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History of the 44th Annual Mount Dora Bicycle Festival

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MOUNT DORA, Fla. — As the 44th annual Mount Dora bicycle festival nears, the event has become rich with history.

In 1974, the long history of cycling in Mount Dora was established among local enthusiasts. After nearly twenty years of tradition, there was an attempt to drag the trail towards Tavares, Apopka, Winter Park, and Sanford.

The end goal for the cyclists was to create a fifty-mile trail head that reached the Indian River near the Atlantic ocean.

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To date this venture a bit, it should be known that they planned to carve out this trail with a horse and plank, but sadly it did not reach potential and they remain pleased with their current paved roads.

As the oldest and largest cycling event in the state, people come to experience community in the charming town of Mount Dora. This city boasts Victorian buildings and local shops that bring the hometown feel full circle.

“Sugar Loaf Mountain” in Mount Dora is a popular place not only for Festival Cyclist but among the locals as well.

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The 44th annual festival spreads over a four-day span, and the routes vary dependent upon skill level.

There are over a dozen trail options to choose from and included in these are the familiar Sugar Loaf Mountain, which boasts a 312-foot elevation, and “Thrill Hill,” which is well-known among locals for its fast and enjoyable route.

Whether you’re a bystander or loading up your bike as you register, this event is refreshing and timeless.

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Hosted by the Mount Dora Area Chamber of Commerce, the cap is set at 1,000 entries. If you want to be a part of this unique social gathering among cycling friends, register before it’s full.

Bicyclists prepare for their routes in Mount Dora during the 1993 Mount Dora Cyclist Festival.

On Friday the event begins with a “Pink Up” social ride to raise breast cancer awareness, and a portion of the proceeds are donated to aid in the fight against breast cancer.

Friday and Saturday will boast two new routes that registrants will have the opportunity to experience. The participants can complete timed segments on these two new trails at the chance to win prizes.

A reunion party amidst friends at Sunset Park will also occur Friday evening, surrounded by local live music, libations, and town-favorite cuisines.

The festivities continue with additional routes as they close out the event on Sunday.

Mark your calendars for Oct. 4-7 in Mount Dora to support and celebrate your town and community.

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Brittany Gohlke
Brittany Gohlke is a journalism major who welcomes all adventure with her husband and two beautiful children. She enjoys writing, the great outdoors, coffee in excess, and sitting down with a good book.

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