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315th AW leaders take on ‘Mountain to Coast” bike tour

  • Published
  • By Michael Dukes
  • 315th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Being over the hill is no excuse for not making it over the next hill. A few 315th Airlift Wing senior leaders proved it by completing the seven-day, 450-mile 19th Annual Mountain to Coast bike ride in North Carolina.

 315th AW Commander, Col. Gregory Gilmour, a veteran of the event, led his rookie team on their 7 day bicycle adventure. “Before the race somebody told me at least it’s all downhill from the mountains to the coast, but that is definitely not the case,” said Gilmour. The first three days were the most brutal with plenty of uphill climbs.”

Gilmour was joined in the ride by Col. Cherie Roff, 315th Mission Support Commander, her husband Lt. Col. Will Roff, of the 309th Missile Maintenance Group, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and Lt. Col. John Robinson, 315th Operations Group deputy commander. The riders from the 315th AW team were also joined by their friend, Col. Gregory Halen, 916th Maintenance Group commander at Seymour-Johnson, N.C. 

Along their journey, the team faced many uphill and downhill battles with elevations ranging from more than 3,200 feet in Jefferson, N.C. to just under 700 feet in Swansboro N.C.

“It was a challenging ride but allowed us to spend some time with some very interesting folks as well as each other. We had many challenges such as cold, steep downhills, incredibly long uphill's, wind and heat,” said Roff. “Sounds like a standard deployment to me.”

“It was great to see other services were represented as past members and current military members and we shared our histories and backgrounds. It was a huge accomplishment to ride 450 miles, motivate each other, support each other, and we all made it to the end with no one injured,” Roff added.

About 1,000 riders from 39 states participated in the Mountain to Coast event. The youngest cyclist to riding in the entire week was 8 years old, and the oldest was 86 years old. Over the course of the week, bikers rode an average of 60 miles per day.

Hosted by North Carolina Amateur Sports, Cycle North Carolina is a fully supported cross-state recreational bike tour of the Tar Heel State. Formed in 1999, Cycle North Carolina is designed to promote physical fitness and health, and provide economic impact and publicity to rural communities, while showcasing the state’s beauty, scenic attractions and cultural diversity.

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