I know I’ve said it before but I’m sure today will not be topped as this truly was my favorite ride of the trip. We hopped on the Natchze trail 9 miles after pulling out of Holdenwald and for the next 40 or so miles experienced a piece of cycling nirvana. The Natchze trail is year in and year out ranked as one of the top cycling routes in the country because of its scenic views, quiet roads and a great mix of rolling hills, steady climbs and flats. Stretching 440 miles it commemorates an ancient trail used by animals and people that connected southern portions of the Mississippi River, through
Alabama, to salt licks in today's central . The speed limit is between 40 and 50 miles per hour the entire distance and no commercial traffic is allowed on it so because of this we passed twice as many cyclists as we did cars. All of this combined with perfect weather for riding and a group of us still managed to average greater than 20 miles per hour even with 2500 feet of elevation gain for the day. It was a lot of fun hammering on roads that deserved to be hammered on, something that we hadn’t had the opportunity to do for quite some time. We pulled into the senior home where the grandmother of one our riders lives around 11 am and that’s when the real fun for the day and weekend began. With the arrival of a significant portion of my Tennessee crew to town, Nashvegas was officially warned to buckle up for the weekend. Even though some areas of the downtown area are still affected by floodwaters both the chamber of commerce and the cities business’s encouraged tourists and the cities own to come out and support the economy so we made sure to do so. We had a lot of fun touring the town, bar hopping and experiencing country music on a whole other level. Columbus Broadway Street, aka honky tonk row is a mini vegas strip of music clubs and bars and is also where we spent the bulk of our Saturday night as I don’t think I touched my bed until close to 3 am. I was nervous after being away from my friends for over a month that things might not be the same but after Ellen and Amy ended up on stage with the band that was playing within 10 minutes of walking into the first club I knew I had nothing to worry about. Saturday was spent recovering, checking out Vanderbilt’s campus and watching the Cavs/Celtics game before my friends headed out for another night on the town and I headed for bed to prepare for a big day of cycling Monday morning. Thanks to all my friends for coming down, I'm pretty sure they all had a great time and it’ll be hard to peddle away from you guys tomorrow morning but knowing I will see you on Friday definitely helps. No chain!
Our path to Nashville.
You could see forever at some of the lookouts.
Lenore's grandma, Mrs Post.
Receiving our blessing for the evening.
Chris liked my Columbus friends.
Don't worry, this is normal for us.