Cycling is on the rise in Mississippi! The Magnolia state now hosts a plethora of social rides, a handful of century rides—those over 100 miles in length—races of road, mountain and cyclocross varieties, multiple triathlons and several charity rides, including a two-day multiple sclerosis ride.
Years ago, Mississippi had another two-day ride, called Bike Across Mississippi. It started in Meridian, traveled to Morton for the overnight stay and finished in Vicksburg with a ceremonial dipping of wheels in the Mississippi River.
The one type of ride that Mississippi has never hosted is a weeklong cycling event. But that is about to change! Bike Walk Mississippi, our statewide cycling advocacy group, in partnership with several other organizations, will sponsor its first cycling tour in the fall of 2016.
The tour will most likely be 5-7 days long crossing the state in a route that will allow many different communities the opportunity to host a night and be a direct recipient of the economic impact of the event. However, our new and wonderful endeavor is nameless!
Many cyclists and non-cyclists alike are familiar with the granddaddy of all state bike tours, RAGBRAI—Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Around Iowa. Some other popular multiday state tours are Bike Virginia, Cycle Oregon, GRABAAWR (the Great Annual Bicycle Adventure Along the Wisconsin River), Pedal the Peaks and so on.
One goal for the Mississippi steering committee is to come up with a great name that will lend itself to a fantastic logo. Bike MS, Ride MS, Cycle MS, BAM, BRAM and CAM just would not do! For one thing, many of these are being used for other rides. For another and two,, we want a vibrant name that says, “Come spend a week riding a bike in Mississippi, y’all!” We want a name that is fun and that showcases the reasons why cyclists from anywhere in the world would want to spend a week of vacation riding around Mississippi.
The steering committee for the new weeklong ride sat together and debated over names for way longer than we care to admit. However, knowing there are imaginative and brilliant minds all around our state, we decided to let you, dear reader, have a shot at contributing the best name for our “Ride That Has Not Yet Been Named.” Help us come up with a name for the weeklong tour. Be inspired to find a name that is original. If you can come up with an amazing acronym, great! But the name’s initial letters need not spell anything at all. The name does need to be original and catchy. Honestly, though, google it to make sure it is not already being used. (Just a hint here, but eight states begin with the letter M, and most have their own epic tour.)
What is in store for the winner of our Name the Ride Contest? Fame and fortune—well, how about acclaim and a jersey? The winner will receive free entry to the ride, a ride jersey and VIP Treatment during the very first “Currently Unnamed Week Long Ride Around Mississippi!”
To participate, submit your entry to Bike Walk Mississippi MS Bike Tour Name Contest. The deadline to enter is Monday, December 1.
Head out on your bike along one of our beautiful lightly traveled roads and be inspired! Let’s name our ride!