Thomas County was well-represented in the 40th annual Bicycle Ride Across Georgia that started in the mountains of north Georgia at Ellijay.
The 430-mile bicycle journey started at 1,000 feet above sea level with riders climbing to 3,000 feet over the first 20 miles to the top of Burnt Mountain. The ride proceeded down the rolling hills of middle Georgia and ended at Darien at sea level on the Georgia coast just north of Brunswick. There were overnight stays at Gainesville, Covington, Milledgeville, Swainsboro and Hinesville with camps at schools, colleges and community centers.
Six local riders joined over 1,000 biking enthusiasts from 33 states on Sunday, June 2 for the trip that ended on Saturday, June 8. The Thomas County team consisted of several veteran riders — Dr. Jim Story, 26 consecutive years; Robin Bullard, 17 consecutive years; George Washington, 15 years; Jerry Reagan, 13 years; Vickie Reagan, 13 years and Beth Sayers, 12 years.
Story, Jerry and Vickie Reagan and Washington all medaled in the 40th annual BRAG.
Started in 1980 as the brainchild of Dot Morris of Savannah, BRAG was inspired by a similar tour in Iowa. The first event then known as the Georgia State Bicycling Event took cyclists from Savannah to Columbus. Since then, a multitude of routes have criss-crossed Georgia.
In 1994 and 2003, BRAG started in Bainbridge and spent Sunday nights in Thomasville.