LUMBERTON — Local residents are encouraged to wave, clap, holler and shout when more than 1,000 bicyclists participating in this year’s North Carolina Mountains to the Coast roll into Lumberton on Thursday.
The cyclists are expected to arrive between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and will enter town on South Chestnut Street near the Robeson County Public Library, continue to Sixth Street, turn onto Cedar Street and end the day’s ride at the Bill Sapp Center. Many are expected to camp out at the center for the night.
A welcome tent will be set up at the Sapp Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A band will perform on the downtown plaza between 7 and 9 p.m., and the Old Iron Tractor Club will be transporting cyclists from the Sapp Center to the plaza for the event.
The cyclists are riding more than 450 miles across the state, beginning at Brevard College and ending at Carolina Beach.
Cycle North Carolina is designed to promote healthy lifestyles, boost the economy in North Carolina’s rural communities and promote the cultural and geographical diversity of the state. According to the event’s organizers, the more than 1,000 bicyclists who visit these towns each year contribute up to $500,000 to the local economies.
This year’s ride includes participants from 35 states, two Canadian provinces, the United Kingdom and Russia.