The Kiwanis Club of Mayfield will be holding their annual BAM! Bicycle tour on Wednesday, July 4th. An acronym for “Bicycle Around Mayfield!” the event coincides with the town’s Glory Days Festival that features vendor booths, food, a custom car and motorcycle show, and live music around the courthouse square. iSupport biking around Mayfield for charity!

The 2018 BAM! Bicycle tour starts at the Icehouse Gallery at 120 North 8th Street - one block north of Broadway in Mayfield. The tour has routes of 11, 21, 32 and 60 miles...a route for every level of fitness and biking experience.

BAM! is the Kiwanis Club’s principle fundraiser and all its members turn out to make it a fun and safe day. Riders are escorted by Mayfield Police out East Broadway to the Golo Road turnoff. Rest stops are positioned along the way offering cold water, Gatorade and nutritious snacks.

Support drivers, along with an experienced doctor, will be along the routes providing assistance to riders who are in need of equipment or medical attention. The rest stops are run by Kiwanis members and their wives along with the help of Gloria Galloway and the folks at the Laurel Oaks Garden Club. Portable toilets are placed at every rest stop beyond the first one on the 11-mile route at Bethel Church on Backusburg Road.

It’s the 11th consecutive year of the event. The tour began as the Glory Days Bike Ride and was held on the Saturday nearest July 4. Renamed BAM!, it was moved to the actual holiday several years ago so that more bicyclists would get a chance to participate.

One of the most popular of several similar rides in the region, BAM! has attracted a strong following. The ride is routed along gently rolling hills surrounded by corn and tobacco farms using lightly traveled picturesque rural roads.

A ride for every level

The 11-mile route is popular among the young and beginner riders. Apart from a couple of small hills on Golo Road, the terrain is generally flat and unchallenging. Riders have a nice downhill run on Backusburg Road as they ride back into town.

The terrain becomes a bit hillier as the routes get longer. These longer routes are popular among the more experienced riders, including Tom Gee from Paris, Tennessee and Chris Rowland and his wife Kelly from Mayfield. All are frequent return participants in the event.

Tom Gee is the current State Champion in the 60+ Road Race category for Tennessee. He also holds the American record for number of finishes of the Paris-Brest-Paris distance race in France, and recently placed 11th in the Time Trial and 14th in the Road Race in the National Criterium Championship in North Carolina.

A former runner, Chris Rowland took up cycling in 2010 after ankle surgery. He rides up to five times weekly, ranging from 15-35 miles each ride. Looking for a worthy cause, he began raising money through his cycling for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. His riding is motivated by “the hope that our children and grandchildren will never experience the fear and helplessness of hearing the words: ‘You have cancer.’”

Peddling for a good cause

The proceeds from the event help finance the Kiwanis Club’s many programs that enrich the lives of children throughout the community. These include maintenance of the facilities at Kiwanis Park, the Christmas coat give-away program and the college scholarship assistance program for talented students from Mayfield and Graves County High Schools.

Riders can pre-register online, by mail, or in person on the morning of the event. The ride fee is $35 and the Club will be considering special pricing for riders under 16 who are accompanied by an adult; this will be announced later and refunds will be made if the rate changes.

Pre-registration ended on June 15 but your choice of a free T-shirts and Polar bottles are available while supplies last. Registration opens at 6:30am at the Icehouse on the morning of the event; the ride begins at 8. Motorists are asked to use extreme caution when passing cyclists on the road, particularly around rest stops where cyclists are maneuvering among crowds of volunteers and participants.

More information is available by phoning the Icehouse at 270.247.6971.