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Beech Mountain Metric rolling into gear

By Jamie Shell (jamie.shell@averyjournal.com)



Article Published: Aug. 22, 2013 | Modified: Aug. 22, 2013
Beech Mountain Metric rolling into gear

Blood, Sweat and Gears Inc. president Scott Nelson addresses Beech Mountain business owners at an informational meeting at Mile High Tavern on Monday, Aug. 19.

Photo by Jamie Shell



A premier event with the backing of a proven commodity can go far.

That is the hope of many business owners in Beech Mountain who attended an informational meeting at Mile High Tavern on Monday, as Buckeye Recreation Center director and Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce director Tim Fox and Blood Sweat and Gears Inc. president Scott Nelson announced that Beech Mountain Metric, a bike ride circuiting 63 miles and encompassing Beech Mountain and portions of Valle Crucis and surrounding area, will take place beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 17, 2014.

According to Fox, who spoke briefly to open the meeting before introducing Nelson, Beech Mountain Metric is a collaborative effort between the Beech Mountain chamber and BS&G Events Inc. to bring a top-tier cycling event to the Beech Mountain area and move toward similar success as that experienced in the 15 years of the Blood, Sweat and Gears event.

Fox said that approximately 750 riders are expected to participate in the inaugural Beech Mountain Metric.

Nelson detailed the success experienced by the Blood, Sweat and Gears event in Watauga County and its financial and philanthropic impact on the area.

Nelson also explained why the event is successful in terms of a three-legged stool, with the legs representing volunteerism, riders and partnerships with the event, with the organizing group serving as the event’s platform.

Nelson informed attendees of the history of Blood, Sweat and Gears and its maiden mission as a fundraising effort for the American Red Cross, and that for the past three years, BS&G has been a nonprofit organization that hosts 1,200 riders and donates $100,000 to charities, including the American Red Cross, Watauga County fire departments, sheriff’s office and rescue squads.

“Those groups were with us from day one, when we were 70 people standing in a parking lot,” Nelson said.

Nelson went on to explain how the ride is collectively owned by all who participate, and how the two-year agreement for himself and BS&G to oversee operations for Beech Mountain Metric before turning operations over to the town will improve the chances of the event becoming a lasting legacy and coveted race for riders, volunteers and tourists to participate in.

“A benefit of Blood, Sweat and Gears working to oversee Beech Mountain Metric is that we already have 15 years behind us — 15 years of learning from mistakes and how to do things the right way,” Nelson said. “We have the know-how to know how to do this, and we’ll do this better than anyone else can.”

Nelson compared the potential of Beech Mountain Metric to previous events, such as the Tour DuPont, and current events, like BS&G, that have generated excitement for cycling in the High Country and feels that excitement can be replicated again.

“We want people on board who are as committed as we are to making this race work. I think we can recreate the magic on Beech, and I think that magic is transferable. The secret isn’t going through a checklist and simple execution of tasks. Anybody can do that, and many rides are failing,” Nelson said. “The difference is in partnerships and with our volunteers. We have 200 volunteers with BS&G that are moving in the same direction and caring for the same philosophy that we have, and that’s how we treat our riders.

“One of my favorite sayings is that people know the difference between a crusade and a charade and commit themselves accordingly. I think we have come across to our riders as being on a crusade, and they have rewarded us with repeat appearances in our rides. We need your support, and we need support from business owners and individuals who think that what we’re doing is right for this community.”

Beech Mountain Metric can be found on Facebook and has launched a website that is found by visiting http://www.beechmountainmetric.org. Online registration has already begun for the inaugural ride.
For more information, visit http://www.beechmountainmetric.org or email Nelson at (sconelson@aol.com)

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