BBB'19 Executive Committee
Steven Cookston - Chairman: Since joining the BBB committee in 2011, Steven has been most involved with the organization and logistics of supplying the major rest areas. He is an attorney by vocation with the Upshaw firm in Greenwood and 2018 is his first year as BBB Chairman.
Beth Stevens - As executive director of the Greenwood-Leflore County Chamber of Commerce, Beth has been an essential committee member every year since 2010 when the Chamber became the umbrella organization. Her involvement and leadership has been integral to the BBB’s success ever since. In her free time, Beth has purchased a new bike and taken up cycling with her husband!
Richard Beattie - One of the co-founders of the BBB, Richard served as chairman of the event for its first 3 years, plus marketing director and webmaster of the event website. As an avid traveler, Richard has cycled on vacation trips in Russia, China and Vietnam. Closer to home, he is active supporter of the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson's and their mission of "helping people with Parkinson's live well today".
Louis Holbrook - New to the committee, but not new to cycling, Louis is an avid rider and triathlete. This year he is taking on a variety of tasks, including merchandise design and procurement. Louis is a marketing analyst at Staplcotn in Greenwood and hails from St. Louis.
Bret Freeman - One of the co-founders of the BBB, Bret has served on various committees (2015 as chairman) and ridden every year, too! He is a veteran cyclist of numerous Mississippi rides, including the Natchez Trace Century, Oxford Double Decker, Rock ’n Roll MS150, Tour d'Attala and the Heart O’ Dixie Triathlon team event.
Letter to the Editor in August 2012 - "How BBB got started" by Richard Beattie
Seems like yesterday that several of us local riders, a.k.a. the Money Road Cycling Club, got together and Brian Waldrop said, “Why don’t we put on a triathlon in Greenwood?” For those not familiar with triathlons, they are a timed competition where athletes swim, bicycle and run in a race against each other and the clock. And, it can be a serious competition. The rest of us didn’t say much, but we were all thinking that was a bit too much work to take on and still keep our day jobs.
Eventually the talk shifted to putting on an organized bike ride, instead of a race. Brian suggested we partner with the Main Street folks headed by Lise Foy and we began planning for an August 2008 event. That first year we had many, many conversations about what total number of entries to expect and prepare for. We’d been to a small first-year event in Rolling Fork which attracted about 30 cyclists and we speculated that a Greenwood ride might draw at least 50.
We used RacesOnline to help us create a website and people started signing up the last day in April, the first one being Ben Bailey from Cleveland. As May went by and entries started coming in, we got bold enough to project 75 riders would be our total. Preparation got more serious that summer and we watched in amazement as the registration grew. Then the fellow who organized the Rolling Fork ride, Donny Schilling, warned us that the last 2 weeks before the ride our entries would double. And, sure enough, they did! So, from an initial estimate of 50, we actually ended with 213 entries that first year. Wow! And we managed to pull the whole thing off to rave reviews from the riders who took part.
Not many people know those details of how it all got started and years from now even less will be remembered. So, I’d like to use this letter to the editor to recognize those Money Road Cycling Club riders who deserve credit for creating what has become Mississippi’s largest cycling event. Brian Waldrop, Bret Freeman, Todd Fincher, Johnny Smith, Harris Powers III, Tom Flanagan, Rob Spiller, Mike Barranco, Perry Whites, Davo Pittman, John & Kathryn Pittman, Toni Powers, Zane Hodge, Mcleod Meek, Jacob Clark, and yours truly were the founders. And, they’ve all stayed involved with the event while other cyclists have joined them in the effort. Namely, Chris Byrd, Brent Bailey, Harris Powers Jr, Anne Flanagan and Anne Trotter.
Beyond these cyclists, there were 31 sponsors and over 100 volunteers who gave generously again, to make the event a success this year. Plus, Beth Stevens, Terry Grantham and Wanda Perry from the Chamber of Commerce who provide key organizational structure, and more, for the entire event. We’re blessed with a lot of support, but now we need to reach out to all those folks and say, “Thank You”.