Cyclists: this is your weekend! Even if you don’t ride, Bike Walk Mississippi and The Jackson Bike Advocates (JBA) invites you to take part in two events – one on Friday and the other on Saturday.

On Friday night, JBA will host their monthly community ride. Riders are asked to meet promptly at 6pm and be ready to go due to a tighter schedule. The group will be biking around Jackson with a rest stop at Basil’s Belhaven/904 then back to Cups for live music. Non-cyclists are always welcome to come and hang out at stops and learn more about JBA. The ride is at a leisurely pace. Helmets are required and lights are strongly advised.

On Saturday, Jackson Streets Alive will shut down Congress Street between Amite and Capitol downtown from 11am – 4pm for a variety of cycling and physically-focused events. Known in some parts of the world as a Ciclovia, Jackson’s incarnation is part of a nationwide movement to temporarily close streets to automobile traffic. The goal is to get people to use them for walking, bicycling, dancing, playing, and socializing. Sponsored by Bike Walk Mississippi, Bikes Belong and local businesses and partners, it is the goal of Jackson Streets alive to provide a space to make active living an easy, accessible and enjoyable part of life in Mississippi.

Melody Moody, president of Bike Walk Mississippi, Jackson Streets Alive is an attempt to reach people beyond the cyclist. She adds that Bike Walk hopes to replicate the event all over the state.

During Saturday’s free event (being held rain or shine), you’ll find bike maintenance, helmet fittings and bike safety information. Festival goers will enjoy non-cycling activities like roller-skating, relay races, free classes in dance, Zumba, yoga, and Pilates, face painting, interactive games, skateboarding and more.

Food trucks LurnyD’s Grille and Garden to Fire Pizzas will be on hand for nourishment and musically speaking, a full slate of Jackson’s best will play the Smith Park stage. Hear Mark Roemer at 11am, Buddy & The Squids at noon, Southern Komfort Brass Band at 1pm, 5th Child & Cody Cox at 2pm and AJC & The Envelope Pushers at 3pm.

According to Wikipedia, in Bogotá, Colombia where the practice originated, their weekly ciclovías are used by approximately 2 million people (30% of citizens). In the United States, Cambridge, Massachusetts, has opened Memorial Drive to only bicycle and pedestrian traffic on Sundays from April to November since 1976 and Wayne County Michigan has been holding ciclovias for 30 years.

Stay up-to-date with their Facebook event page.

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