October 10, 2017
Over 9,000 people participated in more than 1,100 rides during the second annual Bike Your Park Day on September 30. One of those stand-out rides was led by Ridgeland, Mississippi Mayor Gene McGee on the historic Natchez Trace Parkway with almost 100 cyclists in tow. Adventure Cycling gives a shout out to Visit Ridgeland/Ridgeland Tourism Commission for putting on a stellar event and for sponsoring Bike Your Park Day.
Ridgeland, Mississippi is probably one of friendliest cycling towns you’ll find in the South, and they celebrated Bike Your Park Day in a big way this year. Just under a 100 serious cyclists and casual cruisers joined Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee for a great event on September 30, 2017 along the historic Natchez Trace Parkway.
Cyclists registered at Madison Landing on Barnett Reservoir with Bicycle Revolution’s Jayce Powell, then they hit Ridgeland’s Multi-Use Trail to Overlook Point on the Natchez Trace, and then onto the Natchez Trace Parkway for a 30 to 40 mile ride along the historic scenic route. Visit Ridgeland/Ridgeland Tourism Commission manned a rest stop at Overlook Point along the Natchez Trace. To add to the family fun, Park Ranger Amy Genke and volunteers were there to meet and greet cyclists and offer hands-on information about the abundant wildlife that can be found along the historic pathway.
“We were delighted that our local cycling community turned out to celebrate with us,” said Mina Thorgeson, Director of Sales for Visit Ridgeland/Ridgeland Tourism Commission, “Our own celebrity cyclist, David Hartman, chief meteorologist for local WLBT, brought thirty of his riding buddies to the event.”
“We owe the success of Bike Your Park Day 2017 to our many community partners in Ridgeland,” said Kelly Mott, Director of Communications for Visit Ridgeland/Ridgeland Tourism Commission, “Our office utilized promotional materials provided by Adventure Cycling Association to make posters to place around town, the City provided day-of signage directing cyclists along the path, and Bicycle Revolution set up a Ridgeland Bike Your Park Day Facebook page to get the word out along with providing registration and securing the permits with the National Park Service.”
With the support of avid cyclist Mayor Gene McGee, Ridgeland offers a scenic 14.76-mile multi-use trail providing residents and visitors with a superb outdoor amenity. Cyclists can access the Natchez Trace Parkway, Barnett Reservoir, and Mississippi Craft Center from the trail. Side trails lead to schools, shops, and businesses. Ridgeland’s other bicycling offerings include nine miles of bike lanes, a BMX track, and mountain bike trails.
What did you do for Bike Your Park Day? Tell us about your ride by filling out the post-event survey and submitting your Bike Your Park Day photos to Adventure Cycling. We'll include them in the Bike Your Park Day Flickr album and may even choose one to include in the Bike Your Park Day report.
Blog and photos by Kelly Mott with Visit Ridgeland/Ridgeland Tourism Commission.
Bike Your Park Day Bike to or within nearby parks and public lands with thousands of people around the country on the same day — Bike Your Park Day on September 29, 2018. Bring friends and family to join the ride and discover the outdoor adventures in your backyard. Make it your own experience: ride any distance; go with friends, family, or join a group; bike on trails or roads. Visit a national or state park, monument, historic site, river, seashore, recreation area, preserve, forest, wildlife refuge, or parkway. #BikeYourPark