The Mt. Juliet Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee hosted Ride Mt. Juliet, its sixth annual community bike ride, with over 75 participants on Sunday.
Riders traveled from the Mt. Juliet Police Department parking lot on Charlie Daniels Parkway through the Mt. Juliet Middle School parking lot to Woodridge Place before following a marked course along the Jackson Hills Greenway on an overcast afternoon.
The riders followed a fire truck from the MJPD throughout the 5.5-mile course as they returned to the police department’s parking lot with sirens from the truck and the chiming bells from some of the riders’ bikes.
“Me and my husband, Todd, wanted to be part of the bike community and we were so grateful to see people who love to bike,” said resident Tina Tillinger.
The Tillingers moved to Mt. Juliet a year and a half ago from Helena, Montana.
The MJPD additionally conducted a bicycle rodeo in their parking lot for the kids, giving them the skills to become safer bicyclists.
Ray Render, deputy district director for U.S. Rep. John Rose, R-Cookeville, announced in the event’s opening remarks that Mt. Juliet BPAC earned first place in the 2021 Walk Across Wilson campaign for their participation.
BPAC, an advisory committee to the city commission composed of volunteers to help guide the city on safe walking, running, and cycling infrastructure improvements, earned a $1,500 bonus, the biggest prize in Walk Across Wilson.
Brenda Harper, co-coordinator for Walk Across Wilson, presented a $2,620 check to Friends of Mt. Juliet BPAC, a nonprofit organization, on behalf of both the Wilson County Health Council and Mt. Juliet BPAC.
District 4 Commissioner Jennifer Milele had not ridden a bike in four or five years.
“I did not know how I was going to do, but I had a fun time riding today,” said Milele. “I had not ridden a bike in such a long time I had to borrow one because I gave mine away.”
Mt. Juliet BPAC Chairman Art Giles felt this year’s Ride Mt. Juliet was a great initiative for residents to do something as a group.