MC cyclists gear up to "Bike Alabama"

March 10, 2004
Karen Eldridge, Director of News and Public Information

On Saturday, March 13, a group of cyclists from Maryville College will embark from Chattanooga, Tenn., on the 2004 Mountain Challenge Spring Break Bicycle Tour.

This year's expedition will take the group of students, staff, alumni and friends of Maryville College across the heart of the south on a route entitled "Bike Alabama 2004." The group is scheduled to complete the 400-mile trek on Wed., March 17, arriving at its final destination of Grayton Beach, Fla.

Since the first Spring Break bicycle trip 16 years ago, the ride has become a Spring Break staple at the College. This year, 14 riders elected to spend their Spring Break peddling, and according to Bruce Guillaume, director of the Mountain Challenge program, the popularity of the trip is only natural.

"It's an opportunity to challenge yourself," said Guillaume. "This is the chance to get to know a group that has the same interests you do."

And the annual trip has provided a great opportunity to tour the southern United States as well, taking cyclists across Tennessee, Virginia, and the Carolinas in recent years.

The trip itinerary is as follows:

  • Sat., March 13: Chattanooga, Tenn., to Gadsden, Ala., via US Hwy. 11S. The group will be staying at First Presbyterian Church, Gadsden.
  • Sun., March 14: Gadsden to Talladega, Ala., via US Hwy. 77S. The Presbyterian Home for Children in Talladega is hosting the group.
  • Mon., March 15: Talladega to Montgomery, Ala., via US Hwys. 21S and 231S. The group will lodge at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Montgomery.
  • Tues., March 16: Montgomery to Luverne, Ala., via US Hwy. 331S. The group will be staying at the Church of God in Luverne.
  • Wed., March 17: Luverne to Grayton Beach, Fla., via US 331S. Seaside Neighborhood School is hosting the group for two nights.

Founded nearly two decades ago, Mountain Challenge is the outdoor experiential learning program of Maryville College located in the natural surroundings of the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Mountain Challenge utilizes the surrounding area to teach students the importance of teamwork, communication and problem solving. Mountain Challenge also provides an opportunity for students to experience learning outside of the classroom.

For more information on Bike Alabama 2004 or the Mountain Challenge program in general, call 865.981.8125, or visit

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2016 semester is 1,198.