September 11, 2018
The Ridgeland Tourism Commission is thrilled to host Bike Your Park Day in Ridgeland, Mississippi for the third year on September 29, 2018, through Adventure Cycling. The Natchez Trace Parkway serves as a beautiful backdrop for locals and tourists to appreciate something we so often take for granted here in Mississippi.
From a tourism standpoint, it was a no-brainer for Mina Thorgeson, Sales Director of the Ridgeland Tourism Commission, to partner with Adventure Cycling and bring this event to Ridgeland - the “cycling capital of Mississippi.” Mina saw Bike Your Park Day as an opportunity to showcase the Natchez Trace Parkway to visitors and remind locals of this wonderful national park in their own backyard. As a way to unite the Mississippi cycling community, local businesses, and all Ridgeland Tourism partners in celebration of this Ridgeland resource, The Ridgeland Tourism Commission sponsored the event and began planning its first Bike Your Park Day in 2016.
In the past three years, Bike Your Park day in Ridgeland has been a great success and continues to grow. Since Ridgeland recognizes our city as a cycling destination, we always welcome Adventure Cycling and other bike tours as they come to town. While most rides in Ridgeland are planned as tourism-driven events, Bike Your Park Day is that and more – it serves as a time to celebrate our section of the Natchez Trace Parkway and the cycling community as a whole. Locals and visitors of all ages gather together here before and after the ride, and it’s a great time to introduce people to cycling. The ride is free of charge and you can ride as many or as few miles you’d like with lots of experienced cyclists nearby to help.
Furthermore, this ride brings more than just the cycling community together – it engages partners from all areas of our city. Bike Your Park Day in Ridgeland begins at the Bill Waller Craft Center at 8:00 a.m. We love taking any opportunity to showcase the Craft Center to our visitors, and maybe even introduce it to locals who have not been yet. For the first time this year, we are including a “Family Five Mile” ride that begins at 8:30 a.m. and Park Ranger Amy will be on site to meet and greet cyclists and offer fun facts and information on the history and culture of the Natchez Trace Parkway. Our mayor, who is a cyclist himself, also comes to ride and we have hot dogs, beverages, and even vegan options for everyone to enjoy after the ride. Lunch is catered by Your Personal Chef, a local catering service we are happy to support.
Most importantly, we at Ridgeland Tourism couldn’t put on Bike Your Park Day without partnering with one of our local bike shops, Bicycle Revolution, to plan the logistics of the ride. If you are considering hosting your own Bike Your Park Day, find a local bike shop! They are your best resource and biggest ambassadors for planning the route and getting the word out to the cycling community through social media groups and word of mouth. Partnering with a local bike shop, including a representative from your national park, engaging as many city partners as possible, and having a good meeting spot to start and finish (like the Craft Center) are Mina’s biggest words of wisdom for planning a Bike Your Park Day.
Ridgeland Tourism continues to be a proud sponsor of Bike Your Park Day and encourages anyone interested to plan your local ride next year. Adventure Cycling makes it as easy as possible with a complete media toolkit for promotion, articles of advice, and anything else you need to host a ride in your area. For more information on the Ridgeland Mississippi’s Bike Your Park Day, visit www.visitridgeland.com.