I Miss Georgia Mountain Biking and Road Cycling

I used to live in Georgia. I would spend half my time riding my mountain bike in my beloved north Georgia mountains and I would do road cycling around the country area where I lived. I was far enough north of Atlanta where I didn’t get swamped with a ton of traffic when I cycled on the road. And I lived close enough to the mountains to haul my mountain bike up within an hour or so.

But then I got the idea to move to Nashville. A job opportunity you see. Slower pace. Less traffic. And one of the worst cycling areas I’ve ever lived. I get up around 6-7 on Saturdays and Sundays to do my road rides. Traffic is a drag around Nashville. Everybody travels the same tired little country farm roads. There are no major connectors. And these little farm roads have no shoulders. I try to ride when there is no traffic. Certainly no riding on the weekdays until after everybody gets back home from work. Weekends I try to be off the road by 10.

So ride your mountain bike you say. Would love to if there was places to ride around Nashville. The best places require a drive to East TN in the mountains or south, back down to GA. These days that is no small commitment monetarily. I drive a 4-cylinder Toyota. Always have, even when gasoline was 89 cents a gallon. To get over and back or down and back to go mountain biking will cost basically $50 in fuel. That is a drag. It’s even keeping me from realizing my dream of getting a new dual-suspension rig. What’s the point? I can’t ride the trails I want to with it. I’m land locked. Why spend the $2K?

I love to ride my road bike but I’m tired of the same old routes as well. And it seems retarded these days to put the bike on the car and drive somewhere to ride. I still ride and mix it up when I can. The best ride I had this year was a couple of hours in the early morning rain this past Saturday.

I’m jealous of folks who have readily available trails in your home town or close by. I hear fabulous stories of folks out in Oregon, Washington and California enjoying the road and trails. People who have lived their lives in Nashville think this is a great place to ride too but they would be wrong. This place is in denial about how big it’s getting. The Nashville metro counties, I guess, believe that they are part of this small southern city and want to stay that way. Yet they allow developers to come and build 100’s of homes on a couple hundred acres with no improvements to the roads. Those homes are going to be stocked with people wanting to drive their Nissan and GM discounted vehicles to work and back on small county roads. There isn’t room for cycles when there is no shoulder.

I miss the Georgia riding I had available during the 90’s into the early 2000 years. With traffic and sprawl it’s probably gotten worse down there as well, but at least I was closer to the mountains. I’ll just keep making do because I still love to ride.

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2 Comments »

  1. Shannon said

    i hear your concerns about Nashville not being so bike friendly. i moved here from Austin, Texas and miss it every day – even in the 110 degree weather i rode to work and back every day. however, i’d like to encourage you to look into walk/bike nashville…we’re the only pedestrian and bicyclist advocacy group in the entire state. i moved here to run the organization and help make this city more livable. the more people like you become involved, the more we can do to reach that goal.

  2. roadweary said

    Cool. Never knew something like that existed here. Guess I should have. I don’t live in Nashville. I’m a suburb dweller but if Nashville can take the lead on something like this then maybe it will filter out into the metro area where I live.Thanks for letting me know. It’s far easier to bitch about something than do something about it. I should see what I can do.

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