Southside gears up for 'Spin the District'

- The Southside will see lots of faces this weekend in East Point, College Park and Hapeville for its first ever 'Spin the District.'

The multi-faceted cycling experience is a three-day event kicking off Friday at Georgia's only velodrome in East Point.

"We want folks to know that the Southside is really a great place and there's lots of great restaurants, hotels and things to do that people don't know about," Atlanta Airport District President Cookie Smoak said. "We thought hey we are going to do this event because it will be a way to bring in large numbers of people so they can see first hand what we have to offer."

The high-speed races will continue Saturday and Sunday at two criterions in College Park and Hapeville.

"We've been working really hard for over a year now to pull this off," Smoak said.

Along with the cycling, Smoak said there will be music and food for spectators.

"It's like a festival that we hope continues to grow so people can really enjoy and experience the Atlanta airport district," Smoak said.

The inaugural event is part of Mountain Biking in Atlanta's Ride and Fly initiative.

The project is working to add nearly 20 miles of paved bicycle trails connecting numerous cities in the metro Atlanta area.

"East Point has the first section that is ready to ride," Mountain Biking in Atlanta Vice President Wayne Whitesides said. "We are about to build a pump track. In College Park, we are also about to start building some trails."

Whitesides said this initiative may be one of the biggest of its kind.

"It will connect East Point, College Park, Hapeville and the city of Atlanta," Whitesides said. "Our goal will be to continue down to Union City, Fairburn and Chattahoochee Hills all connected through the paved trails with mountain bike and hiking trails all leading up to them."

For more information on this weekend's Spin the District, visit

For more information on MBI's Ride and Fly project visit

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