In its ninth year the Charlotte 24 Hours of Booty is going stronger than ever. The Booty ride, as it is affectionately known, is a 24 hour ride on a closed 2.97 mile loop through a beautiful residential area of Charlotte. The ride is capped at 1,200 riders, a figure that is easily met each year. The money raised goes to cancer research and survivorship.
The Booty Ride was originally started by Spencer Lueders and in fact the first year he rode the loop solo to raise funds and awareness. The following year friends joined him and the event continued to grow. This year’s event started Friday night and concluded Saturday.
On the soccer field of Queens University the cyclists have set up a tent village so that throughout the 24 hour period team members can rest in the tent and then continue for their next shift of riding. In the corner of the field a grandstand had been built to accommodate live music. Making his return appearance to the Booty Ride was Bob Roll, Versus’ cycling commentator.
The loop is closed from traffic and police are on hand to monitor cars. And with the ride taking place during the dog days of summer, dealing with the heat is a consideration. To stave off dehydration, there are water stations and along the route spectators are handing out water or spraying those down who need it.
It was remarkable to see the loop carve its way through such an exclusive neighborhood and that the residents are out of their homes cheering on the riders. The field of riders was a diverse one. Cyclists could be seen on bikes that wouldn’t have seemed out of place at the Tour de France and on townie bikes. Even a penny-farthing bike was seen making the loop. That was truly a sight to see.
Each year the ride raises much needed funds in the fight against cancer and brings people together to fight a disease that has effected so many. The Tour of Booty supports, LIVESTRONG, the Levine Cancer Institute, the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults (UCF), Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the Brain Tumor Fund for the Carolinas and the Keep Pounding Fund.