"It started as a pub crawl on bikes in 2006," Mike Sule of Asheville on Bikes, organizer of the event, "We had about 30-40 bikes that year." This year the city's permit says 80, but everyone believes the number will be higher. There is a lot of buzz online about riding green on St. Patrick's Day, with several city council members expected to take the ride. "Now we celebrate advancements in our local biking infrastructure," says Sule.
An important part of the ride this year is raising funds to pay for the Strive Not to Drive week, which lost city and state funding this year. To that end, several bike organizations have stepped up with large contributions, and they will be selling socks at the Bike of the Irish. In addition, Ceci’s Culinary Tour food truck at the Wedge Brewery, the end point of the ride, will donate a portion of the day's proceeds to Strive Not To Drive.
Bike of the Irish meets at Asheville City Hall at 12:30 p.m. on March 17th. Peddling begins at 1 p.m. By 3:00 p.m. they will be ensconced at the Wedge having passed through a number of greenways around town.
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