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Sumter Cycling, RVRC, team up with NPS to host 2016 “Find Your Park” century ride

From STAFF REPORTS

Jimmy Carter National Historic Site (JCNHS) and Andersonville National Historic Site (ANHS) will celebrate their “Find Your Park” centennial event during the weekend of Sept. 23-25, 2016, with a two-day bike ride through both national historic sites and three state parks, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.
“The “Find Your Park” Centennial Bike Ride is open invitation to the public to experience our parks, programs, and public lands in many different ways, including on a bike. We are especially pleased to schedule this event during beautiful biking weather here in Southwest Georgia” said JCNHS Superintendent Barbara Judy.
Through partnerships with the River Valley Regional Commission (RVRC), Sumter Cycling, SAM Shortline, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the National Park Service will host the bike ride through JCNHS, ANHS, Florence Marina State Park, Providence Canyon State Park, and Georgia Veterans State Park. Participants will also enjoy a ride on the SAM Shortline Excursion Train.
According to a press release from Sumter Cycling, “The ride offers a wonderful opportunity to see much of South Georgia “up close and personal” from the saddle of a bicycle. This is not just a well-organized and supported bike ride, but offers other opportunities such as access to National and State parks, a ride on the Sam Shortline train, and a visit with a bison family at Bison Valley. All cyclists should not miss this opportunity for a fun and interesting bike ride – good meals, rest stops often with drinks and snacks, safe camping areas and a T-shirt.  Also, a rider/ bike/camping gear vehicle provided Friday to Florence Marina and back to Plains on Sunday.”
The first day of the ride is approximately 51 miles long, with the second day’s ride being approximately 53 miles long. Registration, route maps, and the itinerary for the ride are available online at www.findyourparkride.org. Activities are also offered for non-cycling family and friends of participating cyclists who would like to visit the parks and ride the train. More information about these activities is available on the Find Your Park Ride website.
Camping on Friday night at Florence Marina and Saturday night at Georgia Veterans State Park is included in the registration cost. Riders wishing to make other arrangements for lodging should make their own reservations. Florence Marina State Park has rental cottages available. Reservations may be made by calling the park at (229) 838-4244. Riders should indicate they are participating in the Find Your Park Centennial Bike Ride when making reservations. Lodging reservations for Lake Blackshear Resort at Georgia Veterans State Park should be made by calling (229) 401-1222. Ask to speak to Kathy and tell her you are with the Find Your Park national park bicycle ride.
For more information about the Find Your Park Centennial Bike Ride, contact Julio Portillo at jportillo@rivervalleyrc.org or call (706) 256-2910.