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Cycle NC Coastal Ride 2023
1,300 cyclists come and go
May 3, 2023

hirteen hundred cyclists (give or take). Three days of cycling. Rain, wind, and sun. It was all part of the 2023 Cycle NC Coastal Ride, from Friday, April 28 to Sunday, April 30.

A Cycle NC ride happens every year; in the mountains, along the coast, and from the mountains to the coast. That coastal one – called the Cycle NC Coastal Ride – is held in Oriental every three years (it rotates between Oriental, Edenton, and Little Washington).

A sunny ride requires a shaded view.

Cyclists descend on the village, setting up tents, camping trailers and RVs in lots and on lawns. Some find lodging in village hotels and B&Bs, or with residents. They set up wherever they can find room.

The United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall served as the registration center. There, Oriental’s Tourism and Parks & Recreation boards set up a welcome and information booth.

One of several tent cities that popped up over night. This one was on South Avenue near Lou Mac Park.

Portable showers were parked on Freemason Street at South Ave, across from Lou Mac Park. Also there – several port-a-johns and a large, black Start / Finish archway stretching across the whole of South Avenue between Lou Mac Park and the Labyrinth.

Nearby booths offered bicycle repair, a special cycling jersey just for the event, and massages were nearby.

Cyclists ride in a line down the county side of the Oriental Bridge.

This isn’t a competition, but a series of rides. Routes varied from 15 – 100 miles, starting in Oriental and ranging out into Pamlico County.

Though rains visited Friday morning, Saturday’s weather was near perfect. More rain on Sunday meant money left the event early, heading back Saturday night or very early the next morning. By Monday, there was almost no sign that Oriental’s population had more than doubled over the weekend.

Town Manager Diane Miller said the only litter left by Oriental’s 1,300 visitors was distributed by high winds knocking over recycling bins (the cyclists did recycle).

A glittery welcome to all.

Showing off his Cycle NC Coastal Ride Oriental jersey.
The Friday morning Bean crowd was mostly early morning cyclists, looking for coffee and bite to eat.
Cyclists are nothing, if not a colorful – and highly visible – group of people.
The tents at Lou Mac Park.
Enjoying a bit of lunch under a watchful eye.
When a one seat, traditional cycle just won’t do: a tandem recumbent has room for two.
Another vibrant jersey – this one with a bird.
Lou Mac Park’s tent city and inhabitants, as seen from the water.
More scenes from the bridge – racing lines, reclining rides, and the start of a cycling journey.
Hanging along the water at Lou Mac Park.
Oriental artist Laura Turgeon drew a commemorative cycling scene for the Cycle NC 2023 participants.
Cyclists waved as they crossed over the top of Oriental Bridge.
Saturday’s sun brought out the shades and shadows.
It also brought out the helmet shades, seen on several riders through the weekend.
On South Avenue by Lou Mac Park – the finish (and start) line. Tire pumps stand by if needed.

Cycle NC is slated to return to Oriental in 2026.

Related Links
Friday Route Maps, page 1
Friday Route Maps, page 2

Saturday Route Maps, page 1
Saturday Route Maps, page 2

Sunday Route Maps, page 1
Sunday Route Maps, page 2

Posted Wednesday May 3, 2023 by Allison DeWeese

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