Volunteer State Community College is hosting a day of bicycling fun for the fourth year in a row, but now under the title "Vol State Cap and Gown Ride." The name change from "Vol State Cycling Classic" reflects a new focus for the event. It's designed to raise awareness and book scholarship money for adults starting a college degree or coming back to college to finish a degree. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam calls the effort the "Drive to 55." The goal is to have 55 percent of adult Tennesseans equipped with a college degree or certificate by the year 2025. It's an important part of the Vol State mission.
The Cap and Gown Ride, like the former Cycling Classic, is a fun day of riding, with food and entertainment. The music and atmosphere are something riders point out as different from other rides in Tennessee.
"Many musicians and entertainers from Vol State's Music Department performed, encompassing many different types of music," said cyclist Tim Mullis of the 2016 ride. "It was actually one of the few times that I hung around after the ride, and after lunch, just to hear the music. All in all, a great ride."
The Cap and Gown event features three different rides, depending on ability and interest. The routes travel through scenic roads across Sumner County. There will be a 15- mile Fitness Tour; a 33-mile Half Metric Century Tour; and a 63 mile Metric Century Tour. The tours will start and finish on the Vol State campus in Gallatin. There will be rest stops along the way for food, hydration, first aid and restrooms. The Metric Century Tour leaves at 8 a.m. The Half Metric Century will depart at 8:15 a.m. and the Fitness Tour will get underway at 8:30 a.m. When riders finish, the college will have an event with barbecue, beverages and live music. Changing facilities and showers will also be available.
The ride cost is $40 for advance registration and $45 on May 12 or 13 at the site. Riders will get a t-shirt and a goody bag. Only riders who sign up by April 21 are guaranteed to receive a shirt in their size of preference. Route maps for each tour and a link to the registration page can be found at www.volstate.edu/cycling.
Business Credit Reports is the Metric Century Ride Sponsor for 2017. There are still opportunities for sponsorships. For more information about the ride and sponsorships contact the Vol State College Foundation at 615-230-3506 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteer State Community College has more than 90 programs of study and offers two-year degrees, certificates and paths to university transfer. Continuing Education and Workforce Development extends the college mission to the entire community. For more information, visit volstate.edu.