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Posted: May 3, 2009 12:00 a.m.

Bicyclists take to the streets

Monthly bike rides start today

By Mandi Singer/

Nice ride: Members of the Covington-Conyers Cycling Club make their way down Wesley Street in Oxford.

As the warm weather settles in, residents will start seeing more bicyclists riding through Covington.

The Covington Newton County Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Covington, and the Covington Conyers Cycling Club (C4) announced this week plans for a monthly community bicycle ride through historic Downtown Covington on the first Sunday of each month. The first ride will be held this Sunday, May 3, starting at 3 p.m. from the front steps of the Newton County Historic Courthouse on the Covington square.

"The emphasis here is on community," said C4 President Maurice Carter. "We want this to be a relaxed ride enjoyed by adults of all ages, families, children, and casual cyclists looking for a pleasant spin around town with good company. Covington is just a great place to be outdoors, and there’s no substitute for seeing it from the seat of a bicycle."

Carter said the route will vary from month to month, but will generally be five to seven miles in length. Everyone is welcome.

According to the Chamber Director of Tourism, Clara Deemer, this community bike ride is part of a broader tourism program focused on leveraging the attractiveness of Covington and Newton County to cyclists across metro Atlanta and beyond. "We saw last June how the Bicycle Ride Across Georgia (BRAG) brought over 1,500 riders and their families to Oxford and Covington," Deemer said. "And, the Covington Century Bike Ride to benefit Project Adventure Kids draws over a thousand riders every August. This community bike ride is a way for the citizens of Newton County to get out and share our roads with those cyclists who come here and spend money that benefits our local businesses."

Main Street Covington Director Josephine Kelly said local downtown merchants have been happy to climb aboard with the bike ride idea.

"We’ll be highlighting some of our local restaurants and other businesses," Kelly said. "Riders will get discounts and special offers to keep tying this ride into our local business community."

All riders are required to wear a helmet. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

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