July 6, 2011 at 11:40 AM CDT - Updated June 24 at 3:09 PM
BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX)
A new community bicycle fleet can be found in old-town Bay St. Louis. Twenty brand new bikes now sit in front of Bay-Breeze yard and gifts.
"We have a great assortment of bikes for men woman and children and even down to the smallest." Said Bay Breeze Owner John Adams.
Adams explained that the $7.50 rental fee is for maintenance and basic up keep for the bikes.
Chamber of commerce leaders say the bikes are just the start of an overall plan to establish a premier eco-tourism destination in Hancock County.
"We have the first fleet of touring bicycles on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It gives visitors a resource and a reason to come to old town Bay St. Louis rent one of our new beautiful bicycles and tour our scenic by-ways." Said Tish Williams Executive Director of the Hancock Chamber.
Earlier this year, state lawmakers designated 43 miles of roadways in Hancock County as bicycle friendly.
A 5-thousand dollar grant from the Mississippi Department of Marine Resource's Heritage Trails Program helped buy the new bikes. The Live Oak Alliance, an organization dedicated to developing an eco-tourism product, wrote the grant.
The live oak alliance is in the process of identifying and having more trails designated. The bikes are not just for tourists locals can rent them to.
A one block bicycle race will be held this Saturday at 6 PM to promote the new bike fleet.
Community leaders along with members of the news media including Hancock County Reporter Al Showers will take part in that race.