By Cecil "Zeke" Yount | Aug 14, 2012

Yep, folks who are not currently riding a bicycle or participating in this year’s Blue Ridge Breakaway can still come out and enjoy the event! Here are some tips for how to enjoy the 3rd Annual BRB from a non-cyclist’s point of view:

1) Start your enjoyment by attending the Friday evening presentation of Russ Roca and Laura Crawford of The Path Less Pedaled. The Portland, Oregon residents have travelled around America and New Zealand on bicycles and will entertain you with tales of their adventures. The accompanying meal is $10.00 per head and you can register by either calling the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce (828-456-3021) or, preferably, by using the following link:

To register for the Friday evening presentation at Lake Junaluska, register at:

2) Pick a favorite rider and follow them as they proceed along the course. All the participants will appreciate your support of their effort! If you have an acquaintance riding one of the four routes, determine what route they will be on and then station yourself somewhere along the route to cheer them on. Spots near the tops of climbs are generally the best spots for spectators as you get to see and support the cyclists as they struggle to top the climb. To see some epic suffering, park just below the Blue Ridge Parkway in the gravel lot on NC 215. Downhill locations offer views as the cyclists swiftly move by you and don’t offer as much opportunity to enjoy the individual cyclists.

3) If you are a homeowner along the route, set up a cheering section along your property and invite friends over to watch. Be sure to keep your four  and two legged friends safely away from the cyclists as they ride by. No one wants to see pets or cyclists injured due to unintended interactions.  Having a water stand for cyclists would be much appreciated especially if the weather is hot!

4) Be an Ambassador for Haywood! With an anticipated 500+ cyclists coming to town this weekend, plan ahead for your trips and be even more cautious than usual as there will be significantly more cyclists out and about riding the routes even the day before the official ride. Keep in mind that these folks are supporting our community by choosing to spend their vacation dollars in our restaurants, motels, B&B’s, and campgrounds. We know that great experiences during the Breakaway lead to return visits at other times of the year so let’s make them all welcome!

5) If you are a business owner or elected official, it isn’t too late to register for the special Lunch ‘N Learn with Roca and Crawford sponsored by Waynesville Rotary and BicycleHaywoodNC on Friday, August 17th, at Laurel Ridge Country Club. Please do take the time to respond to the following link so we’ll have plenty of food prepared!

To register for the Business Leaders/Elected Officials session, send email to


For more information, visit and . You may also link to Zeke’s Great Smoky Mountain 2 Wheeled Adventures under Opinion on the Mountaineer’s website.