Fifth Belles on Bikes event takes place April 28 in Natchez

Published 12:01 am Sunday, April 8, 2012

NATCHEZ — The Miss-Lou’s female cyclists will have the opportunity to enjoy a little girl time April 28 when Natchez hosts the fifth Belles on Bikes event.

The event, hosted by the Natchez Bicycle Club, will feature four different rides varying in distance and only females will be allowed to participate.

“(Belles on Bikes) is a women’s only event that showcases some Natchez’s best roads for cycling,” Natchez Bicycle Club president Allen Richard said.

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The event continues to grow each year, and Richard said he is hoping participation hits triple digits this year.

“(We are) hoping for 100 (cyclists) but will probably see about 75,” Richard said.

The growth of the event is due to loyal cyclists that participate each year, but also to new faces, like Natchez’s Minda Calcote, that decide to join the returning cyclists.

“This is my first year, and I am so excited,” Calcote said. “It’s something we have in common and to be with other women who care about their bodies and have good attitudes (will be special).”

Calcote said she started cycling last year and fell in love with the sport.

“I got addicted,” she said. “I love riding. It empowers women, and you can get on your bike and forget all your troubles and feel like a kid again.”

Calcote said she isn’t just riding for herself at the event.

“I am going to add a little flare,” she said.

Calcote works for Kelly’s Kids, and she has people donating money for each of the 57 miles she plans on riding for Kelly’s Kids Relay for Life team.

“I am so looking forward to it,” she said. “The main reason is riding for Relay for Life. That makes it more special. I am an cancer survivor, so I’m glad I can raise money for the cause.”

Phyllis Lee-Ray is another newcomer to the event his year, and she said she is looking forward to being a part of the community of female riders.

“It’s something for the ladies from all over to do,” she said. “Hopefully I’ll get a chance to meet ladies from other states as well.”

Lee-Ray said she moved to Natchez last year but came after the 2011 version of Belles on Bikes was completed.

“I missed it last year and was angry about it,” she said.

Interested riders can register by filling out a registration form and mailing it to the Natchez Bike Club at PO Box 1732 Natchez, MS 39121. The form is located on the web at Riders can also register online at Registration is $40.

Lunch will be provided along with a goody bag and door prizes. There will also be a guided bike tour of downtown Natchez at 6 p.m. April 27. The gentlemen will be allowed to join the ladies on this ride.

The female-only rides begin at 8:30 a.m. April 28 with a mass start.

The four rides are lengths of 16 miles, 28 miles, 48 miles and 57 miles. All rides start on Broadway at Main Street.

For more information on the event visit or email