Bikes, Blues and Bayous kicks off Aug. 4

By Lisa Voyles/Chickasaw Journal

HOUSTON – Billed as the biggest ride of the year in Mississippi, the Bikes, Blues and Bayous ride will kick off August 4 in Greenwood and four local men plan to join in the action.

Jonathan Taylor, Steve Chamblee, Lee Nabors and Jeff Chamblee have been training for the event which features three separate rides of 20, 40 and 58 miles and opted for the longest of the three.

What could prompt a grown man to bike 58 miles in the Delta under the August sun?

“I’ve asked myself that,” laughed Jeff Chamblee. “I may do this one and not go back.”

“At least it will be flat,” said Taylor. “You know, being flat and not having to climb hills means a lot.”

Seriously, all four men have historically been athletic all their lives and were just looking for another option for exercise.

“I bought a bike last fall,” Nabors said. “I’ve always been a jogger, jogged for years. But my knees aren’t as good as they were and I was just looking for something else to do.”

The four joined forces, formed a biking club and decided to enter the race this summer, but they also have other plans for riding.

“The Tanglefoot Trail,” Nabors said. “I want to be able to ride all the way up and back on grand opening day.”

The Tanglefoot Trail is currently being constructed along the old railroad bed from Houston to New Albany and will run 42 miles at completion projected for next spring. The trail is also expected to bring in cyclists, runners and walkers from all over and is hoped to boost the economy for the surrounding areas.

“People don’t realize the amount of money spent in cycling,” Taylor said.

The group has been training on local roadways from Houston to Atlanta to Hohenlinden and back in preparation for longer rides.

They’ll have to wait until 2013 to try their hand at the Tanglefoot Trail, but will be off and racing Aug. 4 in Greenwood.