Belles on Bikes today

Published 12:01 am Saturday, April 30, 2011

NATCHEZ — Ladies from the Miss-Lou will take to the streets Saturday morning for the annual Belles on Bikes ride.

The women’s only bicycle ride will start at 8:30 a.m. at the corner of Main Street and Broadway Street.

“The number of female riders has exploded in the last 10 years, and we thought it would be unique to have a women’s only ride,” Natchez Bike Club president Allen Richard said.

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The event has been running annually for about five years, Richard said.

“Myself and (fellow Natchez Bike Club member) Tommy Smith wanted to make Natchez a cycling destination, and this was something unique,” Richard said.

There will be women from the Miss-Lou, as well as ladies from all over the south (including from Alabama, New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Jackson) and even at least one lady from California, Richard said.

The riders can choose from four different rides that range in length from 16 to 57 miles. All the rides will take the ladies on a scenic tour of Natchez.

The ladies will receive goody bags and door prizes, as well as a lunch and complimentary mint julep that are all included in the $40 registration fee.

Richard said the event has a loyal following.

“We always get repeat riders,” Richard said. “Even though our numbers are a little down (this year) because of a lot of other events going on elsewhere.”

Richard said the ladies are very adamant about keeping the ride women only, and they enjoy the camaraderie of a women’s only event.