Instead of riding stationary bikes at the gym, young and old alike are getting out of the house and onto area bike trails. Many think that Millennials are leading the charge, but according to the website People for Bikes, 22% of the increase in adult biking nationally is coming from those between the ages of 60 and 79.
Nationally, bike riding increases with the increase in the building of bike lanes and trails. A pro-biking culture also produces a healthier general population.
“Bike riding is a great non-contact sport that is safe for the whole family, and it doesn’t cause joint pain,” said Sarah Lovett, Murfreesboro Bike Club past-president. “As a matter of fact, many of our members are former runners who quit because running hurt their bodies too much.”
Whatever your level of biking ability, there is a place in Rutherford County for you to take a fun and safe ride. Here are 5 trails to try:
1. Murfreesboro Greenway
Ask any bike enthusiast about the best place to ride in Murfreesboro, and they all mention the Greenway. What makes this the number one choice is that its paved and car-less stretch of more than 12 miles offers great areas to ride for beginners up to intermediate bikers. However, since it is a multi-use paved and car-less trail of walkers, runners, kids and pups, it is very important to wear a helmet (as always) when going for a spin. For these reasons, it is a great place for beginners to learn to shift and break. Learn more here.
2. Town of Smyrna Greenway System
Smyrna’s Greenway System offers almost 29 miles of paved trails that will appeal to the beginner and families. The trails radiate out from the Town Center. There are very short rides, like the one to Lee Victory Recreation Park Trailhead that is less than half a mile, which is great for young children. While the distance to the Espy Trailhead is almost six miles, which would appeal to someone who has a little more experience on the seat. As on the Murfreesboro Greenway system, it is shared with dogs, kids, walkers, and joggers wearing headphone, wear a helmet and be aware. Learn more here.
3. Stones River Battlefield
The Battlefield is rated as a great place for all levels of rider, as well as being a beautiful, scenic, and popular location. Lots of families come here to ride its 2.4 miles of paved road together, and out of town guests who want to see some history and get a little exercise will find it a delight. Locals and tourists alike may want to check their online event calendar to see when the next park staff led ride will occur. Park Rangers blend history and exercise on this tour, telling tales of the Battle of Stones River as you ride. And those wishing to work up a sweat will find this the best place in the Boro to do just that. Learn more here.
For those wishing to get off the beaten path, there are a number of rides from Rockvale Elementary or the Community Center along Old Rockvale Road. All of these rides are for intermediate and advanced riders riders who are comfortable with their bikes and know the rules of the road. These are not closed roads. Some rides are flat and some have plenty of hills. For plenty of hills, head towards Snail Shell and climb up on to Coleman Hill, or steer your bike towards Eagleville for flat, flat roads. There is plenty of variety out here — flat, rollers, and climbs. Othe climbs include Windrow and Whitus, or head over to Arrington and climb Spanntown, Independent, or Del Thomas.
This too is a great area for a ride in the country for more advanced riders. This ride is for riders with a bit more experience as we ride on open roads. If you want a relatively flat ride, wander around the country roads of Christiana, dipping down into Bell Buckle, and enjoying the fast return up the Fosterville Christiana road. The countryside is beautiful spring, summer and fall. If you want hills, ride over to Fosterville Short Creek for a long gradual climb – or really test our legs and lungs over on Lynch hill. But the best part of the ride is ending at Miller’s Grocery for breakfast or lunch.
Check Out More Trails
To learn about more possible bike routes in and around Murfreesboro, check out mapmyride.com or bikemap.com. There is also a new mountain bike trail at Barfield Crescent Park that opened in May. More can be found at singletracks.com.