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8th Annual Ticket to Ride

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The 8th annual Ticket to Ride gets underway this weekend. The on-road ride is for cyclists of all abilities to in support of the Firefly Trail. Those taking part can go various distances up to 87 miles.

Mark Ralston is president of Firefly Trail Incorporated. He says similar trails provide a variety of benefits for communities.

“Trails throughout the country provide a recreational resource, but more importantly they’re a health resource,” Ralston said. “People are able to get out and walk and ride.”

He says the are economic benefits as well.

“People will go literally across country to ride a long trail like the Firefly Trail will be. That also then generates a lot of economic impact,” Ralston said. “A study that was done about the Firefly trail in 2016 for the Department of Transportation found that when it’s finished, the Firefly trail will generate about 14.7 million dollars a year in local economic benefits.”

The ride is Saturday and there will be registration and start/finish points in Athens, Winterville, and Union Point. Registration starts at 8 a.m., the ride starts and 9 a.m.. All funds raised support the Firefly trail.

“Of course, the trail itself will be for more than bicycling. It will also be for walking, running, skating, wheelchairs, strollers,” Ralston said.

Starts in Athens at Jittery Joes on Barber Street; which will also host a community party at noon featuring beer, and band and more.

Visit www.active.com or www.fireflytrail.com for information or to register.

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