On Saturday, July 25, the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce and Office of Tourism Development will host the eighth annual Shine Pedalers Metric Bicycle Ride through Dawson County.
Dustin Heard, tourism and events director for the Chamber of Commerce said that the bicycle ride is a great competition that gives cyclists a view of the local scenery along the way.
“The metric is about 65 miles, and the half metric is about 32 miles, and the metric climbs Burnt Mountain,” Heard said. “It pretty much just takes a loop through Dawson County and shows some of our local destinations off.”
The bike ride is an annual event, but according to Heard, the event will look a little different than previous years due to COVID-19 concerns.
“We’re taking a lot of measures this year to be more cautious,” Heard said. “Everybody that arrives, volunteers and participants, will get their temperature taken; and all volunteers will be wearing masks.”
Race day packet pickup will occur as a drive-through, he said.
“People will remain in their cars, pull up to our table and then we’ll take their temperature and give them their packet,” Heard said. “Then they can go park and come straight to the start/finish line to begin the race.”
Morning-of registration has also been suspended this year, so all participants must be pre-registered online by Thursday, July 23.
Water and snacks will be provided for riders along the way, with five stations set up along the 65-mile course. All snacks will be pre-packaged and stations will be wiped down between groups.
Big D’s Barbecue will be serving lunch after the ride, and the lunch will be modified to encourage social distancing.
“They’re going to be serving lunch in to-go boxes so participants can either take their lunch with them or enjoy it as a picnic-style, whether it be in the park out back or just in the grassy areas around the Hall of Fame,” Heard said. “There won’t be tables set up so people won’t be able to congregate in big groups.”
The interest this year is lower than previous years, but there are still riders signed up from not only Georgia but other states as well.
“The interest is definitely down from previous years, which is to be expected from the uncertainty of everything,” Heard said. “So attendance is about half of what it normally is and the majority of riders are Georgia residents, but we also have riders from about four other states coming.”
Christie Moore, president of the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce, said that she and the rest of the Chamber are excited to be able to still offer the Shine Pedalers Metric ride despite the increased health precautions.
“Shine Pedalers Metric offers an opportunity for cyclists to enjoy the outdoor beauty of Dawson County while experiencing one of the most challenging metric rides in Georgia,” Moore said. “The Dawson County Chamber and the Office of Tourism Development is proud to be able to host cyclists from multiple states while prioritizing the safety of all participants.”
Registration for Shine Pedalers will be open through July 23. To register for the ride, visit https://www.active.com/dawsonville-ga/cycling/shine-pedalers-metric-2020?fbclid=IwAR01esuQLOIfaITQXgHHVNKNsGtZJnEFrv9sJ7jES13qEfVb6yLL7O6Yvlc or the chamber’s website at https://business.dawson.org/events/details/shine-pedalers-metric-2020-15545.