Close this search box.

Bikes and Bands: North Carolina-based music and cycling festival set to return 

Cycling competition,cyclist athletes riding a race in the light of evening

North Carolina-based music and cycling festival set to return 

The “biggest party on two wheels” is returning to North Carolina later this summer. Gears and Guitars, a multi-day music and cycling festival, will take place in Winston-Salem during the weekend of September 9-11. The event will feature professional and amateur bike racing, community bike rides, and national live music acts throughout the weekend.  Of particular note for cyclists is the challenging criterium circuit around Bailey Park, which draws bikers from around the world. 

“It’s our way of helping support the restaurants and bars and businesses along 4th street and

celebrating the great city that Winston-Salem is,” stated Ray Boden, COO of the event. “We’re going to give people something really unique and fun to watch—and participate in too if they’d like.”

This year, organizers plan to “take it up a notch” from last year’s event that was reduced in size due to Covid-19. The weekend kicks off on Friday with Streets of Fire, a drag race-style street sprint that heats down 4th Street all evening, with free live music from big-name artists along the side street. 

Saturday will bring racers to the event’s original stomping grounds at Bailey Park for criterium racing all day for amateurs and professionals. Sunday will feature community cycling celebrations that are open to anyone and afternoon activities will also include a bike rodeo for kids. Each night will offer exciting activities, vendors, and live music. Acts on the bill include Bahamas, Better Than Ezra, Cowboy Mouth, and Dawes. 

“We really want to embrace all that’s happening with cycling in our city and let all the area organizations that are involved really shine,” stated Michael Hosey, the event’s director of community engagement. “It’s a great opportunity for everyone to bring out their bike, enjoy the day together and celebrate the healthy, active, and vibrant community we have here. We’re expecting a lot of cycling enthusiasts and recreational riders to come out and spend the whole weekend enjoying the wide range of events.”

Registration for the community Fondo rides opens on April 4th at Plans are for race registrations to open on the site on May 1, followed shortly thereafter with announcements on all the music lineups. 

More information can be found on the plans for the full weekend at, or by following the Gears & Guitars social feeds.

Cover photo courtesy of Getty Images

Share this post:

Discover more in the Blue Ridge:

Join our newsletter!

Subscribe to receive the latest from Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine sent directly to your inbox.