Tennessee State Parks has announced that the Bicycle Ride Across Tennessee (BRAT) will be a virtual event this year for the health and safety of riders and park personnel.
"This is a great event for cyclists across our state, and the virtual format will allow everyone to participate while still practicing social distancing," Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, said. "It's a way to maintain personal goals but still follow safety guidelines in light of COVID-19."
Under the virtual format of the month-long event, Sept. 1-30, riders can log their miles on lovetoride.net as part of the Bicycle Ride Across Tennessee Cycling Club. The goal is for participants to ride 688 miles, the distance from Bristol to Memphis, in the month of September. Since this year is the 31st annual Bicycle Ride Across Tennessee, the club has a goal of 31,000 miles collectively.
In the past, riders would take out-and-back rides together. The virtual ride encourages riders to keep riding with shared goals in an online community and with shared routes across the state. The ride is non-competitive.
The cost to participate is $150. Riders can register at https://tnstateparks.com/blog/the-bicycle-ride-across-tennessee-is-brining-riders-together-virtually and connect with the BRAT on its Facebook page.
All participants will receive:
- Access to trusted routes from past BRAT rides at multiple Tennessee State Parks through Ride with GPS
- 2020 BRAT jersey and T-shirt
- Eligibility to win prizes throughout September
- Access to invitation-only small group rides located across the state of Tennessee with the BRAT director
- The opportunity to build your own cycling vacation around the provided routes with lodging at Tennessee State Parks
- The opportunity to enjoy park activities and guided programs just like you would at the normal Bike Ride Across Tennessee
Participants do not have to live in Tennessee to participate and are welcome to log their miles any way they choose, including road cycling, indoor cycling, gravel or mountain biking.
Proceeds go to the development and protection of the Cumberland Trail, a 300-mile-long footpath down the eastern edge of the Cumberland Mountains, and the Tennessee Park Rangers Association, which provides scholarships and training for park rangers throughout the state to continue education in order to provide the highest level of protection for Tennessee State Parks.