The following article was written by Mark Andrews, pastor at St. Luke’s UMC in Hickory, NC, and co-founder of Cycle to Lake Junaluska.
The Holy Rollers are a group of United Methodist cyclists who ride together once a year over the course of several days leading up to the annual meeting of the Virginia Conference. I first learned about the Holy Rollers several years ago and, as an avid recreational cyclist, thought how much fun it would be to do something similar leading up to our annual conference in Western North Carolina. Thinking it would be a formidable administrative task to sponsor such a ride I let the idea sit on the back burner until casually mentioning it to another cycling preacher and friend, Doug Miller.
Through Doug’s initiative, and in partnership with Brad Farrington of the Wesley Foundation at Appalachian State University, we have launched Cycle to Lake Junaluska. A 501(c) 3 non-profit organization through the Appalachian Wesley Foundation, Cycle to Lake Junaluska is designed to promote fellowship, physical fitness through cycling, and raise monies for various ministries of the United Methodist Church in the Western North Carolina Annual Conference (WNCC).
The first ever Cycle to Lake Junaluska benefit ride will take place this June 16-18, in the days leading up to Annual Conference. Over the course of three days and 160+ miles, we will ride from the WNC Conference Center in Charlotte to Casar UMC where we will spend the first night (62 miles). The next day will bring the challenging climb to Black Mountain UMC where we will spend our second night (53 miles). The last day will be an unhurried ride in the rolling valleys circumnavigating Asheville to Lake Junaluska (47 miles).
What’s Included In The Ride:
- Indoor camping and limited RV camping
- Ken’s Bike Shop mechanic at camp (fees may apply)
- Printed maps and cue sheets
- Marked roads and route SAG support
- Rest Stops with drinks, fresh fruit & assorted snacks
- Restrooms at host sites and at some rest stops
- Shower facilities each day and night
Riders may choose to ride one day or all three. T-Shirts and cycling jerseys are available for purchase. There will also be a “swag” bag of gifts from our sponsors, including the Clergy Health Initiative’s Pastor & Parish curriculum – a wonderful resource for strengthening relations between clergy and congregations and promoting the health of pastors. As a benefit ride in support of the various campus ministries in Western North Carolina, donations will be accepted.
This year’s route is outstanding and our overnight hosts will be providing great food and activities each evening. We may not be Holy Rollers but through three days of pedaling we may certainly become “spirited spinners” of our wheels. For brochures, registration and more information go to the C2LJ website and sign up today.