The 18th annual Rose Hill Rally bicycle ride is scheduled for May 4. This is the first big cycling event of the season and is great motivation for cyclists to tune up the bike, dig the cycling gear out of back of the drawer and take a few practice rides before the event.

The ride is held annually to raise money and awareness of the Rose Hill Hospitality House which provides accommodations for patients and their families receiving treatment at St. Mary's Hospital. Last year, over 600 riders participated in the rally.

The annual fitness event (not a race) offers both 50k (31 miles) and 100k (62 miles) rides beginning and ending at Canyon View Park. The 50k takes riders to Fruita and back. The 100k takes riders to Highline Lake and back.

According to ride organizer Ed Lipton, the ride is designed for bicyclists ranging from recreational through enthusiast. Because the ride attracts such a wide range of riders in both age and skill level, there have been some minor course changes including one this year on the 100k route that will make the ride a lot more fun for cyclists.

Participants are encouraged to preregister for The Rose Hill Rally by April 24. Late registration, including day of event, is available but doesn't include the annual commemorative ride T-Shirt.

Registered riders get continental breakfast, snacks and beverages at rest stops along the route and a post ride lunch. The ride is also fully supported with bike mechanics, sag wagons and medical personnel. After the ride, kids can play in the bounce house and riders can enjoy a post ride massage for those tired legs.

The Riverfront Trail system offers some great rides to get in shape before, and stay in shape after, the Rose Hill Rally.