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Annual Georgia Bike Summit to be held in Milledgeville

The annual Georgia Bike Summit is usually held in cities with populations over 100,000, like Augusta or Columbus.

But this year it was held in Milledgeville, a city with fewer than 20,000 people, as part of the First Friday celebration.

Georgia Bikes Executive Director Brent Buice explained why.

"It was a really easy choice to choose Milledgeville this year because of all the thing this city has done to show a commitment to making safer and more accommodating for all ages to ride bicycles," he said.

Milledgeville is one of only nine bike-friendly cities in Georgia named by the League of American Bicyclists.

Live Healthy Baldwin program director Colin Moore says Milledgeville has added bike trails and a bicycle repair station on Wilkinson Street which comes complete with tools and an air pump.

But all this isn't just to get the people of Baldwin County in shape.

"Being bicycle friendly has a huge economic impact, especially European companies looking to relocate to the states, they really pay attention to how walkable and bikeable a community is," Moore said.

Along with new businesses, being bicycle-friendly also brings cycling tourism.

Moore says that this year the annual bicycle ride across Georgia will go through Milledgeville, and that brings over 100,000 cyclists through town at a time.

Buice said more bikes means fewer cars breaking down city roads.

"And that saves a lot of wear and tear on our communities," he said. "As taxpayers we should want people to walk and bike short distances."

Buice said other cities in Middle Georgia would do well to follow Milledgeville's example.

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