Experiencing Kentucky on two wheels: London's annual Redbud Ride kicks off

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LONDON, Ky. (WYMT) - Laurel County's annual RedBud ride began early Saturday morning giving locals and out-of-towners a chance to exercise and smell the redbud trees.

Cyclists aired up their tires and fastened their helmets for a day spent among the peace and quiet.

To join nearly 950 other bikes invited from across the country and the world, Geoff Tewalt's bike traveled on the back of his vehicle all the way from Louisville to cruise down London's main streets.

"It's beautiful this time of year," Tewalt said. "You're like flying three feet off the ground down a country road, on a hill, and you have the challenge of climbing back up the hill, weaving around turns. It's just a thrill really."

More than 100 volunteers chipped in, preparing breakfast and lunch, all to gear up riders for four different routes; 24, 34, 62, and 100 miles long.

"We'll have riders that'll be coming back in from the shorter routes, the 20 and 30-mile routes in the next hour or so," Daniel Carmack said. "Then every now and then, you'll see a few people roll in closer to 5 or 6 o'clock this evening."

Locals say for "The Cycling Capital of Kentucky," this tradition is well past a decade old.

"We're actually somewhat famous when you think about it," Brett McIntosh, a volunteer said.

So why stop a good thing? Proceeds go to Downtown London to help make a small, Eastern Kentucky city more of a destination.

"Hosting events like this is really showcasing why people love to live, work, and play in London, Kentucky," Carmack said.

But not all chose to play too hard.

"Oh we leave it to the cyclists," McIntosh said.

"Yeah, we leave it to the cyclists," Kara Fugate agreed.

"It's been a few years," he laughed.

For those who missed Saturday's event, organizers say you can follow "RedBud Ride" on Facebook for updates.

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