By Ms. Jessica Dupree (Benning)March 13, 2018
FORT BENNING, Ga. (March 13, 2018) -- Fort Benning Soldiers and civilians assigned to the 316th Cavalry Brigade participated in the Fort Benning Centennial Century Bike Ride, hosted by Ride On Bikes March 10 in Columbus, Georgia.
The 100-mile bike race, which led cyclists through downtown Columbus and Fort Benning, took place during the yearlong celebration of Fort Benning's 100th anniversary.
"What a better way to celebrate our 100 year anniversary than with Columbus," said Capt. Matthew St. Clair, 316th Cavalry Brigade assistant operations officer.
Six members of the brigade volunteered to host a rest stop on the race route. The volunteers treated cyclists to water, sports drinks, peanut butter sandwiches, pickles and bananas while cheering on the racers at the half-way mark of the century ride.
Hunter Denton, the race director at Ride On Bikes, said the race was executed well, thanks in part to the volunteers.
"I was really excited about how well the rest stops turned out," he said. "The 316th Brigade was great. It was really great to see all the rest stops just knock it out of the park."
Capt. David Johnson, who led the volunteer effort for the 316th Cavalry Brigade, said he is proud of the work he and the rest of the brigade put in to make the race a success in partnership with the race director and the City of Columbus. He encouraged other units at the installation to partner with the community for events whenever there is an opportunity to do so.
"This allows us to showcase all that we really have to offer," he said. "It's been a great opportunity to show how Fort Benning and the surrounding community can work together."
The brigade also provided a tank with a large American flag displayed along the race path after a steep hill climb.
"[The cyclists] were in a lot of pain at that point, but it was cool to get to see that at the top," Denton said. "People were stopping and taking pictures."
Denton also mentioned some scheduled training he biked past during the race, including a group of Soldiers marching in formation. Many cyclists in the Columbus community can obtain a day pass from the Fort Benning visitor center to see sights like this every day, but it is a rare treat for out-of-town visitors.
"People from around here get to ride on post, but people from surrounding areas might not know it's an option," he said. "It was super cool for people to get to see that stuff going on today."
Fort Benning also had 12 Soldiers from various units, including the 316th Cavalry Brigade, participate in the race.