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Pedal power put toward a good cause
Good News bicycle ride a fun way to aid local agencies
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Good News for Gainesville

What: Bike ride

When: 9 a.m. Saturday

Where: Riverbend Baptist Church, 1715 Cleveland Highway, Gainesville

How much: $35, includes a T-shirt, goody bag and lunch

More info: 770-534-1078

For the second year in a row, newbies to experienced cyclists will come together through faith and for a good cause this weekend.

At least 13 local congregations will ride a 25, 35 or 60-mile trek through the Northeast Georgia hills to benefit Good News at Noon, the Good News Clinic and Adults Protecting Children.

"I love that pretty much anyone in the community can be involved," said Nate Early, a cyclist and deacon at Westminster Presbyterian Church. "You don't have to go to a specific church or a church at all. I think that most people would support Good News at Noon and the Good News Clinic, and it's just an opportunity to be with some people that are fun, have a good time and get some exercise."

Early is an experienced cyclist but this year will stick to the two-hour, 25-mile ride because he'll be pulling his 4 and 2-year-old daughters behind the bike.

Early said last year's 25-mile ride he took with some beginners took about two hours. He said that the 25-miler is perfect for a beginning rider.

"It goes by so much easier that you think it does. And especially the 25 and even the 35, it's pretty flat so you don't have to worry about too many hills and there's lots of rest stops," he said. "There's professional riders that come, too ... any bike will work with a couple of gears and make sure you have a comfortable seat."

Rest stops throughout the ride will offer granola bars, water, Gatorade and bananas, along with restrooms.

"This year volunteers from local churches will be at the rest stops," the Rev. Chuck Debartelaben of Westminster Presbyterian said. "Volunteers from Holly Springs Methodist will have a rest stop, and Concord Baptist."

So far this year, Debartelaben said the registration numbers are looking as good as the fall weather. The forecast is for clear skies and mild temperatures.

"I think we've got about 30 to 35 registrations which is what we had the day before the event last year and 90 ended up at registration," he said of the benefit that raised $4,000 last year.

"I would say we are a little bit ahead this year. We're hoping to do a little better and looks like we will have great weather. The temperature is going to be wonderful."

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