RUTHERFORDTON — After being canceled last year due to COVID-19, the Tour De Pumpkin 50K and 100K ride is back.

The event, which is sponsored by the Rutherford Outdoor Coalition (ROC), will be Saturday, Oct. 2 in Rutherfordton. All proceeds benefit Rutherford Housing Partnership (RHP) and Youth Cycling throughout Rutherford County. The ride begins at 9:30 a.m. with registration between 8-9:15 a.m. The cost of registration on the day of the race is $25. A registration booth will be located on Main Street near the corner of 4th and Main in Rutherfordton. Online registration can be completed by 12 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 30 for $20.

There will be a post-ride meal as well as door prizes. Both races feature great end-of-the-season rollercoaster rides including 4,440 feet of cumulative climbing in the 100K race and 2,200 feet of cumulative climbing in the 50K race.

The 50K ride is approximately 33.9 miles and the 100K ride is approximately 64 miles.

“The race features a lot of ups and downs,” said ROC President Jerry Stensland. “We start and finish in downtown Rutherfordton. The ride goes west and north of town toward Lake Lure. We will be on Cove Road, Painters Gap Road and County Line Road in the Green Hill and Union Mills area.”

After not having the race a year ago, Stensland is glad to have it back.

“We’re super excited to have some normalcy come back,” he said. “We think these are the things that people have been longing to do and with it being an outside event, we feel it is safe to do it. We’re excited. We’ve had probably 65 cyclists register already and we expect about 125 or so in total.”

Stensland also discussed what the Youth Cycling program is all about.

“Youth Cycling is a partnership with the Safe Routes to School program,” he said. “ROC owns a bicycle trailer, which we bought with grant money from Eaton Corporation. Covid put halt on a lot of things including the Youth Cycling program, but we are getting ready to outfit that trailer with a fleet of youth bicycles and take it around and do bicycle events with youths, either in a school setting or anywhere really.”

For more information, visit ROC’s website at rutherfordoutdoor.org.