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Covington Century Bike Ride set for Aug. 3

COVINGTON -- For the second year, the Southern Bicycle League and Trails and Tails are teaming up to support Newton Trails, Pound Puppies 'N Kittens and Hometown Animal Rescue. Organizers say they are "helping to build trails and save tails."

The Covington Century Bike Ride is set for Saturday, Aug. 3, and will have a 7 a.m. mass start from Georgia Piedmont Technical College's Newton Conference Center at 8100 Bob Williams Parkway.

Registration is now being accepted, but the ride will be limited to 2,500 cyclists. Ride options start from $30. Go to www.covingtoncentury.com to register.

"Last year in a torrential downpour we had 1,006 cyclists, so hopefully there won't be a torrential downpour so we are expecting a great deal more," said Charlotte Kuehn, ride director for Covington Century.

The ride, which can be customized to 13, 38, 67 or 100 miles, will be routed through Covington, Oxford, Jersey, Rutledge, Social Circle, Mansfield and Newborn.

Vehicles with first aid, food and mechanical assistance will follow riders. The ride will go forward rain or shine with signature rest stops. Helmets are required.

The Trails and Tails Expo will be offered in the air conditioned venue at GPTC and will feature a raffle, smoothie bar, door prizes, an after-ride "Beach Party" with guitarist Chris Cates, jerseys, commemorative T-shirts and caps. Food venues will include such fare as Just Dog's Brats, portabella mushroom and Black Angus burgers, lobster rolls and broccoli salad.

"For folks who don't cycle, we're giving away two electric trikes. They can come on site and buy a raffle ticket," Kuehn said. "We'll also have electric bike demonstrations. They're very cool for folks who want to get into cycling and can't handle the hills."

Kuehn encourages folks to come out and support the charities that will be beneficiaries of the funds raised during the ride.

"The more cyclists we have the more money for Newton Trails, Hometown Animal Rescue of Conyers and Pound Puppies 'N Kittens," Kuehn said. "Normally, we wouldn't want 2,500 cyclists in one place, but we can do it as long as we're raising money for these terrific charities."

Newton Trails is a local nonprofit that is working to develop a trail system in Newton County; Hometown Animal Rescue of Conyers will use funds to pay for low-cost shot clinics and save stray and neglected dogs; and Pound Puppies 'N Kittens helps get dogs and cats out of overcrowded shelters and into safe foster homes in counties east of Atlanta.

The Covington Century ride is under the auspices of the Southern Bicycle League and is one of four signature events sponsored by the group, including the Wilson 100 in Senoia, the Holiday Ride in Hampton and a new one called Ride Rockdale with the Monks which will cover the new Monastery trail into Lithonia.