A flood of cyclists rolled through Elkin earlier this week when the Cycle NC Mountains to Coast Ride came through town.
Nearly a thousand riders pedaled their way to the town on the southern-most border of Surry County on Sunday, most camping out for the night before continuing on with their way Monday morning.
Arriving throughout the afternoon and into the evening, some of the late-arriving riders were not able to take advantage of the extra activities that took place in downtown Elkin, however all the riders seemed impressed with what parts and people they did encounter.
“The most I’ve seen is just here [at Elkin Municipal Park],” said Duane White from Franklin. “I think it’s an awesome park. You can tell by all the people that were here when we got here [that] a lot of people enjoy this place.”
White also enjoyed it saying it was an excellent location for the CNC riders to spend the night. “They’ve got a lot of space. It’s an awesome recreational center. They do a great job here.”
Dennis “Huffy” Huff with Bubba’s Pampered Peddlers agreed. “It’s a beautiful park [and] well maintained. I’ve had representatives from your city and businesses come by and tell us about the different events and services we can get in your city. I’ve been very much impressed by Elkin.”
“We just finished up the first leg of the ride today and got the privilege of coming to your town,” said Will Roff, who was particularly impressed with the hospitality.
“Everybody opened up special for us to invite us downtown to enjoy what you have here. Thanks to all of the merchants for doing this on a Sunday.”
Traveling with a group from Charleston, South Carolina, most of whom are in the Air Force, Roff said he plans to return to Elkin now that he knows what the town right off I-77 has to offer.
“It’s been marvelous. The friendliness of the people is outstanding, beyond anything else you find in America as we travel around,” said Roff. “Thank you for hosting us.”
Roff’s wife also was pleased with the town as a new rider with CNC noting its geographical attributes first.
“This is my first time on this ride. It’s a little bit of a stretch for me, but it’s been fun. We were very happy that coming into Elkin was downhill,” said Cherie Roff, who said she would come back to visit Elkin “in a heartbeat.”
“It’s got a very unique flavor to it,” said Cherie. “It’s got some character. It’s still got that old world [feel to it], but it’s just a little bit modern. I think it’s very cute.”
“I have had an extremely enjoyable time in Elkin,” said Huff, who is from Missouri. “My wife and I are talking about maybe coming back to North Carolina in the spring because of a lot of the friends I have met in this area.”
That’s good news for the locals who worked hard to make a good impression.
Ken Wu with the Yadkin Valley Rotary Club was proud of his volunteers as he attempted to keep up with the need for coffee early Monday morning at the breakfast provided by Mazzini’s at the Elkin Presbyterian Church.
“We’ve had a lot of volunteers from the church and the Rotary club,” explained Wu. “It worked out very good. It is good that we are hospitable. There’s a wonderful group of people here.”
“Cycle NC overnight stay was a great success for Elkin,” said Mayor Sam Bishop, who witnessed a steady flow of people at the downtown restaurants Sunday evening. “I had the opportunity to speak with several riders and they were all complimentary of our hospitality. Everything seemed to go well. It was really great to have over 1,000 visitors spend a night in the area.”
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.