Pave The Path features 10K run, bicycling

CONYERS - Cyclists and runners can take in the sights and landmarks of Rockdale County with the Pave The Path 10K run and metric century bike rides Saturday.

Registration begins at 7 a.m. at the Conyers Welcome Center, located in the train depot at Railroad and Center streets in Olde Town Conyers. The 10K run begins 8 a.m. and a 2K fun run at 8:15 a.m.

Cyclists will have the choice of three routes for the metric century: a 29-mile loop that will cover north Rockdale County, a 35-mile loop that goes south, or both for a combined 64-mile bike ride.

Proceeds from the run and bike rides will go toward the development of the Olde Town Conyers Trail and other community-based bicycle-friendly programs.

Eddie Shirey, an event organizer and member of the Conyers-Covington Cycling Club, said the events will offer a challenging run and ride for people while highlighting local attractions such as the Georgia Veterans Memorial Park's Walk of Heroes and Alexander Lake that is part of the Arabia Mountain Heritage Area.

"It's a regular sight-seeing tour of Rockdale County," he said. "There's bike rides every weekend across Georgia put on by different clubs and groups. This one is different because it has a sort of a historical flavor to it instead of a bear down and pedal as hard as you can all day."

It is the second annual Pave The Path event. Last year, it was a 10K run only along a stretch of the multi-use trail in Rockdale County that will eventually connect Arabia Mountain Nature Center with Panola Mountain State Park and the Monastery of the Holy Spirit.

The 10K run last year attracted about 50 runners and raised $3,500. This year's 10K will be a loop through Olde Town Conyers that will traverse to Lester Road from Main Street, across Sigman Road to Rockbridge Road and returning on Main Street.

Shirey said he hopes the event will build up to be a premiere cycling and running event in the state to show off the community.

"It is a bit of a showcase for the community," he said. "A large part of what we are trying to do is to introduce visitors to the county and Olde Town Conyers, and see the restaurants and bars we have here."

Part of the proceeds will help in efforts to make Conyers a Bicycle-Friendly Community. The Bicycle-Friendly Community designation is a nationwide campaign that recognizes municipalities that actively support bicycling and provide safe accommodation for cycling and encourage residents to bike for transportation and recreation.

Fifty-eight communities across the country have Bicycle-Friendly status and Roswell is the only city in Georgia that has achieved this designation, according to the Bicycle-Friendly Community Web site.

For more information, visit www.conyerspavethepath.com or e-mail pavethepath10K@yahoo.com.

Jay Jones can be reached at jay.jones@rockdalecitizen.com.

SideBar: If you go

What: Second annual Pave The Path 10K, 2K runs and metric century bicycle rides.

When: Registration for both runs and century rides begins at 7 a.m. Saturday. The 10K run starts at 8 a.m., followed by the 2K fun run. The century bicycle rides will be staggered beginning at 10 a.m.

Where: The runs will be in Olde Town Conyers while the bicycle century rides will consist of two loops covering north and south Rockdale County.

For more information: Visit www.conyerspavethepath.com or e-mail pavethepath10K@yahoo.com.