I reminded myself many times last Friday of how many miles I used to log in relative comfort on my bike……

Sons need to do several longish bike rides to earn the bicycling badge for Boy Scouts.  So we’ve done two ten mile and one 15 mile trip, needed another 15.  Looked up a promising bike trail in Nashville, and off we went one (kind of) sunny morning.

Began in mid morning at Shelby Bottoms Nature Center.  Lookin’ good, we got our helmets, gloves, water bottles and lunch.

10:30 am : The Journey begins

10:30 am: The Journey Begins.

And off we go down the way.

After a couple of more or less flat miles, a climb to the top of a short hill brings you to the bridge over the Cumberland River.  Next to the bridge is a firepit/urban sculpture.

random public art

Which is it? You decide.

Which since I had the fisheye to hand, needed a different view:

random public art

Wacky use of tools and a welding torch.

So over the river, past Wave Country and McGavock High School, after some up and down riding we came to Lebanon Road.  Nice, they left the old bridge over the Stones River for bikes and pedestrians!

us70 bridge

Bridge over Stony water

Past the water treatment plant, more up and down, a nice viaduct pass nice homes build on the Stone’s River bluff, a longish hill here….also a few folks who were obviously told by their doctors to exercise.  How much weight CAN a bike frame support?

IMGP4576_smAnd finally, I-40.  We got to go under.

almost to the dam

Parker asking, “are we there yet?”

On the other side, our destination:  Percy Priest Dam on the Stones River.  And lunch!

I’d been watching all morning the high thin clouds and the Sun, and was not disappointed.  Nice ring around the Sun right at noon.

Sun ring

Must be a sign that we should stop and eat.

Signs….the sign for the bike path was some years out of date, as it had the bridge over the Cumberland (which we’d gone over earlier in the day) as still under construction.


The long and winding road

And being near a dam, the obligatory warning that water might be involved.

dam warning

In case of epic rains or dam failure…..

Our bikes now being well rested, we took off back toward Shelby Bottoms.  My goal was to catch the funny signage along the way.  We also realized that we had done a lot longer ride than we had intended, but we needed a 25 mile ride anyway.

bicycle races


So begins the trail of signage.


Danger danger danger

Well, I guess…..could be….although no water was actually seen.

no ice

65 degrees.

Nope, no ice either.  I admit I’d never seen a sign like the one just a bit farther along…..perhaps you can tell we are on an upward incline?

wheelchair warning


And of course what goes up, must also come down

going down fast


Some cash was spent on this….long stretch of what I would call viaduct, a “bridge” running along the bluff.  Stones River below and nice homes above.  Looked like synthetic wood.

artificial planks

Greenway grant money, anyone?

Here’s a fun combination:

fun signs

Twisty turny bike path ahead!

And what really hurt is that they kept putting POSTS in the middle of bridges that were invariably at the end of a long downhill.  So you couldn’t just let it all hang out and gain enough speed to make it up the next uphill.

more fun signs

Sign explosion

Make sure you read everything whilst zooming by.


Pretty bridge

And as much fun as I am poking, this is a pretty tunnel under McGavock.  Still, when you come up on the other side, you are greeted by stupid:

common core manifesto

You have to be a middle school teacher for this to makes sense at all.

They are required to post this sort of drivel in the classrooms, too.  Walking arguments for homeschooling.  What does this mean?  Folks, someday we will have to take back the schools from the government.

Opryland boat

The General Jackson steamboat turns around.

You could, for example, be watching this from the bridge.  The General Jackson’s propulsion system is a fine engineering design, as the ship is *just* barely able to turn around.  The turbines are located amidships…the stern paddlewheel is mostly for show.  Education is everywhere, all around you, and does not consist of mouthing empty statements.  But I digress….

We needed a few extra miles at the end, so we took a spur trail to the old Cornelia Fort Airpark.  Now you can bike on airplane tarmac….


Richard Thomas used to take off from this very runway

The wind was howling at their backs, it was hard to come back the other way!


Sun over the river trestle at Shelby Bottoms.

A sign in the skies….time to quit.

We were all tired and sore.  But it was also a lot of fun.  Now they are starting to realize what the 50 mile ride will be like!

Hot shower…pizza…beer….zzzzzzzz












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