More than 500 bicycle enthusiasts are expected to participate in North Fork's 21st annual Grizzly Century Bicycle Ride this Saturday.
The Grizzly Century began as a vision of North Fork's Mike Nolen, who recruited a small group of supporters. From the beginning, it has been a community event with the purpose of providing a quality 'century' bicycle ride as well as raise money for community activities, with a focus on the Sierra Vista National Scenic Byway.
Riders from around the state and nation return year after year to ride the Grizzly, whose route follows much of the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway, leaving North Fork, heading to Arch Rock, returning to Grizzly Road, going through Cold Springs Summit and down Beasore Road and around Bass Lake, before returning to North Fork.
Riders have choices of shorter rides, including the Century Ride (63 miles) and the Loop the Lake (24 miles).
"Riders praise the Grizzly for its fantastic scenery, challenging climbs, lack of traffic, beautiful fall weather, great food, and the friendliness of the volunteers." Nolen said.
Most of the more than 70 event volunteers are non-riders, who just enjoy working the event and supporting the community.
"Most of the volunteers have been helping for years at registration, rest stops, driving around assisting riders, and with radio communications," Nolen said. "The food always gets rave reviews, from the Lion's Club breakfast, to Roz Thrapp's cinnamon rolls, to Judy Nolen's family's sushi, to the Forest Service barbecue."
According to some Grizzly board members, the most satisfying part of the event is that the profits all go back to the community. Projects over the years have included repairs and upgrades to Redinger Overlook and Mile High Vista, the town totem pole, school assemblies, assistance to the volunteer fire departments, North Fork History Group, scholarships, and summer reading programs.
Also on Saturday, the North Fork Women's Club will host the Fall Festival with a large variety of arts and crafts at the old mill site, and the North Fork History Group will have a display of historic photographs at the Scout Building, across the parking lot from the Town Hall.
Event registration for the Grizxly Century is $50 single, $95 tandem and $45 single, $85 tandem for the Loop the Lake.
Details: Mike Nolen, (559) 877-2218, grizzlycentury.org.