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Winston 100 Wellness on Wheels Bicycle Program

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Monday, April 8, 2019 - 7:00am

Announcer: Farm and Family is a production of the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Amy Myers: Today, we're talking about the Winston 100 Wellness on Wheels bicycling program.

Hello, I'm Amy Myers, and welcome to Farm and Family. Today, we're speaking with Tracy Gregory, Mississippi State University Extension agent.

Tracy, how did the Winston 100 get started?

Tracy Gregory: Winston 100 got started last August. Jim McAdory came to us in June as our new ag extension agent for Winston County. He loves the outdoors and biking and kayaking. He thought about this bicycling program. And I know one of the ideas was to get the refuge kind of utilized for something around Winston County. So he said, "Well, what about riding bikes?" And I was like, "That is a super idea. Let's go with it." And it was very successful in its first season.

Amy Myers: Okay, so this is just a bicycling program. That sounds great. Tell me more about it.

Tracy Gregory: A group of us get together ... So far, we've been riding just out at the refuge because it's a quiet place, there's not much traffic. So we meet out there once a week. We ride 10 miles together, and we meet every Monday, and it takes an hour, maybe a little more, and then you ride 10 miles on your own through the week, to ride the 10 miles. And so within 5 weeks, of course, you've tried to get your 100 miles in.

Amy Myers: Do you have to live in the area to be a part of this?

Tracy Gregory: You don't necessarily have to live in the area. Of course, we're the only county in the state that's doing this program right now, but I would love to see people from surrounding counties come and join us, if they can make the trip. Like I said, it's just once a week that we meet, and it's only for 5 weeks. Love to see other people in surrounding areas come. So far, it is just Winston County folks that have been meeting and bicycling together.

Amy Myers: Does this program provide access to the bikes and equipment, or do we bring our own?

Tracy Gregory: You have to bring your own. We can't provide bikes for people, but we are encouraging ... You know, everyone this time to participate, young and old alike, and we also encourage helmets, as you ride your bikes.

Amy Myers: So tell me more about biking through the Noxubee Wildlife Refuge.

Tracy Gregory: It is really nice out there. You know, most folks, when you go through the refuge, you're driving, and although everyone does admire the beauty and everything about the refuge, when you're out in it, walking or bicycling in nature like that, it is really nice. It's quiet. There's lots of trees, of course, and sometimes you might see some wildlife. But the benefits to the program is, of course, we want people to get healthy and get in shape, and we're encouraging this as hopefully something that they'll do as a lifetime activity that they would enjoy doing.

But getting in shape, it's good for your heart. It's good for your joints. It's easy on your joints, and also, when you talk about getting healthy, the whole body is really what we're looking at getting healthy, which includes your mind, and when you're out in nature riding in the wind and everything, it's just, it's really nice. It's good to get out and do that. It's a lot of fun, and we encourage people to join us. We started it last August and we did it for the month of August, and this time, the group that rode wanted to do it in the spring, so we decided on April. So we're doing it through the month of April, and we'll do it again in August.

Also, just to let everyone know, every person that participated in this program lost weight or inches or their blood pressure was lowered.

Amy Myers: So it's really important for people to know that pretty much everybody that's been part of this program has benefited from it in a way, whether they lost inches or weight or improved their blood pressure or the working of their joints. Okay, so what age group does this target?

Tracy Gregory: Adults have done it in the past, but this time, we are asking all ages to participate, and of course, if there's anyone that is younger than 18, they will need to have a parent or guardian with them.

Amy Myers: To get involved in the Winston 100 bicycling program, do we contact the Mississippi State University Extension Winston County Office at 662-773-3091?

Tracy Gregory: So you can contact the Winston County Extension office at 662-773-3091 and talk to myself or our office associate there. She can direct you.

Amy Myers: And you can also go to extension.msstate.edu and search Winston County. Is that correct?

Tracy Gregory: Yes.

Amy Myers: Today, we've been speaking with Tracy Gregory, Mississippi State University Extension agent. I'm Amy Myers, and this has been Farm and Family. Have a great day!

Announcer:           Farm and Family is a production of the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Department: MSU Extension- Winston County

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