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649 Wrong Way 2012-05-23

signs for the Tour de Nash

Last Saturday, I needed to go to the Kinko's located a couple of miles from our house. Just the day before we had traveled the same route that I would be riding (to Kinko's) as we visited Cumberland Transit, our local outdoor store. It was obvious a special event was being set-up in the area of the Vanderbilt Track and Athletic Fields. My wife, Amy, guessed that Special Olympics were being held over the weekend.

So when riding to Kinko's, I saw that an event was in progress and the road was barricaded, therefore I assumed it was the Special Olympics. Usually at these events, when the road is barricaded (which is not uncommon), the organizers allow pedestrians and bicycles to pass through the area. So, I decided to ride through the event and perhaps stop and cheer a little if possible.

As I neared the barricade a woman stepped out and motioned me to turn left into a parking area and away from the way I wanted to go.

If they didn't allow bicycles at the event, that was fine but I wanted to go right to detour around the event - not left.

The woman then said sternly, they want you to go left.

Who? I thought, and replied, I think I'll go this way, as I did a quick swirl (360 degrees) and headed toward the unblocked street.

Do what you want, she said, but they want all bikes to go left.

Feeling guilty, I followed her instructions and went left while shaking my head in disbelief. Kinko's was not in this direction!

About that time, a couple of riders passed me and turned left into the parking lot. I followed them. They were dressed in their jerseys and riding nice road bikes. One spoke to the other about how hard the last two miles of the course had been. Soon I began to see lots of other bicycles, directional signs, event signs, and vehicles with bicycle racks on them.

I was riding in a bicycle event!

The Walk-Bike Nashville's Tour de Nash was in progess and the directional woman must have thought that I was riding in the event.

I laughed all of the way to Kinko's.

On my return I purposely retraced my route hoping the woman was still there.

She was now sitting on the curb talking to a guy, still directing everyone on a bike to turn left.

I stopped and asked - do you remember me?


I live close by and I was just trying to ride to the Kinko's on West End.

Oh, I thought you were in the tour.

No, sorry.

The guy with her then asked - did you ride over and get a goodie bag at the finish line?

No, but I did make it to Kinko's.

Apologetically the woman said - they just told me to send all the riders to the left.

Her friend then added, you are not the first person that she has sent the wrong way.

We all laughed. I rode off toward home without a goodie bag, but with a mighty good story.

Happy Tour de Nash trails


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