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Senoia bike rides may become annual fundraiser

Published Sunday, June 06, 2010 in Local

By Winston Skinner

the way to see historic downtown Senoia on Saturday was on two wheels.

the Senoia Area Historical Society sponsored a bicycle tour through the town’s streets lined with homes, church and commercial buildings from an earlier time. Later in the morning, motorcyclists gathered in the downtown area to begin a ride that would go through much of Coweta County’s rural and small town areas.

Senoia exuded small town charm for the visitors. Early registrants for the motorcycle ride wandered through downtown where shops with antiques, clothing, purses and curios were open. Along residential streets, songbirds created a symphony beneath spreading limbs as the pedal riders enjoyed seeing different parts of the east Coweta city.

At the SAHS museum, located in a freshly painted historic home, volunteers were busy getting ready for the barbecue lunch riders would enjoy upon completion of their respective routes. Janet Van Orden and Cindy Divido were putting red vinyl tablecloths on tables outdoors.

“I’m the treasurer, so I know we need money,” Divido said. A friend, Bonnie Bobbitt from Fayetteville, is an active pedal biker, and she helped with planning the ride for the bicycle route.

Divido herself — along with several other volunteers — loves motorcycles. “If I didn’t have five children, I’d be riding,” she said.

The rides provided a way for the society to raise money for its ongoing projects — including a busy summer schedule at the museum. the events also created a fun atmosphere for participants and introduced some people to Senoia.

“The majority of the riders are not from Senoia,” Divido noted.

Divido said several tour groups are slated to visit Senoia this summer. the museum has “a lot of wonderful things” on display,” she said. “We’ll be one of the stops on several of the tours.”

Tax-deductible contributions to help the society can be sent to Senoia Area Historical Society, P.O. Box 301, Senoia, GA 30276.

The society also needs some things people might have in a basement or attic — antique table and floor lamps, a small table, an 8 by 10 foot Persian rug and a television set that will show DVDs. “On the practical side, we need a new refrigerator,” said Maureen Schuyler, a member of the museum committee.

“We’re looking for wood dining room chairs,” Schuyler said, as well as “large white tablecloths.”

Even donations of such everyday items as paper towels and light bulbs can help. “We always need paper goods,” Schuyler said.

Denise James from Sharpsburg helped map out the route for the motorcycles. she said the route would go through much of Coweta County, almost entirely on back roads. the motorbike riders were first headed to Haralson then to Moreland, through Newnan and across the western part of the county to Arnco and Sargent. from Roscoe, the route went through Palmetto and Tyrone and back to Senoia.

James said the route covered about 100 miles and would take about two hours — maybe a little longer if the bikers ran into much traffic in Newnan.

James herself was planning to ride — something that is a passion for her. “I love to ride my bike. It’s like therapy for me. it clears my head,” she said.

Both Divido and James talked about the possibility of repeating the bike events in 2011. “If it’s successful, it will become an annual thing,” James said.

The ABATE motorcycle organization helped spread the word about the Senoia events. Facebook and the local Harley Davidson were also utilized to get the word out. James said she hopes online pre-registration can be done in the future.

“Bikers are the most philanthropic people,” James said. “We do like to get out and do charitable events.”

There were smiles on the faces of visitors pedaling their bikes and those hopping on a motorized two-wheeler Saturday. the volunteers also were obviously enjoying themselves. There would be even more volunteers, “if we could only get people to see how much fun this is,” Schuyler said.

Senoia bike rides may become annual fundraiser