Destination: Washington

Published 8:28 pm Thursday, May 30, 2013

Riverside rides draw the cycling crowd

It’s flat; it’s rural; and with the Pamlico River as part of the scenery, it’s a pretty place to ride. That’s why Washington is becoming known in cycling circles, according to Tourism Development Authority Lynn Lewis, and how some special riders will make their first public ride from the Washington waterfront to Havens Gardens this Saturday.

Their names are Tatem and Micah. They’re friends and cyclists and they also have cerebral palsy. But that doesn’t stop them from riding: the bikes they ride are specially designed for them, and paid for by donors. While their teams — Team Tatum and 4-Micah — will be riding in Easter Seals UCP’s (united cerebral palsy) big fundraiser Ride Without Limits to be hosted in Washington this fall, the two cyclists will be getting the lay of land and kicking off their bike-riding adventure together this weekend, according to Lewis.

Lewis said Washington came to the attention of Easter Seals UCP because those planning October’s ride heard Washington and the surrounding areas were great venues for cyclists.

“They were looking for a place to grow their event,” Lewis said. “Because of our involvement with Cycle NC, we are starting to become a cycling destination.”

Sixteen teams — some one member strong, others with members in the double digits — are slated to ride in the fall event. The goal of Ride Without Limits is to raise $250,000 for Easter Seals UCP. Team Tatum has a good head start with $6,520 raised so far, according to the Ride Without Limits website.

With five months to go, practice for the big ride starts at 11 a.m. this Saturday, with a kickoff one-mile ride from Festival Park to Havens Gardens. City officials are expected to welcome Ride Without Limits and Easter Seals UCP officials at a cookout afterward.