Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Vacation recap

The most interesting thing I noticed while riding on the Memphis and Germantown trails was how friendly everyone was. The second most interesting thing I noticed was all the "learning stops" on the Wolf River Greenway.
Map of the Wolf River Greenway.

Electric Overlook.
Aquifer Island.
River History Plaza.
Beaver Boondocks.
This is what most of the trail looked like.

The third thing I noticed was how ~new~ the Wolf River Greenway was. There are parts that are still under construction. In fact, there was a bit of a traffic jam with some backhoes, but I couldn't begrudge them building additions to the trail such as this new rest area:

The Shelby Farms Greenway was more out in the open.

 The Memphis Greenline was a mix of openness and a tunnel of trees.

That's either I-40/240 or Sam Cooper Boulevard.
Closer to mid-town.

Unfortunately, there was no more cycling after Monday's trip which meant that I didn't get to try out any of the brand new bike lanes heading downtown. And it was too stinking hot in NW Alabama to even think about getting on a bike, plus we would have had to drive a couple of miles to reach a paved road. Yes, directions to my folks' under-construction lake house includes the phrase "turn off the paved road". We did, however, spend many hours in the lake and being swung about wildly on tubes behind the boat. I have what looks like road rash on both elbows from the tubing adventures. And I put my strong bicycle legs to use by figuring out that I could hold onto the tube, in a matter of speaking, by clamping my thigh down while being swung out on the super wide turns. Scott tells me that I did some pretty spectacular roll/dismount/crashes before I figured out the thigh trick.

We finally left the new family homestead on Saturday and took our time getting back to Virginia. We stopped just outside of Chattanooga so we could See Rock City! It's actually fairly beautiful for a kitschy tourist trap. The Fairyland Cavern was rather creepy, but the rock formations, gardens, and vistas were breath-taking. Literally. I clung to the rail as we crossed the bridge over the falls.


We saw several cyclists climbing the steep, twisty, two lane road to the top of Lookout Mountain. That was seriously hardcore. The ride back down must be terrifying! We also noticed lots of bike lanes, sharrows, and wayfinding signs from the bottom of Lookout Mountain and through an industrial area to Chattanooga. Who knew?

The only other bikey part of the trip home was our smuggling the bikes into our hotel room when we stopped for the night. Typically, we'd have pushed on home but, once we crossed the Virginia border, we'd already spent eleven hours on the road -- including our two hour tour of Rock City -- and the thought of another five and a half hours in the truck made me want to cry.

We got home safely Sunday afternoon and pulled the bikes off the rack well before the storm hit. Although, considering all the bird poop I had to clean off my bike, it might not have been to bad to let nature give Lily a bath...

No comments:

Post a Comment