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Riders line up at the start/finish line for the 2013 BSG. Last year’s event sold out for the 50-mile and 100-mile races and this year was no exception.

Photo by ROB MOORE

Originally published: 2014-02-04 18:19:46
Last modified: 2014-02-04 18:20:31

BSG event sells out

by Allison Haver

For four consecutive years, the Blood Sweat and Gears event has sold out the day registration has opened.

The sellout time "gets faster and faster every year," according to BSG director Scott Nelson.

The 16th annual BSG event, featuring a 100-mile cycling ride, sold out in minutes, while its 50-mile ride sold 500 spots in just less than an hour and a half.

"We sold out in 16 minutes for our 16th year, there's a karma there that I can't deny," Nelson said.

Initially, Blood Sweat and Gears was solely an American Red Cross fundraiser, in which 70 people raced in the event. BSG has since formed its own nonprofit, BSG Events, which is a 100 percent volunteer-based, fundraising nonprofit organization which features the annual BSG cycling event.

Proceeds from the bike ride are donated to local charities in the High Country, according to Nelson.

"It will be three years this August that the BSG event officially formed its own nonprofit," Nelson, said. "Moving forward, we have set up an endowment fund, donate money back to the organizations that have helped us get to where we are today and are setting up grant requests."

In 2012, BSG donated $20,000 to various groups that helped the organization with the event, according to Nelson, who is also president of the nonprofit.
"We genuinely care about what we do. A lot of people look at a bike ride as just a bike ride and we (BSG) don't look at it that way, it's about the nonprofit and driving local tourism," he said.

Nelson said it was the organization's hope to inspire people "to do more."
"When the ride is taking place, I know it can be inconvenient for some people driving, but these guys are riding for a good cause," he said.

"Instead of people getting angry, get out and cheer or think about ways to get involved."

BSG's cycling event features a 100-mile ride and a 50-mile ride. The 100-mile ride begins and ends at Valle Crucis Elementary School. Its cumulative climbing elevation is 8,800 feet with the climb up to the gap at Snake Mountain. The 50-mile ride includes the last 28 miles of the century ride and rises 4,200 feet in elevation.

This year's cycling event will take place on June 28, with the 100-mile ride starting at 7:30 a.m. and the 50-mile riding starting at 7:45 a.m.
This year, BSG has formed an alliance with Appalachian Mountain Brewery.

Nelson said he approached AMB to be a sponsor for the BSG event and received an overwhelming amount of support form Sean Spiegelman, AMB's CEO and founder.

AMB has agreed to host the post-race party for the 20 Ride2Recovery athletes, wounded vets in the process of rehabilitating both physically and mentally, which BSG is hosting.

"Sean (Spiegleman) is a veteran himself, so he was very interested in being a part of this," Nelson said.

In addition to hosting the party, AMB is also brewing a "BSG beer" with the handle "The 1st Revolution," which plays off of BSG's slogan, "Helping our community one revolution at a time."

According to Nelson, half of its net proceeds of The 1st Revolution pints sold will be donated to the R2R program.

Nelson said that with the BSG/AMB alliance "we can accomplish more as we rally support for our community, giving back as much as possible, heading in the same direction and having the same philanthropic mindset, but different tools."

"AMB's tool is beer, ours is a bike ride," said Nelson. "Both are squarely centered toward supporting local community nonprofits and together are striving to reach new highs with a collaborative effort."

Those interested in volunteering for Blood Sweat and Gears can contact Nelson at (