Spring means cycling time, ladies

Published 2:54 am Sunday, April 17, 2011

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

On Saturday, April 30, the Natchez Bicycle Club is hosting the fourth annual Belles on Bikes, catering to women cyclists. 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 held 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 will enjoy 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, flat tires or tired legs.

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April 30 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.

If you would like to train with a group, you are welcome to join the Natchez Bike Club’s regularly scheduled ride 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!

The $40 registration fee for Belles on Bikes includes a super goody bag and a refreshing post-ride lunch. 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 and Stan’s Rock and Roll Shop.

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 member of the Natchez Bike Club.