Local bike shop hosts annual cycling race

Despite the frequent weather changes, Gear Up Cycles hosted their 3rd annual Sucker Punch bike race on Saturday to punch their way into the spring riding season.

This year approximately $1,500 in funds were raised at the event. The proceeds went to the Murray State Cycling team. The 72 participants performed a 30, 60 or 100-mile race through southern Calloway County.

The 30- and 60-mile routes started in Murray at the Gear Up Cycles shop and went through Bell City, Crossland, Hazel and then North on Highway 893, back through Hazel on to Highway 783 and ending back in Murray. The 100-mile route also started at the Gear Up Cycles shop and went East through Lynn Grove, Bell City, North through Mayfield then turning East on Highway 299 following all the way East of Highway 641 turning South through Freeland and ending back in Murray.

While some people dressed in traditional cycling outfits, some wore bright clothes, colorful tutus and decorated helmets. All participants were required to obey traffic laws and wear a helmet.

“I enjoyed riding this year,” said Meredith Voller, alumna from Hazel, Ky. “It is definitely a challenge to ride for such a long period of time but it was all worth it and the money is going to support a wonderful club sport at Murray.”

The money raised is to be given to the Murray State Cycling team. The team is not sponsored by the school, and therefore is not given a budget. In order to have the club they must raise money themselves and have sponsors.

According to the Gear Up Cycling website, the team currently has eight members and was founded in 2000. The team is dvision 2 and competes in the Midwest Collegiate Cycling Conference.

In order to compete in various competitions, the team needs to pay for race fees, transportation, special training events and team kits. Their mission is to represent Murray State and the Murray community through competitive and casual cycling, and to increase awareness of cycling in order to promote health and wellness.

“We depend on the Sucker Punch event to raise money for funding for races, rides and equipment,” said Michael Agnew, president of the cycling team from Murray.

Matt Falwell owner of Gear Up Cycles said they are planning on continuing their fundraiser next year in hopes the event grows.

Story by Kelsey Randolph, Staff writer.