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1,000 cyclists to pass through Flowery Branch today
Annual event to use library as rest stop
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If you’re traveling in Flowery Branch today, you may notice more bicycles on the road than usual.

More than 1,000 cyclists will pass through Hall County as part of a weeklong trip across the state.

The route of the 33rd annual Bicycle Ride Across Georgia will take cyclists on a 400-mile trip from Fort Oglethorpe to
Tiger with several stops along the way.

Each night cyclists camp out in a different city, often on the local high school football field.

The daily distances average about 50 miles with rest stops every 15-20 miles.

Cyclists will stop at Spout Springs Library during a 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. window to rest before traveling to Winder for the night.

“I think most of our riders will be at the rest stop from about 11 a.m. to noon,” said Leslie Anderson, volunteer and event manager for the Special Olympics Georgia and rest stop coordinator for the ride.

Mary Poland, branch manager of the Spout Springs library, said she’s looking forward to showing off the library.

The cyclists will gather in the lower level parking lot to enjoy cold drinks and peanut butter sandwiches.

The cyclists come from all over the world and from all fitness levels.

Lloyd Unnold, secretary of the Chicken City Cyclist Club in Gainesville, and six other members are riding.

Unnold said he rode alongside a couple and their 9-year-old granddaughter and later rode beside an 80-year-old man.

He said he’s seen everything from tricycles to tandem and recumbent bikes along the route but everyone he’s met has at least one thing in common.

“They all seem to have a common love of the bicycle. But it’s definitely a challenge. There’s no doubt about it,” Unnold said.

Unnold, who has been participating in the ride almost every year since 1989, said it is a great way to showcase the state’s natural beauty.

After resting in Winder this evening, they’ll travel 54 miles up Old Cornelia Highway, through Alto, Baldwin and Cornelia.

The Habersham 9th Grade Academy will be the host site for campers, while others will stay in local hotels.

Shuttle buses will provided from the 9th Grade Academy to Cornelia and Clarkesville.

Clarkesville will play host to the rest stop from 6-10 a.m. Saturday.

During the final leg on Saturday, cyclists will ride from Mount Airy to Tiger, stopping at Rabun County High School.

“I’m looking forward to getting to the mountains. It’s just gorgeous there,” Unnold said. “We’ll see it slowly, too, because we’ll be climbing a lot of it.”

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