Everyone knows that Mississippi is the home of the Natchez Trace Parkway, a great place to ride. But do you know where and when to pedal to the blues in the Delta, to play bike polo in the state capitol, to mountain bike in the Pine Belt, to meander the Mississippi Coastal Heritage Trail, to travel the Longleaf in South Mississippi, to tour the Tanglefoot in North Mississippi?
Now you do.
You’ve found the one-stop resource for everything cycling-related in the Hospitality state! Crooked Letter Cycling is where you’ll discover where to ride in Mississippi, from the Mississippi River to the Alabama state line, from the Tennessee border to the sunny Gulf Coast. Find out about every cycling opportunity in and near the Magnolia state, right here.
I’m proud to be a part. Cycling is my passion.
Two and a half years ago, Rusty Hampton, at the time a sports editor for the Clarion-Ledger newspaper, sought volunteers to blog about multiple sports for the paper. I volunteered and was selected to be the Clarion-Ledger‘s cycling blogger. I don’t know whether I was chosen because of my writing ability and interest, or because I was the only one who volunteered! Regardless, that first blog entry ignited my passion to be a voice for cycling and cyclists. It sparked my desire to make cycling more friendly and approachable for everyone.
And that led to Crooked Letter Cycling -Mississippi’s cycling resource!
Take a few minutes to play around the website!
My pride and joy is the Events page. All known cycling events within the state of Mississippi—as well as a few from surrounding states—will appear in the calendar. I like the list view. To toggle to the calendar view, click on the icon on the upper right. Need to find out what time a ride starts or the address where the ride begins? Click on the individual ride link!
Cycle Your Community will be a work in progress. Eventually, every city will be represented with ongoing cycling news in their communities. Lists of cycling-oriented websites, Facebook pages, bike shops and recurring rides will occupy each city’s page. Today, we only have a few “pins” in the map. This time next year, the map will be covered with links to communities who promote cycling!
Ride Your Bike will showcase cycling specific information for each bike discipline. It too will be a work in progress.
Do you have a ride you would like to list on the calendar? Would you like to advertise on the site? Use the forms located in the Contact page.
So, why Crooked Letter Cycling?
As the Clarion-Ledger’s cycling blogger, I wrote about upcoming rides; about cycling in the heat, cold, wind, rain; about how to choose X, Y or Z cycling gear. I poured out my emotions over the truth about my cycling hero and suggested that the Natchez Trace parkway keep a stretch closed to vehicles permanently. The blog found a place of its own in the cycling community. With the assistance of the blog, a monthly Women’s Beginner ride formed, and Mississippi achieved monumental success in the National Bike Challenge, moving from 51st in the nation in 2012 to 34th in 2014, with 260 cyclists participating this year.
While the Clarion-Ledger cycling blog’s emphasis was on central Mississippi, I became aware that the entire state is rich with cyclists. I wanted to reach out beyond Hinds, Madison and Rankin counties and be more inclusive of all parts of the state.
The number of cycling activities held statewide is increasing so rapidly, it can be difficult for riders to choose which activity to participate in each week—if they know about the rides to begin with. Without a statewide clearinghouse for cycling information, I often find out about supported bike rides only days before they are scheduled to happen. Meanwhile, organizers are impeded in their efforts to attract more cyclists to their events.
Riding bikes has become a favorite pastime for many; and with the development of better bike infrastructure, the cycling community statewide is only going to grow.
That’s why I created Crooked Letter Cycling—Mississippi’s Cycling Resource! Crooked Letter Cycling is dedicated to bringing all the cycling events occurring in Mississippi to all Mississippians. My goals are to give active cyclists a means to find the rides they want to support, and to be a resource for encouraging non-cyclists to get on a bike!
Crooked Letter Cycling is named for what I call the true spelling of the word Mississippi: M-I-crooked letter-crooked letter-I-crooked letter-crooked letter-I-humpback-humpback-I!
Now, I want to thank each one of you, fellow cyclists, for reading the blog and sharing cycling information with me and for me. Let’s be aware of and celebrate the achievements each community is making toward making Mississippi a cycling-friendly state!