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600 Riding Shelby Bottoms Greenway 2012-03-15

Shelby Bottoms Nature Center

Yesterday was a perfect spring day in Nashville. Instead of going for my daily run, I decided to ride to downtown, cross the river, and on to Shelby Bottoms Greenway.

At 11 o'clock, I had finished my morning work and started on my ride. I prepared my bike for a two hour ride - water bottle, tube, pump, etc. and left the house and a sad dog. Every time I go biking, Jake, the dog, sits at the fence and makes me guilty for not taking him with me. I didn't look back and just kept pedaling.

My route took me down Music Row to Demonbreun Street. Cruising once around the roundabout just for fun and then on toward the city. After crossing the Gulch I pulled up to the corner of Eight and I was shocked. I had not been downtown in a while and the new convention center, the Music City Center, was large and in my face. It was humongous. Last summer was the last time I was downtown and though I rode by the construction zone, I didn't remember it being so large. I was really surprised.

Other construction projects I saw on the ride to the Park was a hotel being built, but there might have bee more than one. I was having to watch traffic and did not look around as much as I wanted.

Crossing the Korean War Veterans bridge I was on the east side of town. It is a short easy ride from there to Shelby Park and the Shelby Bottoms Greenway.

The ride on the greenway was fun. The warm spring air made me want to ride endlessly. I stayed on the east side of the river and rode the path around the loop at the end so that I could view the mighty General Jackson at it's berth across the river.


Water Park form the bridge

Water Park from Shelby Street Bridge

Returning to the trailhead I re-traced my ride to downtown but crossed the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge on the way home. From the bridge I could see two additions to Nashville. The Water Park was in it's final stages of development and the newly reconstructed Nashville Bridge Building. The building stood vacant since the Titans stadium was built (1999). I believe it is going to be used as Metro Park's new office.

A few tips from my trip ...

Drivers, remember to slow down and watch out for pedestrians. I did not have any close incidents on the ride; but I saw on three different occasions vehicles not yielding to pedestrians in cross-walks. Please, watch for walkers, runners, and bikers.

When I first saw the Music City Center, I had to stop. I had a green light, so I pulled my bike onto the sidewalk and stood there looking at the monstrous building.

Riding along the construction site was dirty (lots of grit in my eyes) and probably more dangerous than a regular street. Use caution and expect the unexpected or detour around the area.

The ride along Davidson Street in East Nashville is at least as dirty and congested as the construction zone.

There were a lot of children having fun at the Shelby Bottoms Nature Center and on the greenway.

Most folks on the greenway seemed to be exercising (walking, running, biking, skating with a purpose.) They did not seem very friendly, though. For a while, I thought I was in Boulder, CO or some place similar where it is common to be snubbed on the trails and greenways. Hey, we are in Nashville, we are friendly to everyone!, even to old guys riding single speed bikes.

There is a speed limit on the greenway. If you want to ride or skate fast, go to the streets.

There were a lot of dogs being walked and run on the greenway. Three folks were riding bikes and running their dogs beside them.

I can't wait to see the Water Park in operation.

It is a great time of the year. Please take advantage of the weather and enjoy the outdoors.

Happy to be on the trails


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