Belles, begin your workout now

Published 12:05 am Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ladies, it is time to dust off your bicycles and hit the road.

On Saturday, May 1, the Natchez Bicycle Club is hosting Belles on Bikes, the third annual bike ride catering to women only. The guys are “manning” the rest stops and the women will have the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful scenery and the lightly traveled back roads that makes cycling in our area a real pleasure. This year’s ride is in conjunction with the Natchez Blues Festival on the bluff so there will be many more fun activities to enjoy while you are not on the bike.

Cyclists from beginner to advanced can benefit from the event with routes ranging from 17 miles to 60 miles. Rest stops with snacks, cold water and friendly smiles will be available along the way, and vehicles will monitor the routes in case of mechanical difficulties, a flat tire or tired legs.

The idea for this ride was born from the Natchez Bicycle Club’s desire to establish Natchez as a cycling destination. The goal for the Belles on Bikes ride is to grow into an event that will attract riders from all over the country.

Natchez’s location, natural beauty, and connection to the Natchez Trace Parkway make it a perfect area for cycling. Events such as this ride serve as a vehicle to showcase our area and to spread the word among the cycling community about what Natchez has to offer.

May 1 is fast approaching and now is the time to begin training for the ride, and we would love to see the belles in our area well represented.

The popularity of cycling has surged among women in recent years and it is no different in our community.

Many of the riders you see on our roads are the women who have discovered the mental and physical benefits of riding their bicycles. Cycling is a lifelong sport that can be enjoyed by individuals of all ages and athletic abilities. It is both aerobic and joint-friendly, allowing riders to have the benefit of a workout while being kind to aging body parts. So hop on your bike and find out why cyclists wear those funny clothes.

If you would like to train with a group, you are welcome to join our regularly scheduled ride on Tuesday evenings. The ride begins at 6 p.m., leaving from the National Guard Armory on Liberty Road and heads out and back on the Natchez Trace Parkway. No rider is too slow to join in the fun, and you will not get lost! (We also let the guys join us on these rides.)

The $35 registration fee for Belles on Bikes includes a super goody bag and a refreshing post-ride lunch. Registration after April 29 will be $40. For more information or to register online you can visit www.natchezbike.org , e-mail bellesonbikes@gmail.com or call 601-304-0116. Fliers and registration forms for the event are currently available at The Bike Shop in Trippe’s Western Auto.

If you are a local business or organization and would like to be a part of this event, your sponsorship at any level would also be welcome.

Beth Richard is a Natchez Bike Club member.