Bicycle enthusiasts across the state are preparing for the annual Bicycle Ride Across Tennessee, which will kick off its 24th year with a seven-day excursion beginning Sept. 14, showcasing West Tennessee’s beautiful landscapes.
Originating at Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park in Millington, this year’s route will feature the incredible diversity of West Tennessee. Surrounded by the Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers, the terrain is flatter than the eastern parts of the state.
“Highlighting West Tennessee this year, BRAT participants will experience flatter terrain than in previous years,” Bicycle Ride Across Tennessee Director Ryan Forbess said. “However, some hilly terrain does exist, especially along the bluffs. In terms of effort level, the 2013 BRAT will include a balance of some long-distance rides and some shorter distance days.”
The event will begin with check-in at Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14. On Sunday, riders will be introduced to the route with a scenic ride to Fort Pillow State Park. Riders will camp overnight at four Tennessee State Parks along the route, including Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park, Fort Pillow State Park, Natchez Trace State Park and Chickasaw State Park. The daily mileage will range from 50-85 miles, with approximately 380-450 total miles for the seven-day ride. The cost of the seven-day ride is $400.
“While the BRAT is not a race, it is a significant ride that requires preparation,” Mr. Forbess said. “Even experienced riders appreciate the support staff we offer along the route that can provide assistance and transportation for those who encounter problems or simply can’t complete that day’s mileage. Our goal is to provide an outstanding experience for participants of all ages.”
The 24th Annual Bicycle Ride Across Tennessee is sponsored by Tennessee State Parks, REI, the Tennessee Department of Transportation, OS Performance Nutrition, New Belgium Brewing, Clif Bar and Company and MoonPie.
For registration information or more details about the 2013 Bicycle Ride Across Tennessee, visit the main webpage at http://thebrat.org. Riders with questions are encouraged to contact Ryan Forbess via e-mail at Ryan.Forbess@tn.gov.