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Largest cycling event in CSRA prepares for 10th year

Posted: April 16, 2013 - 11:11pm

Cyclists are gearing up for the 10th Annual Best Dam Ride on Sunday.

Meeting at the J. Strom Thurmond Dam at Clark’s Hill Lake, the ride begins Sunday, April 21, at 8:30 a.m. with registration starting at 7 a.m. Registration is $35 per person in advance and $40 per person on the day of the event.

The ride begins at the dam and travels across three counties. Riders can choose between a 25, 60, 80 or 100-mile road ride or a 5-20, 36 or a 50-mile mountain bike ride on the Bartram Trail, said Phil Cohen, the owner of Chain Reaction Bicycles and coordinator of the race.

As the largest cycling-specific event in the area, the ride caters to cyclists of all skill levels and interests, Cohen said. The group teamed up with SORBA-CSRA, a local mountain biking club, to sponsor the ride on the Bartram Trail.

“Most of the serious riders are going to be there,” he said. “We really want to appeal to the casual riders.”

Cohen said they expect 500 cyclists to participate in this year’s ride.

The proceeds raised from the event will benefit the Southeastern Firefighters Burn Foundation, chosen because of its local impact.

“It’s uniquely CSRA,” he said. “They help people all over the state, but it’s in Augusta.”

The foundation’s primary purpose is to provide housing and food for the family members of patients in Doctor’s Hospital’s Joseph M. Still Burn Center, said Bobbie Jo Gainey, the director of development for the nonprofit organization.

She said the foundation also helps discharged patients with their transitions to normal life, helping them pay for bandages and medications.

“We’re lucky that (the event coordinators) want to support the foundation,” Gainey said.

She said she’s looking forward to seeing how the ride will turn out this year.

Cohen said he expects a day of great fun. The event has always been held the Sunday after the Masters Tournament.

“It’s a beautiful, beautiful ride,” he said. “Riders, especially from out of town, always talk about how beautiful the ride is.”

For more information on how to register, visit Chain Reaction Bicycles at 4407 Evans-to-Locks Road in Evans, or register online at www.active.com.

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