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Cycle NC 2017 in Oriental
Scenes of 4th Coastal Ride Weekend Here
May 8, 2017
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he incidence of brightly colored shirts rose even more sharply than did Oriental’s population the last weekend in April as 1400 cyclists came to town for Cycle NC’s Spring Coastal Weekend. It was Oriental’s 4th time hosting the Friday thru Sunday event. Cyclists rode several routes – from 5 to 100 miles – around Pamlico County and settled in to Oriental as a basecamp.

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A Mildred Street start at the 2017 Cycle NC Coastal Weekend in Oriental. The town had previously hosted Cycle NC in 2008, 2011 and 2014. (Photo: Matthew McCotter)s

Ragan Williams, director of Durham-based Cycle NC says the cyclists came from 33 states, Washington DC and Canada and ranged in age from 5 to 84.

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A cluster of cyclists about to turn off Straight Road onto White Farm on Saturday.

Shops and restaurants in Oriental reported a healthy uptick in activity. A local charity also benefited.

Because hotels and inns in Oriental could accommodate only a small (single digit) percentage of the large group, many cyclists set up tents in encampments on the lawns of several residences – from South Avenue to Vandemere Street to Neuse Drive. Still others stayed in local homes under a charitable arrangement that had the cyclists donating funds to Hope Clinic. Nearly $13,000 was raised for Hope Clinic which provides free medical care to Pamlico County residents who have little or no health insurance.

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Tandems and recumbents – seen here at River Dunes – were part of the mix. (Photo: Matthew McCotter)

On Saturday night, Moore’s Creek Bluegrass performed on the porch of the Rose family home on Freemason Street, which is the finale stage for the Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival. Organizers of that October 6-7 event sponsored the bluegrass performance to give cyclists a taste of the OFPMF, where porches become stages for a variety of musicians.

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Cyclists got a taste of Oriental’s Ol’ Front Porch Music Fest as Moore’s Creek Bluegrass played from the OFPMF’s feature stage.
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Moore’s Creek Bluegrass played Saturday night.

The weather was sunny, hot (80’s) and windy at times. It was the wind that elicited the most comment from those unaccustomed to going to windward.. Some local riders view head winds as a semblance of the hills that otherwise cannot be found in much of flat Pamlico County. VIsiting cyclists noted that these ‘hills’ took all their might to climb…but gave no obvious descent to coast down.

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The strong winds the cyclists faced on the roads could be felt on the front line of tents at the riverside.
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Passing – quickly – the landscape outside Oriental.

More scenes from Cycle NC’s 2017 Coastal Ride weekend, ahead…

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Posted Monday May 8, 2017 by Melinda Penkava

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