While thousands of people will descend on Harlem on Saturday to celebrate the life of an obese comedian, many will shed hundreds of calories to remember Oliver Hardy and award pupil citizenship.
Cyclists are invited to celebrate Hardy's birthplace in the annual Hardy Hundred.
The 15th annual ride, put on by the Rotary Club of Columbia County West, is open to cyclists of all ages, though experience is recommended.
The ride starts at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 4 at Harlem High School.
The route includes two 30-mile loops and a 40-mile loop. Cyclists can opt to ride one, two or all three loops, said Richard Swann, the rotary club's past president and event organizer.
"It is nice rolling country roads," Swann said. "It is very pleasant."
An entry fee of $27 per adult, and $15 per child, covers the ride, rider assistance wagons, rest stops with drinks and snacks, followed by a spaghetti supper, a T-shirt, and door prizes and a raffle.
Participants can register in advance or the morning of the ride. Forms are available at all area bicycle shops.
All riders must wear helmets, Swann said.
The ride is the main fund-raiser for the Rotary Club's Johns Award, named after former Grovetown Elementary School principal Otis Johns. It is presented to two students, fifth- through eight-graders, at all Columbia County elementary and middle schools, Swann said.
"They don't have to make the best grades for the class, (but) they have to make the best grades for them," Swann said. "It is a citizenship award."
For information about the Hardy Hundred ride, visit www.active.com.
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