Fun in the great outdoors
Enjoy competitive bicycle, tricycle rides along with walks, hikes and cornhole
By REBEKAH WILSON
The White Lightning Bicycle Rides are back for their fourth Fun Fest season. Both rides will begin at the MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center on Saturday, and riders of all experience levels are welcome to participate.
“All riders will be timed, but don’t be intimidated,” said Natalie Whitlock, race director. “All abilities are welcome, and we encourage novice riders and tandems to join in the fun.”
The first ride, a 45-mile route for serious cyclists, will begin at 8 a.m. and will tour around beautiful farmland. It will take riders along flat surfaces as well as up steeper inclines, including the back of Bays Mountain.
In this race, riders will leave in heats. This means they will be grouped by anticipated finish time and the fastest will leave first.
The second ride will begin just afterward and will venture along an 18-mile loop. This ride is geared toward beginners and has no significant increase in elevation.
“We don’t want anyone to feel intimidated because it is a competitive ride,” Whitlock said. “We want to encourage everyone to come out and have a good time and enjoy the course and get a good workout.”
Prizes will be awarded to winners and one lucky winner will receive a bicycle, courtesy of Larry’s Cycle Shop.
All riders are required to wear helmets. Course patrollers will be available for assistance, and a police car will lead both rides.
With almost 400 riders last year, people should expect to travel with a large group and, as always when biking, there is safety in numbers.
Riders must pre-register at werunevents.com for $30, or $35 the weekend of the event. Food and drinks will be provided after the race, including beer for riders older than 21 . Participants will also receive specially designed performance shirts.
Eastman Credit Union, Holston Medical Group, Holston Distributing Co., Culligan and Larry’s Cycle Shop are sponsors.
Other Fun Fest events for the outdoors-minded folks are:
WEDNESDAY, JULY 17
• Male and female softball players will compete in four categories: church league, industrial league, women’s open and men’s open in the One-Pitch Softball Tournament from 6 to 10 p.m., today at the Eastman Recreational Ball Fields. This is the final event of the five-day double-elimination competition. Sponsored by Kingsport Parks and Recreation, Eastman Recreation and Action Athletics.
• The inaugural Twilight Triathalon will take place at the Kingsport Aquatic Center at 6:30 p.m., today It will include a 150-meter swim, 9-mile bicycle race and 2.5-mile run. Sponsored by Fleet Feet Sports.
• Come see the Kingsport Mets play the Danville Braves at Fun Fest at the Ball Park at Hunter Wright Stadium at 7 p.m., today Admission is $4. Children and seniors get in for $3. Gates open at 6 p.m. Sponsored by the Kingsport Mets and Wilson, Worley, Morre, Gamble and Stout, PC.
• At dusk, relax in your lawn chair or on a quilt in the grass for the Giant Screen Outdoor Movie at Memorial Park on Fort Henry Drive at 9 p.m., today Bristol Broadcasting is sponsoring the event and will be showing a family-friendly movie.
THURSDAY, JULY 18
• Arrive on time at 8 p.m., Thursday for the Moonlight Hike at Bays Mountain Park. The hike will tour around the lake on a moderate 2.3-mile trail. Hikers will have the opportunity to see after-dark wildlife and should come prepared with comfortable hiking shoes, flashlights and water. Sponsored by Bays Mountain Park Association, Eastman Hiking Club and WKPT-TV.
SATURDAY, JULY 20
• The Stroll R Walk With Healthy Kingsport will begin just after the hot air balloon launch around 7 a.m., Saturday, at the Palmer Center area in Memorial Park. This brief, 15-minute walk is geared toward families, and they will be able to decorate strollers, wagons and wheelchairs before the walk. Sponsored by Kingsport Tomorrow and Healthy Kingsport.
• Race a tricycle at the Trike Trials on Fort Henry Drive at 9 a.m., Saturday. Tricycles will be provided, and riders should bring their own helmets, though some will be provided. The event is free, but registration is required at the event or before the event at the Fun Fest Store in the Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce at 400 Clinchfield St. Sponsored by Rexel, Kingsport Civitan Club and Noon Day Club.
• The 2.1-mile Walk Along the River With Healthy Kingsport will begin at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, on the Greenbelt at Riverfront Park. Walkers may begin at one of three locations: Mad Rabbit Screenprinting, Netherland Inn or Rotherwood Drive.
• There will also be a cornhole tournament from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, at Indian Highland Park. Registration is closed, and approximately 80 teams are scheduled to compete. Sponsored by Eastman Credit Union, Chef's Pizzeria, Express Signs, Action Athletics and Electric 94.9.