Cycling event attracts record crowd

Published 12:24 pm Thursday, April 2, 2009

By Staff
Restaurants gearing up for big crowds
Contributing Editor
Cycle North Carolina has a record number of bicyclists registered for its Spring Weekend Ride to the Heart of the Inner Banks. The event comes to Washington the weekend of April 17-19.
As of Wednesday, 915 bicyclists from throughout the United States and abroad had registered for the event, according to Cycle North Carolina Director Ragan Williams. With registrations still arriving and walk-up registrations expected during the event, the number of participants could reach close to 950, Williams said.
The bicyclists will use Washington as a base as they select from several routes on which to ride that weekend.
Ron and Judi Siegrist, who live at Pamlico Plantation, are ready to ride.
Siegrist said he’s been riding since 1976, adding he’s been a “serious” cyclist for the past six or seven years.
Although they live just a few miles from Washington, the Siegrists will live in their motor home — which they plan to park on Stewart Parkway — during the event weekend.
Unlike most of their cycling friends, the Siegrists ride recumbent bicycles.
Recumbent bicycles allow riders to sit back in a full seat with the rider’s legs in a horizontal position, providing a ride that’s more comfortable than a traditional bicycle, according to several Web sites about recumbents. Recumbent bicycles have been around since at least the 1890s.
Washington resident Tommy Swanner, owner of the certified public accountant company Thomas Swanner &Associates, also signed up for the event.
Swanner believes the event will be good for Washington.
Washington Park resident Dr. Chris Padgett is making his first appearance in a Cycle North Carolina event by participating in the spring ride. He will ride with a colleague from Wake Forest who will stay with Padgett during the weekend.
Padgett said the spring ride allows people from other parts of the state to see what Washington and Beaufort County have to offer.
Local bicyclists are not the only ones looking forward to the nearly 1,000 bike riders in Washington for three days later this month.
The arrival of Cycle North Carolina participants on the same day as the First Music in the Streets for 2009 will prompt her to bake more cookies, pies, cakes and whip up other desserts, Franks said.
Glenn Weatherington, who owns Down on Mainstreet with his wife, Gennia, said the restaurant will bring in extra wait staff and order more food than usual to accommodate the expected increase in customers that weekend.
Cutline for corresponding photo: These Pamlico Plantation residents will participate in the upcoming Cycle North Carolina Spring Weekend Ride to the Heart of the Inner Banks. They are, left to right: Dan Hofmann, Sally Hofmann, Ron Siegrist, Judi Siegrist. (WDN Photo/Paul Dunn)