While 18,000 strong run to the finish line at the Georgia Marathon on Sunday, a smaller group of endurance athletes on bikes will ride 114 miles to the state line.
It’s a training ride led by Sandy Springs resident John Manser for the fall cycling event, 24 Hours of Booty: Atlanta Ride. More than 400 riders are expected to participate in the October event and raise about $250,000 for cancer research.
“[Today’s] ride is part of our winter training, since December,” Manser said. “Our first rides were like 40 miles at a time and every two weeks we would bump it up 10 or 15 miles.”
Manser has hosted monthly happy hours to recruit cyclists for his riding team. The next gathering is 6 p.m., Thursday at Three Sheets.
“Booty” refers to a popular spot for cyclists in Charlotte, N.C., called, The Booty Loop. About 10 years ago, Spencer Leuders, rode the 2.8 mile loop for 24 hours and was inspired to start the fundraising event, which benefits the Lance Armstrong Foundation and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
“I come from a background of triathlons and cycling. So when I can hook that up to giving back to the community, it’s great,” Manser said.
Participants ride in teams. Manser’s group, “Team Pirate Treasure” has 67 members. His goal is to recruit 100 cyclists in total.
All level cyclists can participate in the fall event in Stone Mountain, where food, music and activities will take place as the ride is going on. Cyclists can ride a few miles, if they choose, and stop and partake in the festivities, said Kelly Wiggins, who lives in Cumming.
“They have so much going on in ‘Bootyville,’ “ said Wiggins, 39. She started cycling last March and now rides five miles a week.
Wiggins’ Cumming team, “The Bootyful People,” has merged with Manser’ team.
Clearly, riders have fun playing on words.
“Our motto is beauty comes from your heart and soul, and booty comes from your time in the saddle, “ Wiggins said.
For more information visit 24 Hours of Booty: Atlanta Ride.