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Watch for bicycles on these roads on Labor Day

A record number of riders will be on hand when sixth annual Tour d’Apple bicycle event kicks off on Labor Day. On Monday more than 500 riders had signed up — almost 100 over last year’s total.

“We still have another week to go and last year we had maybe 100 more sign up in that last week,” said Dick Miley, one of the ride organizers with the Four Seasons Rotary Club. “It’s going to be really busy at rest stop 1 and 2.”
The Tour d’Apple features the 25-mile Green Apple Enthusiast, 45-mile Jonagold Lite, 63-mile Gala Metric and 100-mile Honeycrisp Unbelievable Century, which requires 8,000 feet of climbing. For the first time this year, rest stops 4 and 5 will serve pickle juice, which can reduce cramps. The Rotary Club has also brought on Daphne Kirkwood, a full-time race organizer from Asheville, to take over the tour management.
“She’s an absolute expert in this field so if we decided to grow we wanted to bring her in,” Miley said.
Six years ago, club members did not know how popular the event would become.
“We certainly hoped it would and the reason is that the proceeds do things like fund scholarships at Blue Ridge Community College, Special Needs Sports that that Donnie Jones runs,” Miley said. “We take care of Rotary Park on West Allen Street and a biggie is we do books for the public school libraries.”
Miley asked homeowners to keep their dogs inside or fenced in on Labor Day.

“We’ve had three people bitten on Pinnacle Mountain Road, so I’m going to go up there today and see if I can get bitten,” he said. “Take one for the team.”

Tour d’Apple lasts from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Labor Day. Riders will cover roads from BRCC to the apple country and in Flat Rock and Hendersonville through early afternoon. Bicyclists conquering the 100-mile challenge will be on those roads and in Green River and Laurel Park (Jump Off Rock) most of the day.
Organizers warned motorists to beware of bicycle traffic from 8 a.m. to noon in Tracy Grove, Dana, Blue Ridge, East Flat Rock, Sugarloaf Mountain, Ottanola, Edneyville, Bearwallow Mountain, Hoopers Creek, Terry’s Gap and Fruitland.

From 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. watch for riders in Dana, Upward Road, East Flat Rock, Flat Rock, Zirconia, Tuxedo, Green River, Cabin Creek, Pinnacle Mountain, Litter River Road, Old Kanuga Road, Price Street, Kanuga Lake Road, Evans Road, Big Willow Road, Hebron Road, Laurel park, Osceola Lake, east Hendersonville, Mud Creek Baptist Church, Shepherd Street, and Airport Road.