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LIGHTNING PHOTOS: They're off!

Riders leave Jackson Park on day 2 of the 475-mile Mountains to Coast ride. Riders leave Jackson Park on day 2 of the 475-mile Mountains to Coast ride.

Soggy but rested, more than 1,100 bicyclists pedaled off from Jackson Park on their way to Shelby, the second leg of the 475-mile Mountains to Coast ride.

"Everybody's pretty much gone," Chip Hofler, marketing director of Cycle North Carolina, said shortly after 9 a.m. "We're just breaking it down. It all went fine (overnight). Obviously it was wet and soggy. but everyone seems to be OK."

He said there had been no big exodus of riders despite the cool and wet conditions.

'"You're going to have a few here and there that will" drop out, he said. "Everybody's still riding, hoping that maybe the sun will come out."

About 200 bicyclists stayed in hotels, another 200 chose “indoor camping” at the Henderson County Athletics and Activity Center gym and the rest spent the night at a sprawling tent city at Jackson Park.

Riders enjoyed downtown Hendersonville and other attractions shuttles served on Sunday.

"A lot of people went downtown so they could find somewhere warm," he said. "The shuttles were running constantly. That's always a good thing."

Riders were cautious enough to avoid wipeouts on slick roads.

"Really we didn't have any reports" of crashes, Hofler said. "We had one rider fall but it wasn't because of the rain.
She came out of a rest stop and was going like zero miles an hour."