Over the past decade, the City of Mesquite has evolved into a very pedestrian and bike-friendly city, with miles of bike trails and hiking paths that go around and throughout every part of town.
A group of local enthusiasts formed a committee, Mesquite Bicycle Advocacy Group (MBAG), to help continue to improve Mesquite’s desirability to bicyclists everywhere. The evolution resulted in Mesquite being awarded the Bicycle Friendly Bronze Level for its efforts in 2014 by the League of American Bicyclists. Reaching this status has enabled the group to proceed with improving the city’s ability to maintain the bike-friendly atmosphere. Henderson, Las Vegas and the Reno/Sparks/Washoe County area are also Bronze Level areas.
In September, the group was awarded a mini-grant of up to $1000 from the State of Nevada Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board to purchase bicycle parking racks and have them installed at City Hall. As of December 23, 2014, bike riders may now walk their bike from the parking lot at City Hall to the building where they can secure their bikes to the left of the main entrance. Sporting the City’s logo, the green rack is sure to become a popular addition throughout the area.
Expanding this amenity is the next goal for the group, as they plan on installing additional racks at the Art Gallery and the Community Theatre in the near future. Their hope is to eventually have the tasteful bike racks at nearly every location in Mesquite, so there are secure options for bike owners. Plans are also in the works to install a set of racks near Good Times Yogurt and More at 570 W Pioneer Blvd, next to Pizza Hut.
But the group isn’t stopping there. With the goals they have achieved and the praise from other bike enthusiasts already, they are going a step further with improving Mesquite’s friendliness with bikes. Businesses interested in setting up bike racks with the group’s help can contact them through the information at the end of this article.
The group is actively preparing for the return of Mesquite Madness around March 14. Last year’s event brought nearly 250 cyclists who participated in various rides of 30, 60 and 90 mile courses. With the expansion of the group, the numbers are sure to increase, bringing more business to Mesquite as well.
For the first time in Mesquite Senior Games history, there will be a Bicycling portion to the competition. Thanks to Nancy Hewett, coordinator of the event and member of the group, there will be two races for competitors to choose from on April 10. The race with the Mesquite Senior Games will kick of Mesquite’s first-ever 3-stage bicycle race weekend April 10 -12. More details will be released as they are finalized, but these events are sure to bring hundreds of racers to Mesquite, resulting in a boost our local economy desperately needs.
Hewett has also begun a new website for bicyclists, www.bikemesquitenv.org, which includes a ‘Ride w/GPS’ feature that has several rides mapped out around town as well as information on distance and elevation. Keep checking the site for new rides and new information on cycling in Mesquite.
“The more awareness we bring along with more improvements will allow us to increase our status and gain more potential grant monies,” said Hewett. “This is turning out to be a really good thing for Mesquite.”
The group is always looking for new members to volunteer at events or become proactive with improving Mesquite’s bicycle friendliness. Anyone interested in joining can contact Ken Cook at firstname.lastname@example.org or Nancy Hewett at email@example.com.