Friday, October 26, 2012

Bike to Work Month, Fall Edition

May is National Bike to Work Month. You may wonder why I'm bringing it up in October. Well, some people write their own rules, and for Robert St John, owner of the the Crescent City Grill, Mahogany Bar, and Purple Parrot culinary trinity, such is the case. I spoke with Dusty Frierson, the General Manager for the local Hattiesburg restaurants about a special Bike to Work Month that they have been hosting in the month of October. The Hattiesburg American recently did an article on this that can be found here, but luckily PBP got a more in depth interview with the GM. The following is a short Q&A I put together from that conversation:

Me: Tell me about how Bike to Work Month for Crescent City Grill came about? 
Dusty: When we originally started talking about a Bike to Work week. I wanted to get some of our employees excited about biking to work and around town. Robert suggested the whole month, and we thought that the nice weather in October would lend itself to more participation. 
Me: You're right, the month of October is a perfect time to ride a bike in south Mississippi. How has the feedback from your employees been? 
Dusty: The employees have been excited about the concept. Of course, a lot of them are working really late into the evening and don't get to participate as much as they would like to. We have a great staff that really believes in community, so they usually jump at an opportunity like this. They have already remarked on how much more invigorated they feel when they get to work. So, we are already seeing benefits. We have around 150 employees, so we have a great opportunity to really make an impact. 
Me: So what has your participation been like and what is your overall goal? 
Dusty: Halfway through the month we have had about 50 employees that have participated and logged between 450 and 500 miles with our goal being 1,000 miles by the end of October. Our overall mileage is getting help by one employee who is biking a round trip of 21.7 miles. Obviously we are really proud of her dedication to the cause. 
Me: Man, that's great participation! What are some other benefits your business has provided for employees? What about for the public? 
Dusty: Well the big three goals were to cut down on fuel emissions, create a healthy lifestyle, and promote community interaction. However, we feel that we should at least provide some incentive for our staff to start biking. So, we have an iPad up for grabs for our employees. The more miles you accumulate, the greater chance you have to win the iPad. As for guests, we have a promotion that gives a free Yazoo beer to anyone that bikes to the bar. We are really excited about the possibility of having people pull up to the Mahogany Bar on bikes and enjoying the bar or courtyard. Again, we were willing to give up a beer to give some incentive for people to get on their bikes. 
Me: I know I've certainly taken advantage of that. Have you seen any benefits to your business by doing this campaign? Can we expect to see CCG do anything like this in the future? 
Dusty: I think the benefits are going to be big, but in a way that might not show up immediately. We really hope that it creates an overall feeling of community connectivity. It has certainly opened up that opportunity for me. I am talking to people in the Corner Market parking lot, because they stop me as they are walking to their car and ask about our renovation. I would not have that opportunity if I was commuting behind the wheel of a car. Also we are a mile away from the university, but its easy to feel disconnected from it. I have a lot of faith in Hattiesburg and feel like great things are going to continue happening here and we want to be a part of that future. We are hoping to do another Bike to Work month in March with more businesses participating.

Many thanks to Dusty for the interview and free Yazoo beer. If you want one, you have Monday through Wednesday to get one. Be sure to pedal fast, once November hits the promo is over. Cheers!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

2nd Annual Longleaf Trace Century Ride

In just a short couple of weeks, the Friends of the Longleaf Trace will host the 2nd annual Longleaf Trace Century Ride on October 27th, 2012 at 7:30 a.m.  There will be several different event distances to choose from; a 2 mile kids ride, 30 mile ride, 62 mile-metric century, and a 100 mile century.

The ride will start at the USM Gateway Station on the Longleaf Trace (2895 West 4th St, Hattiesburg, MS 39401).  There is limited parking at Gateway Station but will be additional parking at USM.  Registration can be found on or will be available the on the day of the ride starting at 6:30 a.m. 

Entry fee is $30 and all proceeds benefit the Longleaf Trace.  Attendees will each receive a water bottle and a t-shirt as well as free lunch.

For more information, call Joey Jarrell at 601-545-4162 or Jerry McBeth at 601-545-4189.

Find more Bike Ride in Hattiesburg, MS

Friday, October 12, 2012

Golden Eagle Trail Complex

Its that time of year... the cool crisp fall air makes the mornings and evenings awesome weather for a bike ride. If you haven't yet, be sure to check out the Golden Eagle Trail Complex. There are approximately 10 miles of mountain bike trails, mostly single track and some pipeline trails. These are located right off the Longleaf Trace about 0.3 miles west of the Jackson Rd. Station.

The trails are maintained by a Hattiesburg group of cyclists known as Hub City MTB.  Hub City MTB is a part of Hub City Velo, a group of cyclists, triathletes, and promoters who aim to increase bicycle awareness in Hattiesburg and to improve the cycling culture in the Hub City.  This volunteer organization works weekly to maintain these recreational trails.  Building of new trails, reroutes, and features is usually done on an as-needed basis.  The only rules of the trails are to yield to Longleaf Trace riders and to wear a helmet.  

For driving directions and more information on the Golden Eagle Trail Complex, go to