The race course began on College Street next to Peek Park. Local police officers were stationed at intersections to redirect traffic and keep the course clear.
More than 25 athletes showed up for the event, which was a timed race down city streets in Cedartown.
As volunteer Dave Grove, a local pastor, explained prior to the race, the competitors were competing against the course, not directly against one another. The goal was to attempt to post the fastest time in each respective racing class.
Wheelchair racing and handcycling are similar sports, and some athletes compete in both types of events. Racing wheelchairs are moved much like their normal counterparts, by spinning the rear wheels. A third, "coaster' type front wheel maintains the vehicle’s balance.
Handcycles, in contrast, are built lower to the ground and athletes either kneel or lie prone on their backs, depending on their race division. A handcycle is powered by handcranks that drive the steerable front wheel, through a series of gears. The two rear tires of a handcycle are there to provide balance.
There will be a lot more handcycle racing, along with related festivities, Saturday in Rome, which is hosting its second annual Streets Alive event.
Thursday's event in Cedartown was the first stage of the Clocktower Classic.
Stage two is a 36-mile road race at Wildwood Cove at Rocky Mountain Recreation Area on Friday at 10 a.m.
On Saturday at 10 a.m., racers tackle a hill climb up Lavendar Mountain for stage three starting at the intersection of Fouche Gap Road and Big Texas Valley Road and finishing at Fouche Gap and Lavendar Trail.
Stage Four is the Downtown Criterium on Broad Street on Saturday at 6 p.m.
The race wraps up with a time trial on Technology Parkway on Sunday morning with a 9 a.m. start. Overall awards will be presented at the end of the race.
For more details about Saturday's events, see
Block party, handcycling races a go for Saturday