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Cyclists pedal across Georgia, stop in Liberty

POSTED: June 30, 2007 5:02 a.m.

An estimated 1,800 riders are expected to arrive in Hinesville today as the 27th annual Bike Ride Across Georgia (BRAG) makes a pit stop in Liberty County.
The annual ride began in 1980 under the guidance of Dot Moss of Liberty County.
Moss was inspired from a tour she took in Iowa known as RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa).
The ride enabled families, friends and strangers from all over the United States to cycle together and tour Iowa in a non-competitive manner.
Moss thought the idea for a ride would be great to promote the state of Georgia. The event started out as the Great GASBE (Georgia’s Annual State Bicycling Event) with the first ride beginning in Savannah and ending in Columbus.
Throughout the ride, cyclists would stop at different destinations and camp out overnight. That journey started with 120 cyclists and ended with 60.
In 1981, the GASBE II reversed its direction and 152 riders traveled from Eufaula, Ala., to Savannah.
By 1984, the tour had grown to over 287 cyclists and traveled a 335-mile route, which began in Helen.
In that same year Moss retired from the director’s position, but the ride had gained the respect of the Southern Bicycle League.
Jerry Colley of Lilburn organized a meeting of interested people and kept the ride alive.
The Coastal Bicycle Touring Club of Savannah volunteered to serve as the coordinating club for the 1985 tour and the name, Bicycle Ride Across Georgia (BRAG), was adopted. Since then the annual; ride has grown in attendance and continues to promote our area.
This year, the bikers left the Columbus Civic Center on Saturday and began the ride to Americus. Then, they made their way to Cordele, and on to Douglas for a two-day stay. They left Douglas and headed towards Baxley.
They planned to leave Baxley early this morning and are scheduled to arrive in Hinesville sometime around noon where they will gather at Bradwell Institute.
Saturday morning, they ride the final length of their journey towards Savannah for a gathering at Daffin Park, where Moss will be the keynote speaker.

BRAG to pass through post
FORT STEWART — The Bike Ride Across Georgia will be passing through Fort Stewart on highways 119 and 144 from Pembroke toward Hinesville on Friday and Saturday.
About 1,800 bicyclists are expected to participate in this year’s BRAG.
Motorists are urged to exercise caution and look out for bicyclists Friday and Saturday while driving on Fort Stewart’s highways. 
The bicyclists are passing through the Fort Stewart training area on their way to Bradwell Institute in Hinesville for an overnight stop.
BRAG is an annual odyssey of discovery of Georgia by bicycle. BRAG is a family-oriented tour and not a race. It is recreational, social, and, in many ways, educational.
While a strenuous journey, BRAG has been completed  by all types of people:  college students and first graders, judges and  soldiers, teachers and grandparents.

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