All right, cyclists. It’s time to get out the bikes, pump up the tires and grease the gears. Just in time to welcome the spring cycling season, the Beech Mountain Metric on Saturday, May 20, invites riders to challenge themselves with a mountaintop climb.

The 61-mile ride has 8,000 feet of climbing. Whew, talk about some leg burn!

If you’re not quite up to that distance, there’s a 43-mile ride with 5,700 feet of climbing. Or the newest addition to the event is a 23-mile loop without the steep climb. All three options begin at the Historic Banner Elk School in neighboring Banner Elk.

The metric also welcomes teams of five people. Round up some of your fit friends and ride together to score your time as a team.

I’m more of a spectator myself, taking in the view from the comfort of my favorite tree, but my cyclist friends love the metric because of the beautiful scenery and the warm welcome our town provides to visitors.

Many of our fine lodges, hotels, condos and vacation homes are available at a discount during the metric weekend. Get 20 percent off your lodging, or stay three nights for the price of two. A soak in one of those hot tubs will feel mighty good after a long bike ride.

Local restaurants are also offering a 10 percent meal discount. Enjoy dinner with a view at Beech Alpen Restaurant, some pizza at Bullwinkle’s, or wings and a pint at Famous Fast Eddie’s.

Registration for the Beech Mountain Metric is open now, so go ahead and make plans to meet me on the mountain May 20.

Yours truly,
Boomer the Squirrel

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