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TarWheel Cycling Event in Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Posted on 01/13/2020 by Visit Elizabeth City

TarWheel Cycling - Courtesy of The Daily Advance

***Due to COVID-19 health concerns, the 2020 TarWheel Cycling Event is being postponed. Date to be decided.***

The TarWheel Cycling Event is perfect for all ages & levels, and the variety of routes wind their way through picturesque North Carolina. There’s so much to do before and after, so why not make a weekend of it? Here are some great ways to get ready for a TarWheel weekend in Elizabeth City, North Carolina:


What is “TarWheel”, anyway?What is “TarWheel”, anyway?

The name of the bike ride is a play on “Tar Heel”, a nickname for a North Carolinian. Its exact roots are unknown, although some believe that it’s due to tar being an important early export for the state. The term gained proud popularity during the Civil War when Confederate General Robert E. Lee praised "the Tar Heel Boys." Ask TarWheelers for their own version of the story!


Learn about the RideLearn about the Ride

This year, the TarWheel Cycling Event  will take place on Saturday, April 18. The ride takes place on perfect terrain, as the course spans a scenic, flat countryside. It starts in downtown Elizabeth City, and you’ll ride along the waterfront, cruising by farmlands and historic homes passing Carolinian wildlife such as horses, songbirds, and turtles.

Before the event even starts, you can enjoy the complimentary coffee, water, juice, and light snacks. During the event, get a great boost with the Support and Gear Stops along the way featuring the famous devilled eggs, banana bread, smoothies, sweet potato biscuits, and more. After you’ve crossed the finish line, refuel on hot dogs and cold drinks.


How to Sign-UpHow to Sign Up

Registration is now open, and if you do so before February 29th, there’s an early bird discount! New to the TarWheel? Have no fear! The event has 33, 62, or 100 mile rides, with the optional, shorter 1 mile to 5 mile “Fun Rides” for those looking for a more relaxed experience.  


TarWheel Cycling ScheduleTarWheel Cycling Schedule 

We encourage you to make a weekend of the event! If you pick up your packet early on Friday in Pailin’s Alley (606 E. Colonial Ave), you’ll get a ticket for a free craft beer at Ghost Harbor and a chance to hang out with fellow cycling enthusiasts!

There are plenty of events in Elizabeth City, too, along with gatherings for cyclists after the ride on Saturday, and optional rides on Sunday. Stop by the waterfront and the Museum of the Albemarle to visit the family-friendly Love Your River event, featuring water activities, demonstrations and education exhibits.

While enjoying Elizabeth City, be sure to check out the excellent restaurants especially the ones downtown near the TarWheel action. Since Elizabeth City is nestled along the coast, you’ll also want to try the superb seafood – notably, the iconic oyster bar.


Places to StayPlaces to Stay 

Your weekend will be complete with great and affordable Hotel and B&B options, all about a 10-minute bike to the downtown starting line. Additionally, at the Comfort Inn, Days Inn, Fairfield Inn, and Hampton Inn, ask for TarWheel Discount! You can even make it a romantic weekend by staying at one of Elizabeth City’s Bed & Breakfasts, which are almost all in easy walking distance of the ride.

With so much to do and see, you won’t want to miss out on the 27th Annual TarWheel Cycling Event this spring in Elizabeth City, North Carolina! Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to keep up-to-date on the ride and other great happenings all year long!

Stop by and say hello to us while you're here and remember to share your trip pics with us #VisitECity and tell us about your favorite EC adventures.

Photos courtesy of The Daily Advance, Karl Bowden and Liza Franco.

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