OPELIKA, ALABAMA    October 3, 2020

2019 Post-Ride Report 


OK, so we are patting ourselves on the back for bringing back the Johnny Ray! We loved their Friday night registration site at James Bros Bikes and many of us were introduced to downtown Opelika and its lively entertainment district that evening. And just as fine was the Red Clay Brewing Headquarter location on Saturday with registration going smoothly and pre-registered riders already sporting their new event shirts. Among others, Ride Director Shirley Lazenby introduced Davis Phinney representatives who were riding for the pleasure of promoting the event charity.

Once cyclists smoothly rolled out in organized waves, a re-set began to get ready for their return. JRC and ABCS Volunteers set in motion to roll out as SAG, grab on-road photos, begin lunch prep, and arrange check-in for riders. We even took a moment for a photo op!

Faith Stockton, Sue Rowe, Marsha Burt, Pixie As always, we so appreciate ALL VOLUNTEERS including Faith, Sue, Marsha, Nancy Melkerson, and Terrie Hinton!

We were very happy to spend time with our first Metric rider, Astrid Snäll from Finland!

Not long after that our first century riders began to roll in…it’s always such a pleasure to watch groups come in who’ve possibly just met and work together to enjoy a safe ride!

Yes, of course Tony Robbins was one of them!

Meanwhile, out on the road, Marsha & Terrie snagged some great photos:

Click the pic to see the photo album.

At headquarters, we drew from century rider names for the winner of the $100 gift certificate from 4 Corners Gallery…past CHAMPION, Jorge Garcia took home the prize!

JRC Centurions are listed to the right on this page. See any errors? Write us at  Congratulations to all who took part in the ride…it was a tough one with extreme heat and lots of climbing! And, here are the photos of many of them!

Click the pic to see the album!

The Opelika Bicycle Advisory Committee brings you its 16th annual Johnny Ray Century benefitting the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease. An initiative of the East Alabama Cycling Club, the century travels the quiet but often rough backroads of Lee, Chambers, and Randolph counties, following the famous 19th-century Central of Georgia spur. Riders cross the old railroad bed in Lafayette. The 105-mile century option takes riders into downtown Roanoke where Johnny Ray himself, its famed conductor, is believed buried.

Changes to the route decrease exposure to the most rugged road conditions and busy highways. All 4 courses return past beloved Opelika landmarks as riders cruise down the city’s new “Destination Downtown” Bike Path all the way back to Ride Headquarters at Red Clay Brewing Company.

The century is OBAC/EACC’s fundraiser for the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease. It donates 100% of all donations and registration fees – minus expenses for food and supplies. You may donate to the Foundation through registration or directly on their site here: Davis Phinney, an olympic and professional bike racer, manages the disease himself and directs the foundation.

Riders receive excellent support on the routes. Rest Stops feature a variety of foods and fluids. Expect special treats at select stops.

Helmets required. Ride goes rain or shine!

Each year the East Alabama Cycling Club sponsors a bicycle tour (the Johnny Ray Century) to benefit a designated charity. The club is again excited to work with the Davis Phinney Foundation, to support their mission with Parkinson’s. 2017 was a rebuilding year for the JRC with the Opelika Bicycling Advisory Committee picking up the reigns. While focus was on the transition we still managed to raise $1095 for DPF.


RSVP to the Johnny Ray Century Ride with GPS event to enable FREE premium features such as spoken turn-by-turn directions, download support for offline navigation, and PDF printing when you RSVP to the Event. These enhanced features are provided for free from our friends at the Montgomery Bicycle Club who host the penultimate ABCS ride, the Glassner Autumn Challenge.

2019 Johnny Ray Event:

2019 Johnny Ray Event RSVP:

20 Mile Cusseta Commuter:

34 Mile Twin Silos Shuttle:

60 Mile/ Metric Lafayette Short Line:

104 Mile Johnny Ray Century:

“Dirty 66” Simultaneous Gravel Route:

Bike mechanics at each Rest Stop!

Unique goodies at Rest Stops like tomato/brie sandwiches

Road rides will be marked as usual with painted arrows on the road. Gravel routes will be marked with “paper-plate” sized signs to show the way!

GRAVEL ROUTE – a little more information

The gravel roads will range from glorious hard clay to some sandy, some pea gravel, and a couple sections of the chunky stuff where the county’s trying to address construction/erosion issues.  Recommend  are  38mm or larger, fast rolling tire. East Alabama is secretly known for all the climbing so expect a lot of rolling terrain (3600’ of climbing on the gravel course).

Recommended bikes would be cyclocross, gravel, cruiser, mountain bike, touring bike. Just be prepared for 66 miles at whatever speed you go. The majority of gravel riders will most likely average 10-12mph. There will be rest stops approximately every 15-18 miles plus SAG but bring a bike you’re comfortable fixing a flat on and that can carry food, drink and tools. Expect cell service to be spotty. See more suggestions on Gravel riding on this James Bros Facebook Event page.




  • I was pre-registered and check-in went smoothly and quick.
  • There was a variety of high energy snacks, water, Gatorade, and ice at all rest stops. I was very pleased with what was available.
  • The ride was well planned and supported by OPD at busy intersections.
  • The ride out 10th Street/Oak Bowery and the section to Gold Hill on 147 is on extremely good pavement with plenty of fast descents and long climbs. The traffic was light, and I don’t think we were passed by more than 8 cars on this section!
  • This is mostly forest and farmland with great views and almost no traffic (referring to the the Twin Silos-Andrews Rd…still chipseal last year)
  • The last section is a change from previous years and is on great pavement and again, almost no traffic.
  • The last mile or so was on Samford Ave. on the new bike path.
  • I think the rest stops were perfectly spaced, offering great snacks and supported by very nice, helpful and motivating volunteers.
  • The JR road marks for directions were good.