Wednesday, August 21, 2013
One of the best ways to meet people in the Jackson area is by getting involved with the biking community. Here are several bike-related opportunities available around town.
The Jackson Bike Advocates host a "Community Bike Ride" on the last Friday of each month. The ride is open to all ages and abilities, and typically makes two or three stops along the way for socializing. Each month the ride changes routes, so it is also a great way to explore different parts of Jackson. Newcomers should find the ride unintimidating and welcoming. Find Jackson Bike Advocates on Facebook.
You can also volunteer at the JXN Community Bike Shop (1863 Wilson St.) in Midtown. Anyone can come learn how to fix and maintain bikes. The community bike shop is all about getting Jacksonians on bikes, so those who cannot afford bikes can "earn" one by volunteering for 10 hours and learning the basics of bike repair. The JXN Community Bike Shop is open Wednesdays from 6-9 p.m. and Sundays from 1-4 p.m. For more information, email [email protected], or find JXN Community Bike Shop on Facebook.
In a new effort to encourage more women to ride bikes in the Jackson Metro area, Bike Walk Mississippi and the Bike Crossing are co-sponsoring beginning rides for women on the last Saturday of August and September. The Bike Crossing will also hold its annual all-women bike ride, Bikes4Barks, Oct. 26. The charity ride benefits CARA, a local no-kill animal shelter. Find Women Bike Mississippi on Facebook to learn about this statewide effort to get more women biking.
The On the Road to Health organization hosts "Cruising the Community," a fun 1.2-mile bike ride for kids 5-12 years old Aug. 24 from 9-11 a.m. at the Jackson State Athletic Center. Gordon from Sesame Street will be in attendance, and participants can enjoy free food and health screenings. Visit jsums.edu/cubd/cruising.
For the more serious bike rider, The Jackson Metro Cyclist hosts "Trekkin' on the Trace" Sept. 2. The ride is on the Natchez Trace and has 21, 50, 62 and 100-mile options. It starts at 7:30 a.m. at Old Trace Park. Backyard Burger will provide food, and Buddy & the Squids will perform after the ride. Visit jacksonmetrocyclists.com.
Jackson also has opportunities to get involved in other aspects of the biking community. The region is home to the Tri County Mountain Bike Association, an active mountain biking group, and a very active Bike Polo team. Bike polo takes place on weekends at Sykes Park. Visit tricountymtb.org, and find Jackson Bike Polo on Facebook.
Aug. 24, 8 a.m. - Cruising the Community: 1.2-Mile Ride for Children at Jackson State University Athletic Center (1400 John R. Lynch St., 601-979-2121)
Aug. 30, 6 p.m. - Community Bike Ride at Rainbow Natural Grocery Cooperative (2807 Old Canton Road, 601-366-1602)
Aug. 31, 8 a.m. - Women Bike Ride at Five Guys Burgers and Fries (1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 2001, 601-605-1115)
Sept. 2, 7:30 a.m. - Trekkin' the Trace at Old Trace Park in Ridgeland
Sept. 14, 8:30 a.m. - Bike Out Hunger at Old Trace Park in Ridgeland (outhunger.org.)
Sept. 21, 7:30 a.m. - Cyclists Curing Cancer at Baptist Healthplex-Clinton (102 Clinton Parkway, Clinton, 601-925-7900, mbhs.org)
Sept. 27, 6 p.m. - Community Bike Ride at Rainbow Natural Grocery Cooperative (2807 Old Canton Road, 601-366-1602)
Oct. 25, 6 p.m. - Community Bike Ride at Rainbow Natural Grocery Cooperative (2807 Old Canton Road, 601-366-1602)
Oct. 26, 7:30 a.m. - Bikes4Barks (115 W. Jackson St., Suite 1D, Ridgeland, 601-856-0049)
Nov. 29, 6 p.m. - Community Bike Ride at Rainbow Natural Grocery Cooperative (2807 Old Canton Road, 601-366-1602)
Dec. 27, 6 p.m. - Community Bike Ride at Rainbow Natural Grocery Cooperative (2807 Old Canton Road, 601-366-1602)
Co-founder of the Jackson Bike Advocates in 2009, Melody Moody runs the statewide bicycle and pedestrian advocacy nonprofit, Bike Walk Mississippi. She is excited about Bike Walk's recent endeavor with JBA, MDOT and Midtown Partners to open Jackson's first community bike shop.