The annual Horsey Hundred cycle event, now in its 36th year, makes its trek through the area this Memorial Day weekend, and organizers, city and county leaders are expecting a large contingent once again.

In fact, organizer Randy Thomas said they may reach record participants thanks to a warm and sunny forecast.

“We’ve got over 2,300 preregistered,” he said. “That would be the most we have had, and counting volunteers who can also ride, that will make it about 2,600-2,700.”

Sponsored by the Bluegrass Cycling Club, the event brings a huge economic impact to Georgetown and Scott County.

“Feedback from Horsey Hundred participants tells us that cyclists feel very much at home in Georgetown and return year after year for this event,” stated Lori Saunders, executive director of Georgetown/Scott County Tourism, in a press release. “Georgetown has become a more bike-friendly community because of its partnership with the Bluegrass Cycling Club and this event and appreciates all the riders and the economic contributions they make to the community when visiting.”

According to a 2016 Horsey Hundred Economic Impact Analysis by the University of Kentucky, participants typically travel with at least one spectator-friend, spend nearly three days in Georgetown, fill an average of 633 hotel rooms — and add more than $140,000 in accommodations alone to the county’s bottom line, making the event a win-win for all involved. Overall, the event is responsible for approximately $623,000 in direct and indirect expenditures throughout Georgetown and Scott County.

“An overwhelming majority of event participants are from outside of Scott County, giving us a chance to introduce everything we have to offer here in Kentucky’s Horse Headquarters and entice these visitors back,” said Saunders.

Cyclists start and finish their routes at Georgetown College, and can travel anywhere from 25 to 100 miles May 24-26.

Organizers have flipped this year’s routes, recognizing that many cyclists return each year. So, this year’s Saturday routes will be going east from Georgetown, including the Horsey Hundred Century. Sunday’s four routes will be going west, according to www.horseyhundred.com. Organizers still offered multiple route choices each day with lots of new roads. The website has route information and rest stops per route, and other information. Most cyclists start from 7:30 to 10 a.m. based on the length of their route.

Organizers and local officials emphasize the Horsey Hundred is not a race, but a chance for cyclists to share their love of the event and sport. They and motorists are reminded to follow the rules of the road and traffic laws, and tourism officials especially remind drivers to be patient and courteous to the cyclists.

“We really would like people to take a different route if they go along one of the routes the cyclists will be on,” Thomas said. “And we want our cyclists and motorists to be courteous to each other.”

Steve McClain can be reached at smcclain@news-graphic.com.

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