Southern Fried Fitness: The Music City Bikeway

 “The Music City Bikeway is one more step toward reaching my goal to transform Nashville into one of the most bikeable cities in the country. A bike-friendly community promotes healthy living, reduces traffic congestion and is good for the environment. I expect both recreational riders and commuters will find the Music City Bikeway a practical and scenic way to get from place to place.” -Mayor Dean

Part of what I’ve loved about training for a triathlon has been the opportunity to get out and discover things about the city of Nashville that I hadn’t thought much about before. We all know that you can’t turn left or right without stumbling upon an amazing unknown songwriter or singer patiently waiting on both their big break and your table. Need a pair of great boots? We got plenty of those. Food trucks? There is a new one cruising the streets every day. What I didn’t know is just how many opportunities there are to live an active lifestyle here in Nashville. I had a conversation with a friend recently about the lack of excuses in this city for not getting fit.

Yes, it’s easy to eat your way through Nashville and all its hot chicken and sausage gravy glory, because this is, after all, a southern city that lives up to the southern tradition of offering up all things buttered, battered and fried. Feel guilty about eating a hubcap-sized plate of country ham and biscuits at Loveless Café? Well, don’t worry because you can walk right next door to Trace Bikes and get yourself fitted for a nice new road bike. That’s one of the many things I love about Nashville. It has found a way to retain its southern charm while being a forward thinking, health-conscious town. One of my favorite things about Nashville is its dedication to providing us with opportunities to get outside and take advantage of the city from a healthier perspective. One of those is the newly completed Music City Bikeway, a 26 mile addition to the current 100 miles of bikeways that connect several of the greenways and happens to run right through my neighborhood.

Who’d a thunk it? Southern fried fitness, folks, right here in Tennessee. And right in my backyard to boot! A five-minute ride from my house and I’m right there on the bikeway. What I’ve noticed while out riding is that there are always bikers out there taking advantage of the paths and seeing them keeps me inspired and pedaling. My second observation is that I need to seriously update my biking wardrobe if I’m gonna fit in. Most everyone I see looks and is biking like a pro, which, in other words, means I’m eating their dust as they blow past me in their fancy cycling jerseys. Another 4 minutes of riding past where I jump on the bikeway is Gran Fondo, a bike shop that recently brought my bike back to life and where, if I choose to, can buy my very own fancy cycling jersey. No excuses.

On the days when I’m not on the bike and because I really do not love being in the gym, I have found plenty of ways to get out of the gym and take the workouts outside. I recently discovered that the Richland Creek entrance to Nashville’s network of Greenways is less than two miles from my house. Unfortunately I made this discovery while out getting ice cream and just happened to notice the sign, but the fact that I can have a lapse in dietary judgement and immediately make up for it with a nice jog through the Greenway is another example of having no excuse to be unfit.

Thank you, Nashville!


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