Rock Hill ‘good town’ bike trek pushes through rain in North Carolina

07/21/2014 3:20 PM

07/21/2014 3:27 PM

Jay White cruised into a rainy Raleigh, N.C., on Monday afternoon to make his fifth planned stop on his “75th Year, Still One Gear” bike trek to New York. White is retracing his great-grandfather’s ambassador tour of 1939 to promote Rock Hill as a “good town.”

He launched the 700-mile trip from Rock Hill’s Giordana Velodrome on Saturday morning after receiving from Mayor Doug Echols a golden key to the city of Rock Hill. On Saturday and Sunday, he rode through Charlotte, Albemarle and Asheboro, N.C.

On Monday, he met with Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane before heading toward Wake Forest.

White’s push to Raleigh on Monday through stormy weather and a flash flood warning came after spending the night in Pittsboro, N.C., on Sunday. There, he made a impromptu on-stage appearance with the Sand Band at the Pittsboro Roadhouse and General Store.

Over the next eight days, he plans to pedal through Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania before making it to New York. There, he’ll visit Flushing, N.Y., where his great-grandfather John Spratt White II arrived in 1939 at the World’s Fair.

At age 47, White is recreating nearly exactly the trip his great-grandfather did at age 61. James Spratt White II made his original ride on “Old Betsy” the first a 1936 Columbia Manufacturing Inc. one-speed cruiser.

This week, White is riding a one-speed cruiser bicycle that he’s named “Old Betsy II.” He can’t ride his bicycle on the interstate so he’s using county and state roads and thoroughfares to pedal across six states.

Check this week for updates on the “75th Year, Still One Gear” bike tour.

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