Cyclists of all ages taking part in LBJ 100 Bicycle Tour across Hill Country

JARED FIELDS • PICAYUNE STAFF

STONEWALL — Bicyclists of all ages and skills are converging on the historic Lyndon B. Johnson Ranch for the sixth annual LBJ 100 Bicycle Tour on March 23-24.

The tour features routes from 10 miles to 85 miles in length beginning at the ranch’s airstrip and winding along county roads across the Hill Country.

Riders young and old from almost half the states in the union have come for the tour.

Old bicycles also will be taking part in this year’s tour. The Wheelmen, a group of riders that promotes pre-1918 bicycles, will be on hand atop 52-inch front tires.

Not only can participants see beautiful scenery along the different routes, but the afternoon also will feature a history lesson about the ranch from Johnson’s daughter, Luci Baines Johnson.

Nolan Kuehn, chairman of the LBJ 100, said the event has made a “meteoric” rise since its first tour in 2008. The first year saw 423 riders, and last year’s event had almost 1,400.

Kuehn said the event has raised $120,000 for the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, located off U.S. 290 about 15 miles past Johnson City.

“The emphasis is to get the families out to the park. It’s a national treasure right in our own backyard,” Kuehn said. “It’s not just presidential history; it’s the scenery, the show barn, the descendants of his prized Hereford cattle.”

For the first year, competitive riders can compete March 24 in an individual time trial. The 17-mile route follows the banks of the Pedernales River and is open to riders as young as 10.

Riders can register online at www.lbj100bicycletour.org before the event or beginning at 7 a.m. at the ranch the day of the tour.

jared@thepicayune.com