Mike Palmeri the proud owner of Cartecay River Bicycle Shop located in Ellijay, Georgia, created the Italian Road Bike Festival to celebrate the start of the Classic Road Bike Races in Italy that take place in the spring, and…. because Mike is an Italian! It started out as an organized ride garnering about 50 – 70 enthusiasts and has evolved into a full blown multi route, supported bike ride that attracts riders from as far away as Canada. The support of sponsors has enabled the Bike Shop to donate the proceeds to the Greater Gilmer Community Foundation for parking and restroom facilities in the new Harrison Park, and the Ellijay Mountain Bike Association to build new mountain bike trail. This year the ride date was moved up to coincide with Mike Palmeri’s birthday, and to celebrate, we are hosting a VIP Party Friday night with Italian food.
The long ride – 94 miler, Tour de Ellijay is a tough route, with strenuous climbs and some of the most spectacular views on Burnt Mountain and Fort Mountain, and, when you are not expecting it – some sneaky little steep climbs. Yes, we are sadistic. An often asked question is, why don’t we make an even 100 miles? You don’t ask that question after riding the 94 miles, you are glad you don’t have to ride another 6. But, with well stocked strategic Sag Stops you can make it. The middle ride – 65 miler, Marco Pantini is a tough ride also which includes the 7.5 mile climb over Fort Mountain. You have bragging rights if you can do it. And for folks like me – the short ride (43 miler), Gianni Bugno is just right. With just a few short climbs and gorgeous scenery it is a delightful ride on smooth roads with not a lot of traffic. You feel you have accomplished something when you finish.
And that’s not all – after completing the long, middle or short rides you are treated to an authentic Italian lunch that includes cannolis for dessert. The lunch is vegetarian and gluten free. The cannolis are not gluten free, so there will be another dessert option.
Ride Starts at 9:00am in beautiful downtown Ellijay, Georgia at the Dalton State College Gilmer Center, 103 Dalton St, GA 30540. Off of the downtown circle, turn right on Broad St, then the first right and park in parking lot on left.
Packet Pickup will start at 7:30am.
$40 registration fee includes supported ride, lunch, cannoli and a t-shirt (must register by March 23, 2013). Register early, ride is capped at 350 participants.
$65 VIP Package includes Mike’s Birthday Party the night before; with Italian food, beer, wine (Fri., April 5th, 7 – 9p) and registration fee. Must register by March 23rd.
Registration options - Active.com or download registration and waiver form and mail them (must be postmarked by 3/23/2013) with a check payable to Cartecay River Bicycle Shop, PO Box 126, Cherrylog, GA 30522; or pick up registration and waiver form from the Cartecay River Bicycle Shop, 123 N. Main St, Ellijay, GA 30540 (706- 635-2453). We cannot guarantee a t-shirt or lunch if registered after the cut-off date of 3/23/2013.
Bicycle Friendly Lodging – BEST WESTERN Mountain View Inn 706-515-1500
Side Note: Mike’s birthday is during the festival so be sure to wish him a Happy Birthday when you see him.
Terry and Mike Palmeri
Cartecay River Bicycle Shop