For some people getting up early after attending a birthday bash can be difficult.

Not for Fort Jackson community members and cycling enthusiasts from around the Midlands who woke up early June 3 to ride 101 miles to celebrate Fort Jackson's birthday.

Each of the 42 cyclists who rode in the event attended for their own reasons. Last year roughly 50-60 showed up with less than 10 completing a 100 miles.

Holly Carter from Surf City, North Carolina came down with her friend Kelly Lindsay of Hampstead, North Carolina, to join her husband who is stationed at Fort Jackson for the bike ride. They weren't sure if they would ride the whole 101 miles but they were going to try.

They normally ride around 30 miles, they said.

Staff Sgt. Chris Jensen, from the 120th Fitness Training office competed last year and tied another cyclist for 1st place. He plans to complete all 101 miles this year.

"I like distance riding," Jensen said. "My longest ride was 153 miles in Italy."

Col. Michael Katona, 193rd Infantry Brigade commander, said the ride was devised to "build readiness and connect with the community, while enabling Soldiers and their Families to thrive.

"It is a way to introduce new riders to a sport that allows them to maintain their health and fitness their entire lives."

"It isn't a race. We want people to challenge themselves, and do any distance they can."

Sgt. Maj. Sidi London, the post operations sergeant major and avid cyclist, said he'd like to see the event take place every year.

"The first big race, a mark of a cyclist, is called a century," London said.

He rode in three long distance rides on post. The first was a bike ride for the 193rd Infantry Brigade that was incorporated into the Fort Jackson's Centennial Celebration last year.

In January, London started the Fort Jackson Cycle Club open to all - not just people from post.
Cyclists like Fort Jackson because it "is safer to ride on post because there isn't as much traffic," London said.