Week of Events

USA Speed Week 2023 is close at hand. Some of us will push our pedals to win medals all over the Southeast for nine days, but of course, we aren’t all lucky enough to travel to all seven events. We’d hardly call the rest of us unlucky, though, because while we’re keeping up with the action from a distance, there won’t be a dull moment here in the ATL Airport District! We’ve assembled a special weeklong schedule of local cycling events in celebration of Speed Week.


Rest Day or


Rest Day Ride: You have already raced a couple of events, we know you’re tired, but you still need to get out and loosen up those legs. (And for some of us, we’ll just be getting off work, and could use a nice mellow ride around the ATL Airport District. 18ish mile ride, party(ish) pace – weather dependent

Where: Outback Bikes Hapeville Hub 3409 Estelle St, Hapeville, GA 30354
When:  6:00 PM
Route: TBD

Arches Brewing –  Spin All Day Lager Get Together: After the ride, head on over to Arches to hang out and enjoy some Spin All Day Lager or any of their other tasty treats. Pick up a sixer to go!

Where: Arches Brewing – 3361 Dogwood Dr, Hapeville, GA 30354
When:  7:30 p.m. – 9:00PM?

Brought to you by:


Spin the District
Union City Crit & Disco Dance Party

Head over to the Union City Crit page (link) for times and complete details. The newest criterium to the Spin family includes twilight racing, great food trucks, music and fun activities for all ages.

Where: 5047 Union St, Union City, GA 30291 (map)
When:  4PM – 10PM

Everything you need to know can be found here >> Union City Criterium


Rest Day or…

Metro Atlanta Cycling Club Thursday Tango and post ride drinks at Manchester Arms

…Not a rest day? Join us and our good friends at the Metro Atlanta Cycling Club’s Thursday Tango. (https://maccattack.com) This group ride starts in East Point, GA only a few miles away from either Criterium. This is their big weekly ride and it gets pretty feisty. Everyone leaves together, but it eventually splits up as you get away from the airport. The ride includes a couple of good hills and a fast downhill sprint to open up the legs. The ride averages 20+ and is a drop ride. Be on time, they don’t wait for anyone.

Where: 2833 Main St., East Point, GA 30344
Start Time: 6:30 p.m. sharp
Downloadable GPX/TCX File: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/32070541

Manchester Arms Post Ride Story Telling: Weather dependent – We’ll meet up after the ride at Manchester Arms, a short ride or drive from the start of the Thursday Tango, to probably talk a little trash and tell and few tall tales of past rides. Join us for a beer on Ethic and a variety of appetizers thanks to the ATL Airport District

Where: Manchester Arms 1705 Virginia Ave College Park, GA 30337
When:  8:30PM – 10PM

Brought to you by:


ACR Cycling’s Friday Social Ride,
and BeerGirl Handlebar Crawl

ACR Cycling Ride: A lot of racers will be up in Spartanburg crushing that course, but not all of us can make it, so come ride with us in the ATL Airport District. Our friends at ACR Cycling will be hosting a 20-ish-mile ride around the airport. The pace is about 17mph, with a few Strava sprints to get your heart rate (and thirst) up.

Where: Outback Bikes Hapeville Hub 3409 Estelle St, Hapeville, GA 30354
When:  6:00 PM

Beer Girl / ATL Airport District: The Handlebar Crawl is back for its 5th year. We’ll be rocking out behind Beer Girl Growler & Bottleshop in the Hapeville Arts Alley. Join us after the ride for drinks, appetizers and merriment.

Where: Hapeville Arts Alley – 591 N Central Ave, Atlanta, GA 30354
When:  7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Brought to you by:


Spin the District Hapeville Crit & Block Party

One of the fastest and technical courses all week. It’s sure to get the adrenaline flowing. The all-day celebration features food and entertainment, plus free activities for kids and adults. Check the Party Info page for a rundown of activities and up-to-the-minute schedules. Oh—and this being a bike-positive event, we’ll have a complimentary bicycle valet available for anyone arriving on two wheels. You know what that means…get on your bikes and ride!

Where: 3720 College St, College Park, GA 30337
When:  9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Everything you need to know can be found here >> Hapeville Criterium

Bearings Podium Party, April 29th 6:30-8:30PM: 

Come together after the Hapeville Criterium at Bearings Podium Party, co-hosted by Bearings Bike Works and local race team The Paceline Project. Bearings Bike Works is a bike-centered youth development organization in southwest Atlanta utilizing bikes to teach life skills and introduce youth to the thrill of cycling. 

The party will feature beer and wine, food, live music, raffles, and help provide access to Bearings’ youth cycling programs for youth in Atlanta.  Saturday, April 29, 6:30-8:30pm.


Spin the District College Park Crit &
Bayou Block Party
(Crawfish Boil)

This is it! The Speed Week grand finale. We’re holding nothing back. Our webpage has all the specifics, but you can expect one heck of a big sendoff. Great racing, great food and drink – yes, the crawfish boil ius back, plus a killer artist market.  Riders, we’re throwing you a little after-party to say thanks, so plan on staying a little longer.

Where: 3720 College St, College Park, GA 30337
When:  9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Everything you need to know can be found here >> College Park Criterium


Have you achieved good results lately? Come check out the ToughSkin Open and save some green. We’re offering free ToughSkin Open registration for the first 50 male and 50 female registrants that have placed in the top 5 of any 60-mile-plus Gravel RaceGrinder, or Gravel Gran Fondo from January 1, 2021 – August 1, 2022. Not a top 5 finisher yet? Put the pedal to the metal in this year’s Toughskin Open to compete for free registration in 2023.

Email us your results today to get your code for free registration. If you haven’t qualified for a freebie yet but you think you might in 2022, go ahead and register now to reserve your spot; you can email us when you win and we’ll work it out then. Oh, and don’t forget to book accommodations while the booking is good. Although Union City is exquisite for cycling, the gravel is not that great to sleep on.

Who we’ve found so far

If you’re one of the winners listed below (or if you’ve got the results but we haven’t listed your race yet), heck yeah! Let’s make sure you’re registered!

If you know somebody on the list, also heck yeah! You’re friends (or frenemies, coworkers, distant acquaintances) with a kickass rider who’s earned a sweet perk. Send ’em a link to make sure they register so y’all can ride together. Or against each other. We’re cool with whatever the situation is, though Mario Kart-style antics are prohibited. Our routes are treacherous enough, thanks.

Event name MenRider NameResultEvent name WomenRider NameResult
Spin the District ToughskinJohn Atkins1Spin the District ToughskinSue Neurath1
Pete Edmonson2
Michael Zinkann3
Chad Conley4
Justin Pugh5
Spin the District Denim60Will Gillen1Spin the District Denim60Melissa Whitley1
Kenneth Wood2Teresa Rose2
Nathan Brown3Jennifer Klein3
Taylor Gonsoulin4Kathleen LaPorte4
Flynn Whitehurst5Claire Colbert5
Southern Cross, GAMatthew Dockins1Southern Cross, GALauren De Crescenzo1
Jerry Dufour2Hannah Arensman2
Carson Beckett3Hannah Dalsing3
Thomas Turner4Kat Sweatt4
Jack White5Isabella Hyser5
Red Clay Ramble Long, GAJaden Grimes1Red Clay Ramble Long, GAAli Lecraw1
James Carney2Gillis Rowston2
Michael Sanders3Jenna Rittenhouse3
Julien Meaud4Wendy Jacobsen4
Dylan Lindsey5Rhys Young5
Red Clay Ramble Short, GAJackson Evans1Red Clay Ramble Short, GAMaggie Evans1
Drake Lindsey2Saskia Hoppe2
John Sasser3Jean D’Alessandro3
Sean Hulse4Tyler Houston4
Raniel Dantic5Renee Weidner5
Kissing Bridge Classic Long, GAJames Dunaway1Kissing Bridge Classic Long, GAElizabeth Eidson1
Arthur Murray2Abigail West2
Patrick Markarian3Wendy Jacobsen3
Tristan Haseler4Wendy Ewing4
Levi Cole5Beth White5
Kissing Bridge Classic Short, GASean Hulse1Kissing Bridge Classic Short, GASaskia Hoppe1
Chuck Wilkinson2Lynn Burch2
Brian Brown3Isabella Posth3
Doug Day4Kim Ranallo4
Amy Price5
Assault On Currahee Mountain Long, GAAndrew Blackstock1Assault On Currahee Mountain Long, GARhylee Wittrock1
Ben Renkema2Saskia Hoppe2
Jaden Grimes3Amy Price3
Conley Wilhelm4
James Carney5
Assault On Currahee Mountain Short, GATaylor Gonsoulin1Assault On Currahee Mountain Short, GAAbigail West1
Jonathan Ivester2Elizabeth Murray2
Michael Mack3Kate Crockett3
Brian Brown4Laura Battista4
David Tiller5Mindy Garvin-Leighton5
Mulberry Mayhem Long, GAElliott Baring1Mulberry Mayhem Long, GASara Fletcher1
Thomas Turner2Krystal Burnham2
Andrew Blackstock3Courtney Cooper3
Michael Sanders4Erin Harris4
Ben Renkema5Monica Desjardins5
Mulberry Mayhem Short, GATaylor Gonsoulin1Mulberry Mayhem Short, GAAriel Johnson1
Charles Haws2
Jason Cormier3
Colby Doepel4
Doug Day5
Georgia Gravel Grinduro, GAReny Townsend1Georgia Gravel Grinduro, GANicole Blessing1
Carlos Pacheco2
Jaden Grimes3
Nate Moser4
Luis Berrios5
Georgia Gravel Sramble, GAAustin Noyes1Georgia Gravel Sramble, GAAlynn Lecznar1
Timothy Brown2Margaret Bishop2
Prasad Manne3
Rod Fortney4
David Bishop5


Just outside Atlanta, featuring all the gravel and all the road miles you can eat, plus beer and chili.

Spin the District Gravel and Road Fondo

Remember the Fondo? The big ride, the Union City Fondo and Gravel Grind, the epic Spin the District finale? Back in 2018, 2019, and last October? Yeah, that was awesome. Let’s do it again.

What do you think about Saturday, October 22, 2022

Because that’s the date. It’s on. We’re doing it.

As always, the Fondo will take you through horse country in beautiful Union City, Ga.—easy on the eyes and the wallet, and super simple to travel to, bike and all. Which bike, you ask? We can’t answer that for you. You must choose.

You see, with each passing year, we make our gravel routes (the ToughSkin Open and the Denim60) more and more…what’s the word…mental. Punishing. Ridiculous. Each time segment is unique, all favoring a different style—gravel, road, mountain or cyclocross—so unless you’ve been developing an enchanted groadtaincross bike, you’re going to have to decide which bike to bet on and make it work. 

The mixed-gravel adventure comes in two sizes, 60 and 120ish miles long, each incorporating an unpredictable mix of gravel, pavement, mud, water, man-made obstacles and the constant up and down of the Chattahoochee Hill Country. There’s also 30-, 60-, and 100-mile road options that incorporate…road. Just road. Which is nice, too. Real nice, actually. 


People (mostly us, but sometimes other people) have been calling the Fondo “The Unofficial Mixed Surface Championship,” because it attracts the best of the best gravel riders from across the country. Why do champions flock to this ride in particular? Check it:

  1. It is, as previously described, spectacular. No other ride combines all these different disciplines into one supremely gnarly event. 
  2. Union City is scenic and affordable in terms of travel and accommodations, and only a few minutes from Atlanta.
  3. Our rider support is excellent.
  4. Our after party is even better.
  5. Winners ride free.

So yeah, okay, maybe #5 should’ve been at the top. Each year, Spin the District invites the year’s gravel champs to register free of charge; this year, the first 50 male and 50 female entrants who have placed in any U.S. gravel race over 60 miles since January 1, 2021 will be granted free registration. (If that’s you, email granfondo@spinthedistrict.com about your free registration sooner than later. It would be devastating to find out your request was our one-hundred-and-first. Elliott Smith would write a song about you.)

Whoever finishes each of the day’s rides fastest will receive sweet custom medals, while the time segment winners in the road and mixed surface century events (men’s and women’s divisions) will be awarded wrestling-style championship belts. 

Win or lose, all riders chill together as equals after the ride with food, beer and massages.



Registration opens on January 2, 2022  and can be completed online:
Spin the District 2022 Fondo Registration

Book accommodations in advance for the best rates:
Spin the District Accommodations via the ATL Airport District


It’s simple: Spin the District is a bike race. Well—four bike races. Well—okay, they aren’t all races, and there’s a lot of other stuff, too, so it’s more like Spin is four weekends of cycling and parties, with festivals, beer crawls, training rides and more thrown in for added awesomeness. It’s Atlanta’s answer to Athens Twilight, 6 days of Berlin, RAGBRAI, and Rebecca’s Private Idaho, all in one family-size party pack. See? So simple!

Spin the District is hosted by the ATL Airport District, the official convention and visitors bureau for the cities of College Park, East Point, Hapeville and Union City, Ga. For more information about ATL Airport District, Spin the District, and the Union City Fondo, visit spinthedistrict.com.

Let’s all get to the Velodrome

Spin the District race #3 is Saturday, September 17th at the Dick Lane Velodrome.

You can always drive to the velodrome, most people do, but on a big race night, parking can be a little limited and honestly, we’ll have great craft beer. So… what other options do you have so can fully partake in the festivities?

Car Share, of course!
Just give them this address:
Dick Lane Velodrome
1889 Lexington Ave
East Point, GA 30344

Google Directions

By MARTA! ’cause it’s smart-a
The Dick Lane Velodrome is in beautiful Sumner Park, which is only a mile from the East Point Marta stop.

How to do it:
Get off on in East Point on the Main St or Western side of the tracks. Head west on Thompson Ave for 0.4mi. Turn Right on Semmes St. and travel 0.3mi. Turn Left on Neely Ave, then take the 2nd right onto Lexington Ave and the velodrome will be on your right. Easy Peasy.

Ride your bike:
The most direct and fastest way to the velodrome coming from downtown is to come straight down Main Street, but for many riders, the traffic on Main Street can be a little much, so here are a few alternatives that our marketing team uses to get a tasty beverage at their second favorite brewery – Best End – after working at the velodrome. Note: See additional directions below to our favorite local drinking holes.

Best End to the Velodrome via Murphy Street. (Uses a pedestrian bridge over Langford Pky)

Or if we’re feeling really mellow we take Brewer Street. (Uses a different ped bridge over Langford Pkwy)


Here’s a handy-dandy map going from Arches/BeerGirl(ish) in Hapeville and heads past Chairs Upstairs in East Point to the velodrome. We highly recommend this bike ride!

Note: you can use the Brewer route to get to Arches and BeerGirl from downtown. Continue down Springdale Rd SW after you walk over the Ped Bridge and take it until it dead-ends (Walk around the barrier) turn left on Cofield Drive and then right on Dogwood… Voilà you’re in Hapeville.

Now if you have to drive. Here all you need to know.


From I-75/85 and I-20 (the easy way)
Head south and stay on I-85 at the split. Exit at Cleveland Ave and turn right. Go one mile to Norman Berry Dr. Turn Right. When you see the velodrome on left (one mile), take the next left and keep turning left.

From I-75/85 and I-20 the quickest way (save a minute)
Head south on I-75/85. Exit at Langford Pkwy (GA166). Bear right going west. Exit Fort McPhearson/N. Main St (route 29) Bear right onto N. Main St.(route 29) heading south. Travel approximately 1.2 miles staying in the far right lane, travel straight onto church St, just past the Amoco Station (N. Main St will bear left) Turn right onto Neely St. Continue past Semmes St and bear left at fork and turn right at the stop sign (Lexington Ave.) The Velodrome is on the right.


From I-75 and I-285
Head north on I-75. Exit at Cleveland Ave and turn left. When you cross over I-85, go one mile to Norman Berry Dr. Turn Right. When you see the velodrome on left (one mile), take the next left and keep turning left.


From I-285 West and I-20
Head south on I-285. Exit east on Langford Parkway (hwy 166). Exit at Delowe Drive and turn right. Go to Norman Berry/Headland Drive. Turn left. When you see the Velodrome (on right), take the next right and keep turning right.

Check Out These Top Merch Results

With only a few short days until Spin the District 2021 kicks off at the Hapeville and College Park Crits, Spin HQ has officially received all of this year’s merch and swag deliveries. We were going to surprise you, but that was before we saw this stuff in person. Turns out it’s too good to keep a lid on! Here’s what we’ve got, what you’ll get, and how to get your hands on the rest.

For purchase on race days: 2021 Event T-shirts and Hats

This year’s limited edition “I Want to Ride My 🚲” Spin the District t-shirt design is like the chic B-side to our 2018 smash hit “Get on Your Bike and Ride” shirt—but it’s the kind of B-side that ultimately upstages the original single. That shirt brought us fame and fortune and everything that goes with it, but this is one will rock you.

The hats? Truly a rhapsody. We highly recommend picking one up at your earliest convenience, because we can’t imagine they will stay in stock for long.

These items can be purchased at all Spin events, as well as during rider packet pickups and the HandleBar crawl. RIDER BONUS: One free t-shirt is included with every rider registration.

Free on race days: Cowbells and Stickers

Then there’s the stuff we all get just for showing up on Spin days (while supplies last)! This year we’ve got two awesome oversized sticker designs—our classic logo sticker and our new Friendship Circle design—plus a nice, loud red cowbell for your collection. Come on out, watch a race, snag some goodies, and ring that bell.

Free for all volunteers: Volunteer T-shirts

On race days, look for volunteers in these fun light blue shirts. This design is an exclusive gift just for volunteers. If you’re feeling covetous, it’s not too late to sign up for a Spinster shift at one of our upcoming events.

Free for winners: Belts, Medals and Patches

These are the toughest items to snag, but boy, are they worth it!

Spin the District medals are awarded to first, second and third place finishers in all races with paid registration.

Spin the District ribbons are awarded to all riders in our kids’ races on both Crit days (Hapeville and College Park). They look great on a backpack.

The Fondo event in October will offer embroidered Spin the District century patches for all Toughskin Open and Polyester100 finishers.

That big, shiny wrestling belt? We’ve got two of those for the overall winners (Men and Women) for both combined days of the upcoming Crits; two more for the overall winners (Men and Women) at the Omni; and four for the fastest Time Segment riders (Men and Women) for the Toughskin Open and Polyester100 rides at the Fondo. What is that, eight? Eight belts? Eight belts, y’all. And it only takes one to be branded a champion for life.

Kids Races


Bring the kiddos out to be part of the action and start their racing career off right. Just before the pro-women head to the line, we’ll kick off the evening races with two show-stopping events for the next generation of racers: 1) those who have been riding a good bit and 2) those who are just starting out. It’s all for fun, but pride and participation ribbons could get the best of your youngins.

2:30 Sharp… Rider (parent) meeting to get things organized. Please meet at the registration table for both days. Ask for Wayne Whitesides. Please don’t be late. We will be on a tight schedule to get the pro-women off by 3:30.
3:00 Rider call ups (or children round up)
Race 1: 
• Hapeville One lap blast: Children who’ve been riding and feel confident to complete one lap of the approximately 1/2 mile course.
• College Park Hill Sprint: Up the hill and around the corner to the finish. Short, but challenging.
Race 2: Both days will be a Straightaway Sprint: Tykes with trikes, training wheels, and striders line up for a mad dash from one loving parent on the starting line to the other parent (or loved one) on the finish line.

The more the merrier and the faster they tend to go.  Don’t forget their helmet!

A special surprise is in the works for the kids on Sunday that you won’t want to miss.

Did we mention to not forget their helmet? Seriously, please remember their helmets.

2021 Speed Week

About Speed Week

Spin the District’s Hapeville and College Park Crits are more than exciting downtown race days. They’re also the climax of USA Crits Speed Week, the fastest series in the Southeast.

Eight days of wild criteriums take riders on a thrilling tour of Georgia and South Carolina, all with a handsome prize purse on the line. While each city’s event stands alone as a great day of crit racing for pros and amateurs at every level, pro individuals and teams also have the opportunity to sign up for the entire series and vie for the overall crown. We’ll see the culmination of Speed Week at the College Park finals on May 1, where the men’s and women’s series winners will be revealed.

Website | Facebook Page

Speed Week Event Dates

Friday, August 20, 2021

Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System Criterium

Website | Facebook Page | Register

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Athens Orthopedic Clinic Twilight Criterium

Website | Facebook Page | Register

Sun August 22, 2021

Grant Park Criterium

Website | Facebook Page | Register

Monday, August 23, 2021

Springfield Criterium

Website | Register

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Walterboro Criterium

Website | Facebook Page | Register

Friday, August 27, 2021

LaGrange Criterium


Saturday, April 23, 2022

Hapeville Criterium

Website | Facebook Page | Register

Saturday, April 23, 2022

College Park Criterium

Website | Facebook Page | Register

Outback Bikes’ Pete Wicker on bucking the bonk

Long time cycling sponsor (in all things cycling) Pete Wicker gets ready to teach the next generation a thing or two
at the 2019 Hapeville Criterium kids races. Thanks Pete, SPIN and everyone in the Atlanta cycling community thanks you!

By Pete Wicker
If you ride a bike, you may have experienced the dreaded BONK! Also known as hypoglycemia, bonking feels like hitting a wall. This does not make for a great time on your bike.

Eating before you’re hungry and drinking before you’re thirsty sounds like good advice. There are a few things to remember. If your ride is an hour or less, water will get you through. If your ride is longer, a banana, energy gel, or bar every 45 to 60 minutes works best for me. Additionally, if it’s a hot and humid day, I use an electrolyte drink, usually in an easy-to-carry tablet form. I recommend you try a few different brands of energy foods to see how they work before any race-type workout. Always drink enough water: one to two bottles an hour on a hot day, or just one per hour on cooler days.            

Recovery is probably the most overlooked part of cycling by novices. There is a 45- to 60- minute window to replenish muscle glycogen. Your body craves replenishment and will recover better with a mixture of carbohydrates and protein.

Personally, I love a variety of cycling activities. Velodrome Racing, Cyclocross, Gravel, Time Trials and Mountain Biking are a few of my favorites. Track Racing is the purest form of cycling that I enjoy most. With one gear and no brakes, it’s kind of like riding a rollercoaster—but your cycling nutrition shouldn’t be.


Outback Bikes

Hapeville Criterium Kids Race
Pete pushing the up-and-coming to become Hapeville’s next Champion.
(or based on both of their faces, maybe Pete’s the one being pushed?)

On the Road

by Wayne Whitesides

I’m finally in the passenger seat, 4,247 miles into an epic Montana road trip, with nearly a third of the drive still ahead of me. It’s the conclusion of a family vacation born of a dad’s wish for one last father-daughter adventure before she heads off to the University of Georgia this fall.

These hours in the car have given me plenty of time to reflect on cycling, Spin the District, and this blog.

The Spin the District event series was created to highlight the greatness of the ATL Airport District through the lens of a cyclist. To be successful, we need to give every cyclist and cycling fan—from the seasoned to the newly initiated—a truly fantastic Spin experience. We can do a lot on the day, like providing flawless organization, great support, and an excellent neighborhood party, but for everyone to get the most out of the event, we also need to do a little preparation in advance: for cyclists, we can help keep you focused on training, discipline, and what to expect; for spectators, we need to provide a rudimentary education in the art of cycling and the rules of engagement. For new and aspiring riders, we can do a little of both.

So let’s not dilly-dally. Pitter patter, let’s get at ‘er. 

Start at the beginning: get out and ride!

I love riding my bike, any bike; road, gravel, track, mountain, it doesn’t matter. I even have a bike just for beer runs, complete with a front rack to handily hold a case of my favorite frosty beverages from Beer Girl or Arches Brewing. Each outing is an adventure, and I love riding one mile just as much as I love riding hundreds.

I want you to experience that feeling, too. If you’re not sure how to make cycling part of your life or get back into it, your first step is to choose your bike (or dust off the one way back in the corner) and decide where to go. 

A young woman in a Union City Fondo jersey looks out over the expansive Montana landscape.

Set your sights

Everyone needs goals. Without them, it’s hard to stay motivated, and excuses are more likely to take over.

The trip that I’m currently on has provided my family with months of motivation. We’d already ridden across Iowa a couple of times, and my daughter rode her first century (100-mile ride) on the back of our tandem when she was 11. So I knew we needed something big to motivate us both.

It started in the middle of last winter with a question. “Would you like to do one last epic thing with your old man before he loses control of your life?”

“Dad, that’ll never happen! I’ll always have time for you,” she replied, as I heard Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle” over and over in my head.

Choked up, tears in my eyes, the research began. With COVID still devastating the country and all 2020 events canceled, we knew we’d need some backup options, and that choosing a super popular event might not be a great idea. That took a few bucket-list events like Vermont Overland or the Belgian Waffle Race in San Diego out of the running. After scouring the interwebs, we decided on the Gold Rush 110-mile gravel race in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and the long months of training began.

Long story short, she crushed it, and more importantly, she’s still talking to me!

So choose your adventure—any adventure. Think about what excites you. For us, it was riding in a part of the country we’ve never been to, with enough mileage and elevation gain to make us work for it. But you know you best, and your ideal ride may be completely different.

If you’re new or getting back into cycling, keep your goals simple and attainable but worth the effort, like Spin the District’s 30-mile road ride in October. Or think big, like our 100-mile mixed surface ToughSkin Open.

Of course, while we’d love for you to choose any of our events, the important thing is just to choose something and make it happen. If time and resources are limited, find something local. Whatever it is, put it on your calendar, tell your family, friends and co-workers, and get going. 

If you’re hell bent on going from the couch to a century ride, look for events at least six months out, if not more, to give yourself time to train. But we’d recommend keeping it real with a 10-mile ride first, or heading over to your local mountain bike course and finding the beginner loop. Then find a 30-miler or an intermediate trail and go for that. Keep leveling up until you’re unstoppable.

If you’re already in peak condition, raise your game. Go for a metric century (100 kilometers or 62 miles). Compete in your first (beginner) criterium race. If you’re lucky enough to have a velodrome in your area, take a beginner class and learn to ride a fixed gear. Or, better yet, plan your own road trip around an awesome event series, perhaps in the ATL Airport District.

This is just the start of a new series on this blog that will cover getting started, getting back into the saddle, training, nutrition, and day-of dos and don’ts. We’ll be back with some training tips next week, but for now, start scouring the web for the experience that gets you going. A great place to start is granfondoguide.com, which happens to be featuring our Union City Road and Gravel Fondo. Or register for a Spin event now and start training for your adventure. 


ATLANTA (April 23, 2022) – ATL Airport District is thrilled to welcome both cyclists and spectators alike to Spin the District – the community’s third annual cycling race series, providing an immersive experience for guests and transforming the area’s streets into a premier cycling destination. Following last year’s cancelation due to COVID-19, Spin the District is returning in full swing this year – offering food, entertainment and festivities for all to enjoy. The cycling events kick off with the Hapeville Crit on Saturday, April 23, followed by the College Park Crit on Sunday, May 1, and the East Point Omni on Saturday, September 17. The high-powered cycling action wraps up on Saturday, October 22, for the Union City Fondo and Gravel Grind, and as a bike-positive event, all Spin the District events will have a complimentary bicycle valet available to everyone arriving on two wheels.

“We’re really excited to bring Spin the District back to life this summer and fall,” said Cookie Smoak, president of ATL Airport District. “Having closed the chapter on a long year, we’re overjoyed to have the opportunity to bring the community together once again and showcase all that ATL Airport District has to offer – as a premier cycling destination and beyond.”

Union City Fondo Denim 60

Hapeville Crit | April 23

Kicking off at 11 a.m., Spin the District launches during USA Crits Speed Week with the Hapeville Crit – a fast-paced, 1.4-kilometer route in the heart of the city. Hapeville’s course will feature the first and fastest cycling adventure for participants – including a seven-corner course and 150-meter straight finish. The day will include racing for all ages and levels, finishing with the crowd favorite kid’s tricycle race and the best pro men and women racers from across the country. Friends, family and cycling enthusiasts can gather for a Saturday Block Party at Jess Lucas Y-Teen Park to commemorate the weekend with frothy drinks, food and festivities throughout the afternoon. Rider registration and details can be seen here.

College Park Crit | May 1

Wrapping up the initial Spin weekend and USA Crits Speed Week, the College Park Crit will last from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., with a block party scheduled from noon to close. The College Park course will feature a five-corner circuit, tight turns and an uphill finish, all located in the historic streets of downtown College Park. Spectators are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs, tents and sunscreen – and can indulge in local food trucks throughout the afternoon, alongside family-friendly games and kid’s races. Cyclist registration and details can be accessed here.

East Point Omni | September 17

Calling all cycling enthusiasts – East Point’s Omni is the biking event of the season! A party for both riders and spectators, the race is located at Dick Lane Velodrome – the only concrete cycling facility in Georgia – and is an all-out race on bikes going 40+ mph with no brakes, no coasting and only one gear. Guests can enjoy live entertainment from a DJ, food trucks, local craft beer, Velodrome concessions, games and

beyond – all while enjoying a view of cyclists and the city’s historic Sumner Park. Admission for the public is free of cost, and cyclists can find registration details here.

Union City Fondo | October 22

Spin the District comes to a close with its highly anticipated finale – the Union City Fondo and Gravel Grind. Known as one of the best values in the country, the gran fondo is a high-energy finish to Spin the District, offering a variety of mile options and range of routes through South Fulton, Coweta and Carroll Counties. Cyclists can choose between 30-, 60- and 100-mile gravel and road routes, with a range of classic routes like the Polyester100, Rayon60 and Velour30. This year’s course includes an option to partake in challenging gravel rides, including the ToughSkin Open, a hard-wearing gravel blend, and the Denim60, made for a resilient, smoother ride. Guests can celebrate the conclusion of Spin the District with music, drinks and bites in Union City following the races. More information on rider registration can be seen here.

More details are forthcoming. For more information on ATL Airport District and Spin the District, click here.

About ATL Airport District:

ATL Airport District is the official convention & visitors bureau for the cities of College ParkEast PointHapeville and Union City, Ga. ATL Airport District CVB’s mission is to generate economic development for the cities mentioned above by effectively presenting the community as a preferred tourism, convention and meeting destination. For more information, please visit https://www.atldistrict.com.