Roanoke Valley bicyclists ride in honor of local fitness advocate, Artie Levin

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SALEM (WSLS10)-- Bicyclists in the Roanoke Valley will be spending a big majority of their day riding around the region in honor of the well known local fitness advocate, Artie Levin.

The annual ride n his honor kicked off this morning at Green Hill Park just after 8 a.m., and with some riders taking on the 100 mile challenge-- they'll be riding at least five to twelve hours today. Bicyclists could choose to ride 25, 50 or 100 miles as part of the event.

"It's a very wonderful way to have him memorialized in such a positive physical way," says his daughter, Cindy Levin Goldstein. "That's what he was all about."

It's been 20 years since Levin passed away-- since then, the event has continued to grow.

"He was the founder of the Blue Ridge Bicycle Club," says Brian Lang, the club's secretary. "He was an inspiration to many Roanokers. There are people on this ride that remember watching him when they were kids."

Levin was known for years as "Mr. Fitness," because of a fitness program that aired on local TV.