Historic Rock Hill Kicks Off “75th Year, Still One Gear” Tour Celebrating the Past and Future of Cycling on July 18, 2014

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James Spratt White, V will recreate his great-grandfather’s 800 mile bike ride from Rock Hill, SC to New York with a sendoff party and bike ride open to local citizens and cyclists.

James Spratt White, V

Rock Hill has become the Epicenter of cycling in the Southeast, and there’s a difference between biking activities in a town and a good biking town.

On July 19, James Spratt White, V (also known as Jay), will take off on a journey to recreate his great-grandfather’s historic bike ride 75 years ago from Rock Hill, SC to the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. Historic Rock Hill will kick-off the “75th Year, Still One Gear” Tour on July 18, with a send off party inviting the public to cheer White on as he begins his 800 mile bike journey. Local cyclists are also invited to begin this ride with White to commemorate this historic event.

In 1939, 64 year old businessman James Spratt White, II made the journey from Rock Hill, SC to Flushing, NY as Rock Hill’s goodwill ambassador to spread the message that “Rock Hill is a Good Town.” He traveled through ten states and over 800 miles during his historic trek on his trusty bike, “Old Betsy.”

Now 75 years later, his great-grandson James Spratt White, V (Jay), will make the same journey on a replica of “Old Betsy” named “Old Betsy II”, honoring the historic bike ride with the same mission as his grandfather. The ride will conclude at the 75th anniversary of the 1939 World’s Fair where White will be spreading the word of how Rock Hill, SC is a good biking town.

“At the time of my great-grandfather’s historic bike ride, Rock Hill was a big bike community, known for racing and the city won several regional championships,” says White. “Rock Hill has recently had a huge resurgence in cycling with its newest amenities such as the Giordana Velodrome and its other biking amenities.” “Rock Hill has become the Epicenter of cycling in the Southeast, and there’s a difference between biking activities in a town and a good biking town.”

The journey, which begins on July 19, will take two weeks to complete and will be documented through Facebook and a video blog. “I want to do the same exact thing that he did as much as possible including taking the train back,” states White. If still in existence, White plans to even stop at certain shops and restaurants that his great-grandfather visited. White and his team are working on a finish line celebration and hope to shake the hands of the officials of the World’s Fair same as James Spratt White, II did in 1939.

In conjunction with the tour, Historic Rock Hill will present a public exhibit, “Riding Through Rock Hill: A Retrospective on Cycling,” that takes a look at the rich cycling history of Rock Hill and the White Family’s love for cycling. The exhibit will feature the original “Old Betsy” along with other vintage and modern bicycles.

The focus of the exhibit will be the history of biking in Rock Hill and will also feature the current cycling landscape of Rock Hill including the Giordana Velodrome and mountain biking trails.

About Historic Rock Hill
Historic Rock Hill, a 501c3 non-profit organization, was formed as a Mid-Town Preservation Association in 1986. Our mission is to preserve and protect the historic resources of Rock Hill, South Carolina, and to enhance the livability of its historic areas. Membership is open to anyone interested in historic preservation and stewardship of Rock Hill’s historic resources. Historic Rock Hill’s administrative offices are located in The White Home, located in the heart of the East Town Neighborhood District in Rock Hill. Historic Rock Hill is governed by a thirteen-member Board of Directors, which meets monthly in the upstairs conference room at The White Home. For more information please visit our website at http://historicrockhill.com/.

About the Rock Hill/York County CVB
The Rock Hill/York County CVB is the destination marketing organization (DMO) responsible for developing an authentic, unified identity for York County, SC. As a DMO, the CVB’s goals are to promote the long-term development and marketing of their destination, focusing on convention, sports and leisure sales, tourism marketing and services. The organization works in collaboration with the CVB Board as well as the York County Council and appropriate funding sources. In 2008, the Rock Hill/York County CVB became the first accredited destination marketing organization in South Carolina.

For more information about “75th Year, Still One Gear” Tour, you may contact Historic Rock Hill at
803-329-1020. You may also contact the Rock Hill/York County CVB at 888-702-1320 or 803-329-5200 or visit their website at http://www.visityorkcounty.com/.

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Sonja Burris
Rock Hill/York County Convention and Visitors Bureau
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