Bicyclists from all over McPherson County, and out of state, will gather for the ride of the year next week during the Mowbray Metric Bicycle Weekend on July 21 and 22.

Ronn Peters, member of the McPherson Area Cyclists committee, said the weekend’s events will give cyclists a variety of difficulty to choose from.

— Storm the Castle is a 50-mile gravel road ride. Registration will start at 7 a.m. on July 21 in Riverside Park, on the corner of First Street and Lindsborg, in Lindsborg. The ride will proceed to Coronado Heights, three miles northwest of Lindsborg. Cyclists will stop for a light lunch and ride back into town.

— The Short Stack ride is 32 miles long. The free cycling event begins at 8 a.m. at the McPherson Senior Center, 112 E. Euclid St., and ends at the Inman Senior Center, 103 E Gordon St., Inman. Riders must buy their own breakfast.

— The Mowbray Metric ride features a choice of 20, 40 or 62-mile routes. Registration will start at 7 a.m. Sunday and the ride at 7:30 a.m. at 112 E. Euclid St. in McPherson.

Peters said the route of the Mowbray Metric is not disclosed until the day of the event.

“That’s been a tradition for the last 27 years,” he said. “We don’t tell anyone where we’re going because they figured out a long time ago that there were a lot of people that would sit on the edge of town and then jump in and not pay the fee. There’s a fee because they get a T-shirt, lunch and support. So we figured the logical way out of that was to not tell them where the rides going to be.”

The Mowbray Metric Ride is on paved roads, Peters said.

Peters said after 39 years of rides, many have returned that were the very first the committee organized.

“We have guys that aren’t young anymore that rode in the first ride. Think about it, if they were 20 they’re at last 60 and if they were 30 they’re 70. I have several reservations with people who are in their 70s and I have a gentleman that will be turning 80 this year who still rides his bike,” he said.

Peters said he believes these riders keep returning simply for their love of the sport.

“These guys go on all sorts of bike rides, it’s just what they do during the summer. Some people go square dancing, some go camping and some just go drinking. They’re like golfers, some go to Newton some go to Hutchinson and then Salina on the weekends to test out different golf courses. They just like new rides,” he said.

Fees are $30 for adults for Saturday’s and Sunday’s rides — $55 for adult participants who wish to ride in both. There is a $5 fee for lunch. After July 11, fees are $5 more.

Lunch on Sunday will include homemade ice cream. Parking for Sunday’s Mowbray Metric will be available at Euclid and Ash.

To register, call 620-242-7133 or 620-242-4500 or email Ronn Peters at ronnpeters617@cox.net or mowbraymetric@hotmail.com

Contact Brooke Haas by email at bhaas@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow her on Twitter @ MacSentinel.