Cyclists record up to 100 miles for youth charity

More than 150 cyclists spent Saturday biking up to 100 miles through the Columbiana area to raise money for the Salvation Army’s Youth Services.

“Usually all of thse rides benefit some charity. It’s a good way to give back,” said former Pelham road racer Woody Robbins. “It seems a natural thing for us to want to encourage people and help people.”

Columbiana resident Angela Rausch said she enjoys riding in her home town, but also helping the Salvation Army.

“They help people in need, and they’re not going to turn you away, and especially now, you need that. You need someone you can turn to,” Rausch said.

The fifth-annual Century of Compassion ride was based at Columbiana First United Methodist Church with routes of 100, 75, 50, 25 and 15 miles branching from the county seat.

In years past it began in Alabaster and made one stop in Columbiana, but ride organizer and former Iron Man competitor Craig Cecil decided to move it to Columbiana this year.

“The city’s been 100 percent behind us,” Cecil said. “It’s beautiful pavement, wide roads and no traffic on Saturday mornings,” Cecil said.

Robbins said he’d never been on some of the roads the ride went, despite living in Shelby County.

“It’s beautiful country side. It’s green, lush, just real nice,” Robbbins said.