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Cyclists begin the 2017 ‘Shine Pedalers Metric Saturday morning at the Georgia Racing
Hall of Fame in Dawsonville, Georgia. PHOTOS BY DENISE RAY

2017 Shine Pedalers deemed a ‘success’

Scenery, support and organization key

By Denise Ray, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Over 200 cyclists took to the streets of Dawson and Pickens counties Saturday morning, July 29 in the fifth annual ‘Shine Pedalers Metric.

"Our fifth annual 'Shine Pedalers Metric was our most successful ride yet,” President of the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce & Office of Tourism Development Christie Haynes said. “Each year our goal is to improve upon the previous year's ride. This year, we modified the route to make it even more beautiful and safer than previous routes.”

Starting—and finishing—at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, the determined, fit and enthusiastic group participated in one of two events: century (68.1 miles with 5,727 feet of climb) or half century (31.6 miles and 2,159 feet of climb), each supported by excited volunteers at multiple SAG (Support and Gear) stops. Both routes offered beautiful scenery and rolling hills to make the ride interesting.

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Riders listen to ‘Rules of the Road’ by Northstar Bicycle’s John Jones before starting the
2017 ‘Shine Pedalers Metric on Saturday morning. Northstar Bicycle was one of several
local businesses who sponsored the event.

"Five years ago, this ride was created through partnership with our local bike shop, Northstar Bicycle,” Haynes explained. “Our goal was and remains to showcase Dawson County as a premier destination for cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts as part of a greater goal of attracting additional visitor investment."

There were 245 riders this year, according to Dawson County Chamber Director of Operations Brenda Mason. Last year 153 participated.

“We had riders from Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina and two from Syracuse, New York this year,” Mason said.

First-timer Tanya Schilling of Milton, Georgia came for the scenery. Having previously done similar events, she chose the ‘Shine Pedalers because it would be a beautiful, scenic ride and sent an email to her friend Tara High of Alpharetta, Georgia encouraging her to join in.

“It’s great to ride out in the country,” Shilling said. “Plus this is so convenient. We’ll be back and will bring people.”

“It was very well done,” High said about the event. “The scenery’s beautiful.”

Upon arrival however, High noticed her tire ‘wouldn’t hold air’ and received assistance in changing out her tire tube by ‘a fine gentleman’ Jason Volingavage, a vendor.

Riders seemed pleased with the ride and hospitality.

“It’s well supported,” she said. “All the rest stops were great. They were perfectly situated with lots to eat and drink, which is always good.”

New this year was a competition between the themed stops. Music, decorations and costumes were added by volunteers with the hope of winning the coveted SAG Stop Champion crown and sash, and of course, bragging rights. Cyclists voted during the post-ride lunch. The winner was the Hawaiian stop, located near the top of Burnt Mountain where Elvis was seen posing for pictures and the sound of “Hawaii 5-0” could be heard. The key to its popularity, according to cyclists, was neon orange sunglasses provided by King’s Hawaiian and cooling towels from Northside Hospital.

After completing the ride, participants were treated to lunch from Perfect Gathering catering and frozen custard from Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers. Benchmark Therapy was on hand to offer E-stim therapy to weary riders and aching muscles.

The 2018 event will be Saturday, July 28, 2018. Details will be announced closer to the date and curiosity seekers are invited to visit the ‘Shine Pedalers Metric facebook page for more pictures of the event.

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