Bundled in jackets, hats, helmets and thermal gear, the riders left City Hall shortly after 1 p.m. and pedaled through downtown before going to Starbucks on West Main Street.
After getting free coffee, they returned to Fairpark and dismounted.
In all, it lasted about one hour. And no injuries or accidents were reported.
“It went really well,” said organizer Renee Ray, a senior planner with the city’s Development Services Department.
The ride helped draw attention to Tupelo’s new 3-foot ordinance, which requires motorists to provide a 3-foot buffer when passing bicycles.
It was passed by the City Council just months after the death of teen cyclist John Paul Frerer, who was struck by a vehicle as he pedaled along Highway 6 in August.
Cyclists applauded the move, saying it’ll help prevent such tragedies in the future. And they praised the city’s organized bike ride as a way to celebrate the safer streets.
“Cyclists of every level can come out and ride, because it’s much safer now,” said Tupelo resident Kathleen Agnew as she mounted her bike. “It’s good that the city is doing this.”
But for 8-year-old Emma Kantack and 10-year-old Maya Sachdev, the ride was all about having a good time.
“I just wanted to come out and have fun,” Maya said.
“Yeah,” Emma chimed in. “It’s fun to ride with other people. Plus, you get in shape, and you don’t even know it.”
Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal