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Mississippi River Trail Inaugural Ride

From: (Patrick Riceci)
Date: 1996/02/07

MessageID: 4fajo0$

organization: Synapse
newsgroups: rec.bicycles.rides

                              Mississippi River Trail Inaugural Ride
                                                 April 20, 1996
                                           Memphis, Tennessee
                             (And other West Tennessee locations)

Roll along the mighty Mississippi River for the inaugural ride of the
Mississippi River Trail, running approximately 185 miles from Memphis
in the south to Reelfoot Lake in the north.  This marked route is the first
segment of the seven-state Mississippi River Trail, which eventually will
run from St. Louis to New Orleans. The inaugural ride will take place on
April 20, 1996, and will include several separate and distinct day rides
ranging from 45 to 90 miles in length.  These loop rides will begin in 
different locations along the route.  Although unsupported and self-
contained, ribbon-cutting ceremonies and other festivities are planned
in each of the five counties through which the MRT runs and businesses
along the route will be available to provide support in the form of food,
lodging and the all-important "facilities."

In addition to the several designated day routes, there will be a 135-mile 
round trip overnight ride starting and ending in Memphis.  All rides will
be lead by local bicyclists and riders may ride all or part of the route on
their own. There is no registration fee for the ride; however, riders are
required to register for the ride.

The Tennessee portion of the Mississippi River Trail is the first segment
of a designated bicycle route developed under the auspices of the Lower 
Mississippi Delta Development Center that eventually will run from 
St. Louis to New Orleans.  The Tennessee MRT runs along scenic back
roads and features a dramatic succession of changing landscapes.  From
the winding forested roads north of Memphis, the route gently ascends the
Chickasaw Bluffs before it passes into a landscape of tilled, bottom land 
farms.  Passing near Alex Haley's boyhood home in Henning and through
Fort Pillow Civil War Battlefield, the route moves closer to the
Mississippi River.  When the river is low, beautiful sandbars are available
for picnicking and bird watching as well as for observing the great tows
navigating turbulent waters.  Once again the route climbs a second
Chickasaw Bluff before passing onto a major river levee road.  This leads
to the rich ecological experience of Reelfoot Lake, created by the great
earthquake of 1811-1812, when the Mississippi River briefly ran backward.

The route is identified by unique identification signs featuring the MRT
logo and promoted by a not-for-profit umbrella organization, The 
Mississippi River Bicycling and Hiking Corridor, Inc.  Membership in this
umbrella organization will be important as a show of support for further
development of the route.  As the seven-state route develops, the
organization will sponsor multi-state rides, festivals and other events
to attract both national and international bicyclists and will produce a
newsletter for MRT members.

For further information regarding this unique bicycling event, please 
telephone (901) 757-