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You might see a lot of people riding bicycles in Caroline County on Saturday.
The Heart of Virginia Bike Festival will take a group of over 500 bicyclists through portions of Hanover, Caroline, and King William.
The all-day event will start and end at Hanover Courthouse, beginning at 8 a.m. and finishing at 4 p.m.
Bikers will follow a 101-mile route. Most of it, about 90 miles, will be in Caroline. The participants will bike mainly through the Dawn, Sparta, and Milford areas. Some participants will do a smaller route of only 30 or 60 miles.
The event will benefit Hanover Habitat for Humanity and the Richmond Area Bicycling Association.
The bike riders will get a send-off from a fife and drum band in the morning. They’ll get a barbecue meal when they return and live music by a contemporary band.
There is another Caroline connection to the event. George Bean of Ruther Glen will be overseeing a group of about 8-10 ‘ham’ radio operators who will provide communications services. They will help staff a control center at Hanover Courthouse plus four or five rider assistance vehicles and some of the rest stops on the route.
The radio operators will take phone calls from bike riders needing assistance or reporting conditions. This year they will add text messaging, e-mail, and a Twitter feed to provide information on the course, weather conditions, and more.
The Heart of Virginia Bike Festival has been an annual event for 12 years, but this year’s course is entirely different.
More information about the festival can be found on the event web site at www.heartofvabikefestival.org.
Route maps with cue sheets (turn lists) and GPX files for GPS units can be found at www.heartofvabikefestival.org/routes.htm.