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Get moving with Walk and Roll event

Matthew Lane • May 11, 2017 at 1:35 PM

KINGSPORT — Whether you choose to enjoy a nice leisurely stroll through downtown or a short bike ride along the greenbelt, an event this Friday will easily suit your style.

Healthy Kingsport and Reedy Creek Bicycles have teamed up to host the first ever Walk and Roll event on Friday. The free event runs from 5:30-7 p.m. and is designed to get folks moving toward better health while building community and educating folks on the history of downtown Kingsport.

The event will launch from the downtown campus of Citizens Bank (101 E. Main St.) with the walk and bike ride beginning at 6 p.m. Kandy Childress, executive director of Healthy Kingsport, said participants can choose to either walk or ride during the event.

Childress said the walking portion of the event encompasses a one-mile leisurely stroll through downtown Kingsport. Walking participants are encouraged to use the Kingsport Time Traveler app, which features a historical map and photos highlighting the city’s past landscape.

A unique feature of the app allows a user to snap photos at each of the 25 tour stops, apply some magic and combine the personal shots with the historic photos, and then share them among family and friends. The app is available free from the App Store.

The cycling portion of the event will be a group-led, five-mile ride along sections of the greenbelt and downtown Kingsport. Childress said the family-friendly ride will be led by two bicycle-mounted officers from the Kingsport Police Department who have donated their time for this event. Interested riders who don’t own a bike can drop by Reedy Creek’s store to rent one for $20 per day.

Announcements, prize drawings, and complimentary bike checks will occur from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Immediately following the event, Reedy Creek Bicycles will host a “slow bike race,” which is designed to stress the importance of balance while riding a bike as well as offering a free bike clinic.

Acoustic music performed by local artists will contribute to the fun, festive and casual atmosphere, Childress said.

The Walk and Roll event is not just a one-time deal. Childress said similar events will take place monthly from May through October.

On June 9, Mayor John Clark and members of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen will be in attendance, along with City Manager Jeff Fleming, who will lead the walking tour and share his knowledge and favorite stories about Kingsport.

Miles walked and biked will contribute to the community-level goal of logging 1 million miles of physical activity in a year’s time — The Million Mile City challenge. Childress said Kingsport would only be the second city in the United States, behind Tucson, Arizona, to reach this important and noteworthy goal.

Healthy Kingsport has been promoting a series of virtual, micro-fitness challenges to individuals and teams since November 2016. Several thousand community members are participating and have logged more than 500,000 miles to date through Walker Tracker and corresponding organizational health and wellness programs.

The announcement of Kingsport as The Million Mile City is planned for Nov. 4 at Healthy Kingsport’s 2017 Walk for Wellness Expo.

For more information, visit www.healthykingsport.org.

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