Firefighter 50 Bike Ride to benefit Pleasant Valley Community Fire Company

Firefighter 50 Bike Ride to benefit Pleasant Valley Community Fire Company
Cyclists ready for the 2015 Firefighter 50 Bike Ride. (Richard Koons)

Looking for a challenging bike ride that benefits a good cause? Cyclists say the Firefighter 50 Bike Ride is just that.

The fifth annual ride will be held rain or shine Sunday, July 24, and starts at the Pleasant Valley Community Fire Company in Westminster.


According to Firefighter 50 Planning Committee member Dave Yonkoski, show and go registration runs 6:30 to 9 a.m.

Registration is required and can be done online or on the morning of the ride at the fire station. The fee is $35 and includes a full lunch. All fees are fully tax deductible.

"People come from all over because it's a firefighter-centric event and a beautiful ride," Yonkoski said. "One hundred percent of the proceeds benefit the Pleasant Valley Community Fire Company."

Cyclist and Volunteer Firefighter Greg Wantz, of Pleasant Valley, plans to participate in the ride again this year.

"It's an awesome fundraiser," Wantz said. "I like riding bikes anyhow, but when there's something that's this organized, it makes it really neat."

Wantz plans to ride the 50-mile Five Alarm Ride this year.

"It has great scenery and goes through Frederick," Wantz said. "It's definitely challenging. I only ride two or three times a week, and each time I go about 15 miles. Even though I ride regularly, this course is still challenging. … I encourage everybody to come see what it's like."

Yonkoski, of Westminster, said the bike routes range from 30 miles to 100 miles on low traffic volume, paved and dirt/gravel roads through western Carroll County, eastern Frederick County and a portion of southern Pennsylvania.

Yonkoski said the 101-mile Lost Valley Century Loop has more than 5,400 feet of climbing.

The route runs from Pleasant Valley to eastern Frederick County. Riders then travel northeast into Adams County, Pennsylvania, Carroll Valley, Pennsylvania, and then climb up the Blue Ridge Summit. Cyclists will utilize the Lost Valley in northern Frederick County to return to Emmitsburg.

Organizers recommend only experienced riders attempt this loop.

Yonkoski said the 35-mile Brush Fire Loop was developed for the novice cyclist, and the 50-mile Five Alarm Ride has about 2,800 feet of climbing. The 30.8-mile Dirty 30 route allows cyclists to ride on both paved and gravel/dirt roads in northern Carroll County. Yonkoski said the Dirty 30 is a great loop for cross bikes or mountain bikes.

Motorists are urged to use caution between 6:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., as approximately 800 cyclists will be utilizing the roads in northern Carroll County during Sunday's event.



If you go

Pleasant Valley Community Fire Company Inc.'s Firefighter 50 Bike Ride

Where: Pleasant Valley Community Fire Company, 2030 S. Pleasant Valley Road, Westminster

When: 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, July 24

Cost: $35

For more information: Visit