Hundreds of cyclists from around the commonwealth gathered to participate in the Limestone Cycling Tour in Maysville.
The 10th annual Limestone Cycling Tour was held Saturday with cyclists beginning and ending the tour in downtown Maysville. According to organizer and chair for the tour committee Paula Ruble, the tour is listed as one of the five of the Kentucky Century Cycling Challenge for 2018.
“We have a committee of about six of us that have worked on this together, but I’ve been the lead which is between our committee and the Kentucky Century Cycling Challenge committee, which we are a part of,” Ruble said.
Although this is the second year since the event was renamed the Limestone Cycling Tour, Ruble said the goal of the event is still the same — a charity ride.
“The money that we raise, after expenses, we donate the money to the Hayswood Foundation, to the Zach Ruble Scholarship, where Mason County High School students have the opportunity to be awarded a four-year, renewable scholarship of $1,000,” she said.
Her son, Zach Ruble graduated from Mason County High School in 2008. He was an avid outdoorsman and an environmental studies student at University of Utah in Salt Lake City when he died in 2009.
Cyclists have several options for routes they can take, Ruble said, each having various lengths. The routes range from a 24-mile route, a 40-mile route, a metric century route, which is 100 kilometers (around 62 miles) and a century route at a whopping 100 miles.
All four of the routes began and ended near the Limestone Landing in downtown Maysville, traveling west on Kentucky 8 along the Ohio River.
The Century route traveled through Minerva, Augusta, Germantown, Old Washington, May’s Lick and Orangeburg before returning to downtown Maysville after climbing nearly 6,100 feet during the route.
“When they come back, there’s people trying to earn miles through the Kentucky Century Challenge,” Ruble said. “They’ll come back in, they’ll report the amount of miles that they did.”
Several organizations and members of the community came together to set up the rest stops in the various locations in order to support the cyclists. Ruble said she is pleased to see the collective support from the community.
“It’s a lot of different groups and organizations and community people that just want to throw in a couple, three hours for helping out,” she said
Of the cyclists who pre-registered for the ride, Ruble said almost 340 people checked in to take the tour. When compared to the near 100 riders from last year, Ruble said she was greatly pleased with the turn out.
For many of the cyclists the appeal of riding long distances is about the togetherness and adventure from riding around places you’ve never been. Ed Broomall, who rode along the 40-mile route with his daughter, Corine Powell and brother ,Tom Broomall, is not from this area. The family is from Ashland and the tri-state area. Ed Broomall said cycling is far more engaging than just simply exercising.
“This gives us a reason to get together,” he said, “because we don’t all live in the same area, so then we plan a trip like this.”
Anthony Shields, from Lexington, said Saturday was the first time he participated in the Limestone Cycling Tour, having just completed a metric century. He said he and his cycling group enjoyed the scenery of the area, citing that and the sense of camaraderie to also be a big draw into cycling for him.
“You see and meet so many people on the rides from different places,” Shields said. “You’ll ride along, and it’s nice getting to see all of the different kinds of bikes. For me, that’s a big thing— looking and seeing all of the different styles of bikes and the colors, and just staying fit.”