Get ready to ride: Monticello Bike Fest riding into town this weekend

Is there any place in North Florida that is more suited for countryside cycling treks than Jefferson County?

Those with a passion for the cycling through the great outdoors and beautiful countryside of rural Jefferson will want to get their bikes cleaned and helmets ready, because the Monticello Bike Fest will be pedaling into town next weekend, on Friday, May 10.

The Monticello-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce sponsored bike-ride is a perfect opportunity for family cycling outings as well as an opportunity for dedicated cyclists to kick up some dust on Jefferson County's dirt roads.

On May 10, at 6-8 p.m., the bike fest will begin with a Rev Cafe dinner of Chicken Jambalaya, a beer sampling and live entertainment from a band that has proven themselves to be a local-favorite: Baby Gray.

This is a perfect opportunity to meet your fellow cyclists, and enjoy a community setting before heading out.

On Saturday, May 11, the cycling will officially begin with a packet pickup and registration session at 7 a.m. at the chamber of commerce, located at 420 W. Washington St.

At 7:30 a.m., the first group of cyclists, those who will be pedaling through the Metric Century (60 miles) and Half Metric Century (30 miles) routes will leave from the starting point at the Monticello-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce.

Cyclists of the Metric Century route will leave Monticello, going briefly towards Aucilla before venturing east and north, over Greenville and into Ashville. Before completing their trek, cyclists will tour through the countryside of Jefferson County as they venture back west, into Alma, towards the northern tip of Lake Miccosukee, and then finally back to Monticello.

Cyclists of the Half-Metric Century route will travel east, towards Madison County and past the Upper Aucilla Conservation Area, before turning around and heading back to Monticello.

At 9 a.m., the cyclists who will be completing the Family Ride route (10 miles) will leave from the Chamber of Commerce.

Cyclists will want to start returning to Monticello between 11 a.m. And 1 p.m., as the Chamber will be serving a pasta salad and lasagna lunch for the cyclists prior to the cyclists' award recognition and beer garden at the Avera-Clarke Bed and Breakfast (located at 580 W. Washington St.)

Whether cycling alone, with your family or a group of friends and colleagues, this year's Monticello Bike Fest is not an event to miss!

Those who don't plan on cycling are always invited to attend, wish the cyclers speed as they leave Monticello and celebrate their return once they ride back into town.

For more information about the Monticello Bike Fest, contact the Monticello-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce and Jefferson County Tourist Development Council at (850) 997-5552.