CHICO, Calif. - Thousands of cyclists battled cool and wet conditions on Sunday to hit the roads of Butte County during the 33rd annual Chico Velo Wildflower Century.
The cycling event challenges riders of all levels on various courses mapped throughout the county.
The ride begins at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds in Chico and participants can choose to go for it all and take the 128 mile Wildcat route or go for the more leisurely 31 mile Flatflower or 12 mile Childflower routes.
The longest route takes riders up to Paradise, down into north Oroville and through Durham before winding up back at the fairgrounds in Chico.
Out on the 100 mile Wildcat route students from Paradise Adventist Academy were riding in memory of former physical education teacher Jim Retzer who passed away last November.
Part of Retzer's curriculum was having his students cycle three days a week and train for the annual Wildflower Century.
Wearing jerseys that sported the name "Retzer's Sevvies" to honor the former teacher and avid cyclist, the students used his inspiration to make it through the day's ride.
When asked at the halfway point if there would be a greater sense of accomplishment when Sunday's ride was over, student Lydia Kiassat responded, "Yeah, because then we'll feel like that we did it in his honor and he's the one that motivated us even though he's not here. He just keeps saying it in our head, "You guys can do it. You guys can do it. Just keep doing it. Just keep going."
There are a number of pit stops for refreshments and food along each rides map. The event wraps up with a dinner back at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds.