Creating an oasis on the Southern Tier Bicycle Route

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Considering bicycle travelers’ reports from the Southern Tier Bicycle Route in the Deep South, a roadside sanctuary would be a good thing for bicyclists as cross between the states of Mississippi and Louisiana.

Southern Tier Bicycle Route created by Adventure Cycling Association

Southern Tier Bicycle Route created by Adventure Cycling Association

One bicyclist at Lost on 2 Wheels wrote about how the “mosquito thing is getting really old really fast.” He said that he spent more time swatting, spraying and scratching than he did riding his bike.

Another, ThreeWheelJourney on YouTube, complains about being chased by 10 dogs a day in southern Mississippi.

Rest stop

The mayor of Bogalusa, Louisiana, knows how important the happiness of touring bicyclists can be to his town of 12,000 that sits right across the Pearl River from Mississippi. That’s why the city is creating a rest stop for bicyclists.

The Daily News of Bogalusa says the city recently moved the historic library building to a site on Louisiana Highway 10 at Lake Vista, right where the Southern Tier Bicycle Route passes through Washington Parish.

Mayor Charles Mizell told the newspaper:

“When we moved the old library to Lake Vista we were aware it was on the Southern Tier Bicycle Route, so we planned to include a rest station for them. We’ll give them a nice place where they can get water, go to the bathroom and rest a while in a beautiful, natural spot.”

Refurbishing of the old building will begin this month.

Economic impact

I’m sure the touring bicyclists will be happy to find a place to escape mosquitoes of snarling dogs. Many will probably stick around to support some of the local businesses, such as Bino’s Seafood or Glynn’s restaurants,  the Travis Grocery/Market, or Travelers Rest Motel.

Many other communities on popular bike routes, such as the Trans-America and the Great Allegheny Passage, have learned the benefits of supporting bicyclists who pass through town.

Thanks to Mayor Mizell and the other good folks of Bogalusa for the hospitality.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2013/11/04/creating-an-oasis-on-the-southern-tier-bicycle-route/

1 comment

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  1. Nice post Gene. I’m glad to see more small towns, especially in the south, realizing that bike tourists are actually “tourists” and can benefit the local economy.

    We’re on a long term tour of Europe and it’s amazing how matter of fact this concept is here, even in places that aren’t normally thought of as “bike friendly.”

    We’re currently working on a bike travel guide to Slovenia where we spent several months researching long distance routes and “bike friendly” businesses. The one thing we were met with was the idea that any business can be bike friendly with very little effort. Most Slovene hoteliers were perplexed when we asked about attracting “bike tourists”. They simply attract tourists, and have facilities for bikes too. No matter which travel mode one chooses they were happy to have them.

    ~tyler

  1. […] route signage is imperative to attract bike tourists.  Building additional resources, like a bicyclist’s oasis or rest stop,  to attract bicycle tourists not only helps retain tourists, but it has the exponential […]

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