OHIO VALLEY — A new event has appeared on the tourism schedule for Point Pleasant, W.Va. and organizers are generating buzz for it across the tri-county.
The Inaugural Bikes & BBQ event planned for June 10 will include a barbecue competition set up at Fourth Street at Gunn Park, as well as a bicycle tour of Mason County, W.Va. for those who wish to ride. There will be three different rides planned to accommodate the skill level of any cyclist and food for anyone who likes to eat.
The event is being organized in collaboration with the City of Point Pleasant’s Parks and Recreation Committee and the Point Pleasant Bike Trail Committee. Point City Councilman Gabe Roush, who is employed by Holzer Health System in Gallipolis, is a member of both entities.
“This is a fundraiser for the benefit of our parks and recreation,” Roush said. “There’s really no steady income specifically for parks and recreation so I pitched the idea to start an event like this to raise some funds.”
Roush pointed out the city’s plans to build a splash park and finish the playground upgrade at Krodel Park as just two of those worthy projects. He also said, he became involved with council, in part, to assist in providing more recreational activities for residents, especially kids who often complain there is nothing to do. He said this event felt like a “good start” to remedy some of those complaints.
When it came to hosting a barbecue event, Roush said it was done to attract both food lovers and cooks who like a little friendly competition. If someone thinks they make the best ribs and pulled pork around, then this is their chance to prove it.
According to organizers, this is considered a “backyard barbecue” competition, which means, they want all the “regular Joe’s” who are good on a smoker to come out and compete. The pros are also welcome but no professional rigs are permitted for this event. Grills must be mass-produced or Ugly Drum Smokers (UDS). If a UDS is on a trailer, a contestant is still welcome to compete.
There will be two categories this year. The first, being pork ribs, judged by a panel of five judges. One bonus point will be given if a cook can prove that their meat was raised in West Virginia, and two bonus points if it was raised in Mason County. The second is pulled pork shoulder, which will be judged as a people’s choice. Barbecue Teams can be comprised of as many members as a team would like, and the team entry fee will be $50, which will include a T-shirt for competing. There will also be monetary and trophy prizes for competitors. As for the public, they can be a part of this competition too with the purchase of a $5 ticket which will allow them entry into the barbecue area where they will be able to taste each competitor’s pulled pork and vote for which they liked the best. This ticket also includes one sandwich from any of the competitors.
When it comes to the biking portion of the event, there will be a six-mile ride through town for leisure riders; a 26-mile ride that will travel the rolling hills of northern Mason County, and a 45-mile ride that will extend after the 26-mile route across the Kanawha River, to showcase the Kanawha Valley farmland. An entry fee of $25 will include the ride, a T-shirt, and a ticket into the barbecue tasting.
“I think we all hope this will become an annual event,” Roush said. “Everyone seems excited for something new and different, and it hits on two things we want to bring to the area – promoting bicycling in Mason County and bringing a food event to downtown.”
Roush said the event is attracting interest from not only Mason County but Gallia County, Ohio and beyond with social media helping to spread the word.
“It’s an event for everybody…the bicycle ride doesn’t target any certain level of cycling and (the three rides) will cover a wide range of people, and food appeals to all,” Roush said.
Volunteers are also always welcome and needed for the event.
More information about the barbecue competition and the bike ride can be found on the event page found at www.facebook.com/bikepointpleasant . Online registration for the bike ride can be found at www.tristateracer.com/event.php?RaceID=9312.
Reach Beth Sergent at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.