“That’s the line about Jackson, right? It’s a place where you can make something happen and sometimes, it’s a place where you have to make something happen.”
Fondrenite Josh Parshall is taking that line to heart with a circle, two wheels to be more precise, in organizing a community bike ride that was held Friday, June 29.
“For years, this community bike ride was the last Friday of every month,” he remembers of the monthly Jackson Bike Advocates organized event.
Since a regularly scheduled ride hasn’t been planned for some time, Parshall is taking the initiative.
“This is not my project,” he explains. “I just wanted to do this thing again so I created a Facebook event a month ago so I would be accountable to do a little planning in advance.”
That plan called for a leisurely eight or nine-mile ride beginning in Fondren, rolling through LeFleur East with a stop at Deep South Pops at Highland Village before returning to Fondren for dinner and drinks.
Back in Jackson for just at a year, Parshall says the ride is one of the things he has missed from his previous residency here, calling it a “good way to get out, to show people they can bike here.”
“I was part of a similar ride in Lawrence, Kansas right after college,” Parshall says. “There’s something really neat about doing the same physical activity with other people, in tandem, in community. I think there is a very visceral pleasure that comes from being a bicycle in a large group of bicycles.”
And that’s the hope: for more cyclists on the road, to raise the visibility of two-wheel travelers.
“That goes for people who cycle for recreation, for their commute, for environmental or economic reasons,” he adds. “Whatever we do around biking in this community, it needs to attend to everyone’s needs.”
Updated to reflect that the event was held June 29. Parshall said about 16 riders participated. He said he sees this as a positive start to growing the future of the ride.