IF YOU RIDE
• What: Bicycle Ride Across Georgia 2012
• When: June 2-9
• Cost: Full $275 adult fee pays for space and hot showers at campsite and snacks along the way. Seniors, children and college students pay less.
• More information: See www.brag.org or call 770-498-5153.
About 1,200 bicycle riders are expected to roll through Catoosa and Whitfield counties on the first weekend in June.
Bicycle Ride Across Georgia has chosen Fort Oglethorpe as the starting point for its 33rd annual weeklong ride. Scores of cyclists will log roughly 50 miles a day cruising through a chunk of North Georgia while camping out each night at schools and community centers.
"It's not a race, it's a ride," ride director Vicki Thompson said. "We're a stop-and-smell-the-roses type of thing."
Bikers will stay at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School overnight June 2. Then they'll head out early June 3 through Chickamauga Battlefield en route to Dalton, Ga., where they'll camp that night at Dalton High School.
Bicycle Ride Across Georgia picks a different section of the state each year.
"We haven't been up north in a while," Thompson said.
The chance to bike through Chickamauga Battlefield was a factor in choosing Fort Oglethorpe as the starting point, she said.
"Actually, we tried to start in Chattanooga. But we just couldn't seem to find a location that would work," Thompson said.
Fort Oglethorpe City Manager Ron Goulart predicted the ride will be a boost to businesses.
"It's going to be a big deal," Goulart said. "Our restaurants and everything will be covered up."
Some cyclists opt for hotels instead of tent camping, Thompson said. Participants are provided with a list of lodgings along the route.
Since the cyclists will ride out of town early on a Sunday morning, Goulart doesn't anticipate much conflict with motorists.
"It won't be any more difficult than when we do parades and stuff," he said.
Tim Omarzu covers education for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California.