Johnny Ray riders return for Opelika-Roanoke route - The Randolph Leader: News

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Johnny Ray riders return for Opelika-Roanoke route

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Posted: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 9:39 am

Bicyclists from Opelika on the 105-mile Johnny Ray Centennial Saturday were greeted downtown by Roanoke Rotarians, who sponsored the rest stop, and Clarence Brown, a member of the East Alabama Cycling Club.

While 155 bikers biked, about 120 of them chose the shorter rides of 62 miles, 34 miles and 20 miles, plus the centennial, making this the most riders ever, Brown said.

About 27 came through the rest stop in Siri and Bill Wilkinson's parking lot and enjoyed the fruit, water and snacks like the popular homemade brownies.

Everything went without a hitch, Brown said, "and several people said we had the best rest stop."

Biker Will Grimsly of Clarksville, Ga. said he bikes with his uncle and this is third century they have done together. One was in the Georgia mountains and another one was from Atlanta to Columbus. He wasn't  expecting the free food at the stops and said it was a nice surprise.

"In a way it's more challenging than I thought. I thought it would be more flat. The hills aren't long but they do have some," he said. He took his time, going at his own pace and really enjoying it, he said.

Brown said one of the first riders coming in was Gary Keever.

"We'll raise more money this year than last year's $6,000," Brown said. A complete tally will be finished at the end of the week. All funds raised, minus expenses, will go to the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson's Disease. The money comes from registration fees and donations.

The riders came up Louina Road, made the rest stop, and biked back down Main Street to turn on to Chestnut Street, then out of town back to Opelika.

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