The fourth annual 24 Hours of Booty-Atlanta, hosted by Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, will run Saturday and Sunday.
The charity cycling event raises funds locally for cancer research and programs with the Aflac Cancer Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
“An event like this can change a person in several ways,” said local cyclist wwJohn Manser. He has captained a participating team since the event’s local inception, partly as a way to honor parents and a stepfather who waged battles with the disease.
“Physically, it’s motivational and gets [cyclists] moving so that they’ll be strong for the event,” said Manser. “And, because you’re being charitable, it lifts your spirits as you’re able to rise above your personal challenges to do something for others.
“Finally, specific to cycling events, it’s a chance to promote greener commutingw and overall environment health.”
Manser and his merry band of riders — known as Team Pirate Treasure — are among the motley gangs on two wheels who will be testing their individual and collective mettle at the new 2.6-mile Sandy Springs “Booty Loop” this weekend. The course will be used by the cyclists for 24 hours, with full-time security, lighting and support.
The event is open to participants of all ages and skill levels.
“24 Houwrs of Booty is truly a unique event for riders of all abilities,” said Basil Lyberg, executive director of 24 Hours of Booty Inc. “Everyone in Sandy Springs has made this the perfect location for our Georgia event.”
Last year’s Atlanta event drew 400 participants who hauled in $191,000 to support the LIVESTRONG Foundation and the Aflac Cancer Center.
“I believe change starts within each of us,” said Manser. “Events like this get the ball rolling in the right direction.”
The Sandy Springs event begins Saturday at 2 p.m. and concludes at the same time the following day. The official camping, expo and food tent area of the event — also known as “Bootyville” — will be staged on the Mount Vernon grounds.
Organizers are encouraging residents from nearby neighborhoods and the community at large to come out to cheer on the riders.
This year marks the second go-round for the event in Sandy Springs, with Stone Mountain playing host to it in previous years.
“Last year brought to Atlanta the feel of what the original Booty ride does for Charlotte,” said Manser. “We ride by homes with people cheering us on, inviting us in and wanting to support and get to know us.
“Kudos to the Vernon Woods community for the group hug they gave us last year.”
IF YOU GO:
n What: 24 Hours of Booty bicycle event
n Benefits: Cancer research, programs
n When: Saturday at 2 p.m. to Sunday at 2 p.m.
n Where: Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, 510 Mount Vernon Hwy., Sandy Springs
n Information and registration: www.24hoursofbooty.org