Dogwood Bicycle Ride

ECE cyclists (from L to R: J.W. Bruce, Jean Mohammadi-Aragh, Joel Martin, and Justin Rucker) prepare to ride the Dogwood metric century in Winchester, TN. (Everyone on the ride commented on Joel's cool Google cycling jersey).
ECE cyclists take in the view before the fast descent to Winchester, TN below.

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering was well-represented at the inaugural Dogwood Bicycle Ride held in Winchester, TN on April 16th, 2005. The bicycle event was held in conjunction with the town's annual spring Dogwood Festival. Four ECE cyclists, Jean Mohammadi-Aragh (BS 2002; MS 2004), Joel Martin (BS 2002), Justin Rucker (BS 2003) and Dr. J.W. Bruce traveled to Winchester, TN to ride the Dogwood's "metric century" (100Km or 62.1miles) over the country lanes and verdant hills of south-central Tennessee. Mohammadi-Aragh and Martin are research associates with the GeoResources Institute at the ERC in MSU's research park. Martin and Rucker are both MS candidates in ECE. J.W. Bruce is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

ECE graduate students, Justin Rucker (on the left) and Joel Martin, prepare to tackle the climb to the top of Monteagle Mountain in the distance.


The four ECE wheelmen joined more than 200 other cyclists from across the southeast to ride some of the finest hills, and a mountain or two, that the region has to offer. Brilliant sunshine and pleasant spring temperatures accentuated the ride's breathtaking scenery, and the ride's namesake dogwood trees were in full-bloom with varying shades of cream, pink, and white flowers punctuating the clear azure skies. Ride sponsors provided snacks and refreshments at rest stops every 15-25Km (10-15miles). Thankfully, a rest stop was provided just before the 350m (1150ft) elevation gain up Monteagle Mountain to the Oxford-inspired gothic campus of the University of the South in Sewanee, TN. Portions of the 5Km (3mile) climb up Monteagle Mountain were at a thigh- and lung-burning 24% grade. The painful ride up Monteagle Mountain was rewarded with an exhilarating 6Km (4mile), 55Km/hr (35mph) descent down the mountain on US41A.




Justin Rucker celebrates his ascent and his new longest single-day ride of 100Km (62.1 miles).



The Dogwood metric century provided the group with some new personal achievements. The climb to Sewanee was the longest and steepest climb ever for Mohammadi-Aragh, Martin and Rucker. Rucker more than doubled his personal record for longest single-day ride with his 100Km accomplishment. The four ECE cyclists are founding members of MSU's Bulldawg Cycling Club with Mohammadi-Aragh currently serving as the club's president. Martin is the club secretary, and Rucker is the the club treasurer. For more information on cycling and cycling events at MSU and in ECE, visit