(Knoxville, TN) On Saturday, June 24, 2017 the USA Cycling National Championship weekend in Knoxville starts out with a fun ride, Pedal for the Red, benefiting the American Red Cross of East Tennessee. Pedal for the Red marks 100 years of service for the Red Cross in Tennessee.
For recreational riders, Pedal for the Red is a great way to kick off the championship weekend. On June 24, Pedal for the Red riders will inaugurate the pro time trial course from 7:30 to 9:30 am, before the USA Pro Time Trial competitions get underway. The Pedal welcomes riders of all ages and levels, and supports the vital work of the Red Cross East Tennessee. It’s a unique opportunity for amateur cyclists to experience a professional course and be part in the weekend’s cycling events.
This is the first year for Pedal for the Red, but it marks a century of Red Cross service in Tennessee. For 100 years, (1917 – 2017) the Red Cross has provided shelter, support and relief during disasters and continues to provide other vital services including support for military and their families, aid to victims of home fires and on-going educational training.
“We are largely a volunteer driven organization,” said Sharon Hudson, Executive Director, Red Cross East Tennessee. “During the recent wildfires in Sevier County, our committed and highly trained volunteers spent days and weeks helping others in our community.”
WATE anchor, Lori Tucker, and former University of Tennessee quarterback, Heath Shuler, will lead Pedal riders on a 4.8 mile course along closed Knoxville streets. The ride begins on East Jackson Ave. in Knoxville’s Old City, and winds along car free streets to Neyland Drive and back along South Central St. to the start/finish line. For two hours, the pro time trial course will be open only for the Pedal. Riders can do one lap or as many as they can in the two hours.
Riders can help “Celebrate the Red” with a free red t-shirt and a complimentary pancake breakfast following the ride. The pancake breakfast will be served near the start/finish line providing Pedal for the Red participants a great location to watch as the Pro Time Trials determine the national champions.
“We’ve worked with our partners, USA Cycling and Visit Knoxville, to make Pedal for the Red an experience the entire community can enjoy,” said Christy Phillips, event chair. “During this exciting competitive weekend, we’re offering a cycling event that is open to everyone. It’s a great representation of the spirit of the Red Cross.”
The idea for Pedal for the Red began at Blackberry Farm with the late Sam Beall who valued family friendly, outdoor experiences like cycling. Beall shared his thoughts with Joe Thompson, Red Cross Board member, and the idea for the annual Pedal for the Red was born.
Registration and additional information can be found at pedalforthered.org. In addition to riding the Pedal for the Red, volunteers are needed for the full weekend of events. Cyclists can ride the Pedal for the Red and then volunteer for the professional events.
Participants and non-participants are encouraged to help support the work of the Red Cross East Tennessee through https://www.crowdrise.com/pedal-for-the-red.
Pedal for the Red is proudly presented by Phillips & Jordan.
Follow on Twitter @PedalfortheRed or like on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pedalforthered/.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.
For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit on Twitter at @RedCross.