from the Civic Center and turn left on Highway 163. The routes meander through some of the most beautiful roads and toughest hills in Ashe and Allegheny counties and split at Highway 18 North and Highway 88 West in Laurel Springs and then again at Old Highway 16 and Highway 88 West at the Jefferson stop light.

Below is a list of the key roads and the times they expect the riders to show up. Equally, if you are driving on any of the below routes on August 10, please be aware of cyclists and share the road. A special reminder for folks that live on the route and own a dog, it would be a greatly appreciated by the riders if you would ensure your pet is not able to chase them.

Key roads and estimated times riders will be using them.

1. Route 163 from 8 to 9 a.m., heading away from U.S. 221.

2. Idlewild Road from 8:30 to 10 a.m., heading away from Highway 163.

3. Blue Ridge Parkway from Phillips Gap to Highway 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., heading north on the BRP.

4. Route 113 North from Highway 18 to Garvey Road from 9:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

5. Garvey Road, Highway 93 North, Highway 113 South, Piney Creek School Road and South Fork Church Road 10:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.

6. Kings Creek Road, Howard Colvard Road, George McMillan Road, Chestnut Hill Road 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

7. Highway 88/Frank Dillard Road/Highway 163 toward West Jefferson 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

8. Deep Ford Gap Road to Jefferson Stop Light and Long Street 10:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

9. Buffalo Road from Highway 88 up Ben Bolan to Three Top Road 11:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.

10. Three Top Road from Ben Bolan to Highway 194 North at Todd 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

11. Highway 194 from Todd to Beaver Creek Road, 12 to 4:15 p.m.

12. Beaver Creek School Road, near Ingles, 12:15 to 4:30 p.m.

13. Mount Jefferson Road, near Walmart, 12:15 to 4:30 p.m.

Over fifty riders have registered for the “Assault on Mount Jefferson.” These riders will cross the first finish line at the Ashe Civic Center, then continue up Mount Jefferson State Park Road and climb all the way to the top. This challenging addition to the ride is popular with the riders.

The Blue Ridge Brutal committee is looking for volunteers to help with the ride. There are many volunteer jobs as marshals for key intersections, help with putting out signage, set and break down at the Civic Center. Many volunteers help at the rest stops and facilitating riders going up and down Mt. Jefferson. If you are interested in helping please contact Rebecca at the Arts Council at (336) 846-2787 or rebecca@ashecountyarts.org

Riders are supported by the Ashe County Amateur Radio Club, Rescue Squads from all over the county and SAG wagons. Riders receive a hot meal, t-shirt, water and support of many volunteers. This year the brutal will feature six rest stops. The local West Jefferson brewery Boondocks Brewing will again being providing a Brutal Brew for riders.

Registration for the event is available online at www.blueridgebrutal.org. Cyclists may also register at the Ashe Civic Center Friday, Aug. 10 from 5-8 p.m. or on the morning of the ride starting at 6 a.m.

Call the Ashe County Arts Council at (336) 846-2787 for further information.

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