Three-day ride takes 100-plus cyclists south from Finley Stadium on new bike route [photos]

Cyclists depart from Finley Stadium for a three-day ride along a newly established U.S. Bike Route through Georgia on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

More than 100 bicyclists left from Finley Stadium with a police escort Friday morning for a three-day, southbound ride along a newly established U.S. Bike Route.

The Atlanta-based Bicycle Ride Across Georgia group organized the event, which took riders along U.S. Bike Route 21 to Summerville, Ga., on Friday.

Participants ride to Rockmart today and to Atlanta on Sunday.

"It's, in many ways, the inaugural ride on this route," said Jim Johnson, a local advocate of the U.S. Bike Route system and a participant in the ride.

Cycling advocates in Tennessee are working with local municipalities along the way in an effort to achieve official designation within the Adventure Cycling Association's growing national network of bike routes.