By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor
Hundreds of cyclists will take off from Sunflower Farm in Rutledge and peddle through Madison and Morgan County this weekend for the 23rd Annual BRAG’s Spring Tune Up Ride. The Madison-Morgan Cultural Center will be one two rest stops for bikers passing through. “We are looking at phenomenal weather this weekend and getting ready for some amazing riding powered by delicious food with a soundtrack of magnificent bands throughout a fantastic cycling festival,” said Franklin Johnson, executive director of BRAG (Bicycle Ride Across Georgia).
According to BRAG’s website, over 1,000 cyclists are expected to participate this year. In addition to the picturesque cycling journey throughout Morgan County, a camping festival will be offered at Sunflower Farm over the course of the weekend, featuring local musical acts and food vendors. The band Rust, out of Stone Mountain, will perform, along with the Darnell Brothers, out of Athens. Big Kev’s Barbeque and The Caboose will be selling food at Sunflower Farm over the weekend. Sunflower Farm owner, Wes Holt, is excited to host BRAG’s annual Spring Tune-Up event this year. “I have been involved with BRAG since they first started coming here 12 years, said Hold. “It just happens that they were looking to change in up and they contacted me about doing it at our farm, because it was recommended by our friends over at Camp Twin Lakes…We are also excited because we think Madison will get a little more exposure this year, too, since two rest stops will be in Madison this year.”
It is expected that Madison hotels, shops and restaurants will have an influx of businesses this weekend as a result of BRAG’s annual cycling event. The Bicycle Ride Across Georgia (BRAG) “is a not-for-profit dedicated to providing affordable, quality bicycle tours in and across Georgia with an emphasis on bicycling fun, safety and education. BRAG supports charitable causes and the BRAG Dream Team. The annual bicycle ride across the state of Georgia began in 1980 under the guidance of Dot Moss. Dot received her inspiration for the tour from Iowa’s RAGBRAI. Georgia’s event started out as the Great GASBE (Georgia’s Annual State Bicycling Event). The first ride began in Savannah and ended in Columbus.” BRAG’s goal is “To provide extraordinary cycling experiences for youth to dream beyond their circumstances and grow greater by the mile.”