Sandy Spring seems a natural home for the 24 Hours of Booty bike ride. It’s home to the largest Booty team in the country, Team Pirate Treasure, which has 104 participants in this weekend’s event. Pirate Treasure leader, John Manser has held happy hour events over the last two years to recruit cyclists. They have raised about $67,000 for cancer research, so far this year.
“With the economy, all the Booty rides have been down a little bit,” he said. Last year Pirate Treasure raised more than $77,500.
Manser and both his parents have suffered from cancer. “Basically I’m riding in honor of my parets and it’s a great way to challenge myself,” he said.
A 2.5 mile course will be open for cyclists through the Mount Vernon Woods community from 2 p.m., Saturday to 2 p.m., Sunday.
“Booty” refers to a popular spot for cyclists in Charlotte, N.C., called, The Booty Loop. About 11 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.
In addition to the Atlanta area and Charlotte, rides are held in Indianapolis and Columbia, M.D. Before Sandy Springs, rides were held in Stone Mountain.
Jackie Tyson of Peloton Sports, a marketer of the event said City Council members Gabriel Sterling and Dianne Fries were strong advocates for bringing the event to Sandy Springs.
'We're looking forward to it," said Sterling during a September town hall meeting. "We're hoping we can raise maybe half a million dollars. Our location really helps us a lot, [Ga.] 400 and I-285."
Teams and individuals ride in the event. Thirty-eight teams are currently registered.
“Everybody kind of rides at their own pace,” Manser said.
The entrance fee is $65 with a minimum of $200 in fundraising. Registration is open online through noon Friday. On Saturday, participants can register at “Bootyville,” set up on the soccer field at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, 510 Mount Vernon Highway.
The registration fee includes dinner, midnight pizza, breakfast and a lunch. Live music will also be held at Bootyville on Saturday afternoon and Sunday after 10 a.m.
The Mount Vernon Woods community promises to bring the traditional Booty experience with neighbors lining the streets cheering on the cyclists, according Tyson.
“I really think it’s going to help the riders,” she said.