Located right on their homepage, the Robeson Road Runners’ website states that the club is “a group of runners, walkers, cyclists, triathletes and individuals concerned about the betterment of our community.” And they prove that every spring when they host the Rumba on the Lumber, one of the premiere festivals in our region. Of course the Rumba centers around the LRA 5K and the SRMC Family Fun Mile — two events that allow anyone interested in running or walking to enjoy a great day.
So what about those triathletes and cyclists in the group? Well the triathletes branched out and formed the Tri-Warriors Triathlon Club, which hosts an annual youth triathlon every August in Pembroke. And now the cyclists in the group have stepped up and decided to add some biking events to the already exciting Rumba Festival.
What they’re calling “Bike for Family Fun” will offer cyclists of all ages two opportunities to get on their bikes and go for a ride. A short “teaser” ride will start at 10:30 a.m. and will begin on Chestnut Street behind the courthouse, and follow the same route as the fun mile. However, if you are feeling energetic and want a bit more of a challenge there’s also a 20-mile bike ride beginning at 12:30 p.m.. The ride will start from the same location and head out into the surrounding rural area and finish back at the Robeson County Library. Both of these events are free, but you must have your own bike and helmet.
According to Lee Ann Musslewhite, one of the organizers of the bike ride, “The Robeson Road Runners has spent 12 years providing the community with two festivals with the goal of introducing families to the enjoyment of activity, and they were very supportive of the idea of incorporating this type of activity, giving the community a platform to experience different sports.”
“There has been some talk about expanding the athletic events to attract more out of town guests.” says Scott Billingsley, president of the Robeson Road Runners. “Robeson County is well suited for running and cycling. It’s flat and fast!”
As a cyclist myself, I can honestly say that our roads are in good shape with many rural areas providing miles and miles of safe roads to ride. Although there is a level of danger associated with any sport, if you are attentive and cautious cyclist you will find that most motorists are very patient and considerate to the growing number of cyclists in our area.
So why is cycling experiencing a growth spurt here in Lumberton, with people of all ages enjoying the sport? Well, for Barnesville resident David Raynor, it’s all about family time.
“The cool thing about cycling with your kids is you don’t take them to bicycle practice you go cycling with them. There are no first-string players or sidelines to stand on. It’s an individual sport enjoyed by a group. And it’s something you never forget how to do it. How many things that you enjoyed as a kid can you still do today?”
Which is why on any given day, you are sure to see numerous cyclists riding around the city. And although there is nothing wrong with going out by yourself, your family or a group of friends and enjoying the sport, there is large group of cyclists that are doing their best to create a schedule of group rides that can accommodate cyclists ranging from beginners to the more advanced. Currently this group rides four times a week, and I can personally say that riding with them when I’m training for triathlons has made me a much stronger cyclist.
So even if you’re at the Rumba this coming weekend, decide not to ride, but want to learn more, make sure you look for the cyclists wheeling around the festival and find out about joining them for a ride. And if you do decide to participate in one of the two rides on Saturday, remember two things. You do have to wear a helmet, but you don’t have to wear spandex.
Mike DeCinti is the marketing director for Lumberton Radiological Associates. He can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 738-8222, Ext. 258.