Natchez Bicycle Classic pedals on May 22

Published 6:29 pm Friday, April 2, 2021

Time to dust off those bikes and get road ready because the Natchez Young Professionals are preparing for the second annual Natchez Bicycle Classic on Saturday, May 22, 2021. Once again, it’s a ride, not a race! This past September, the Natchez Bicycle Classic hosted over 200 cyclists from all over the Southeast and we are hoping to double that number this year!

They will begin at 8am on Saturday, May 22 on Broadway Street in front of the Natchez Grand Hotel along the Bluff. The riders will then be escorted to the Natchez Trace Parkway by police and led by the host riders of the Natchez Bicycle Club to begin their various road distances of 16 miles, 26 miles, 35 miles, and 57 miles. We will also have a 48-mile multi-surface ride for cyclists who prefer that terrain. Along the rides, the Young Professionals provide one SAG (Support and Gear) stops for the riders to replenish with snacks, beverages, and comradery. Post-ride, we will be providing a meal and beverages for the participants.

We plan to have many events for our riders to attend.

On Friday is the packet pick up and welcome reception.

Saturday is the first ride and one support-and-gear stop followed by a post-ride party on the bluff.

Sunday is an optional recovery ride led by the Natchez Bicycle Club.

Along with the events listed, riders will also receive a T-shirt with the original Natchez Bicycle Classic design by Charles Moroney, and custom socks among other goodies from our contributing sponsors. If you would like to have the opportunity to add your swag to our bags, please contact Sela Gaude at the Natchez Chamber of Commerce at 601-445-4611 or by email at manager@natchezchamber.com and she will be thrilled to give you the details. 

I reiterate, this is not a race. It’s a ride. This particular niche of riders is not necessarily Lance Armstrong and this is not the Tour de France. This is a leisurely ride with no time restrictions or sanctions. In our research, we found that although all ages attend these rides, the target age is 25-40. How appropriate that the Natchez Young Professionals want to sponsor an event that brings their age to Natchez!

By marketing digitally from New Orleans to Nashville, we geo-target specific demographics to attract people to our ride.  Instead of riding through downtown Natchez, our riders will head to the Natchez Trace, which in the cycling world is considered the mecca of rides. The ride in September brought cyclists from Texas, Arkansas, Florida, all over Louisiana and Mississippi. Almost 90% of the cyclists were out of town guests for our city. This means heads on beds, feet under restaurant tables and the economic shot in the arm that Natchez needs.

If you would like to participate in this year’s ride, please visit www.natchezbicycleclassic.com to register. Also, if your bicycle could use a tune-up, Allen Richard and Curtis Moroney will be hosting a “pop-up” bike shop on April 9 on Broadway Street during the “Live at Five” concert and again on April 10 on the north end of the Bluff during the Saturday morning Farmer’s Market.

Sarah Lindsey Laukhuff is Co-Chairman for the Natchez Young Professionals.