On June 4, bicycling enthusiasts will converge on Confluence, Somerset County to take part in the 15th Annual "River and Wind Challenge" on the Great Allegheny Passage Trail.
This event is not a race, but a fun ride, which is a challenge for many in terms of distance. Cyclists can choose either the 22 mile ride or the 62 mile ride, and everyone who completes the challenge will receive a medal.
Proceeds benefit individuals and families in need of utility and housing assistance, medication, back to school supplies, emergency disaster services and more.
In addition, as you pedal for the less fortunate, you will enjoy a nearly level trail along winding rivers, shaded valleys, traditional small towns, bridges and windmills on The Great Allegheny Passage, touted as one of America's best bicycle trails.
Another benefit of The River and Wind Challenge is that it brings business to small local establishments located along the trail. For instance, a lot of out of town riders will stay at local Bed and Breakfasts.
The 62 mile challenge begins with registration at 7 a.m., and the 22 mile ride starts with lunch and registration at 11 a.m.
Participants should end at the starting point and will be treated to dinner between the hours of 3 and 5 p.m. back in Confluence where the rides began.
Past and current sponsors of the River and Wind Challenge include: Luther P. Miller, Inc.; Hannah House Bed & Breakfast in Confluence; Confluence Cyclery; Somerset Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Levi Deal Mansion Bed & Breakfast in Meyersdale; Somerset Trust Company; Parker House Bed & Breakfast in Confluence; Shaffer Oil; Somerset Orthopedics; Bicycle Pedaler & Outfitter; Daily American; and Donegal Subway.
There are only a few days left to take advantage of the "Early Bird Discount" by registering no later than April 30. You can register online, or call The Salvation Army Somerset Service Center at 412-445-9232.
The early bird registration fee is $55, and after April 30th increases to $60 per person. The fee includes both lunch and dinner; fresh fruit, snacks and refreshments along the trail; and a T-Shirt and award for finishing.For more information, visit the River and Wind Challenge webpage.