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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    764

    My road trip - Memphis, Tupelo and Nasvhille

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    We're back home after 3 weeks on the road visiting friends in Nashville, and a long pitstop before in Memphis and Tueplo.

    It was sooo hot and sticky (well for us) for the first 1.5 week that we have not done any cycling. We were anyway 5 days out of those on the road to get to Memphis and Tupelo. I wanted to ride a bit on the Natchez Trace in Tupelo but the heat killed the ride and decided to skip it. There was always Nashville as we were there for 10 nights. Tupelo is so flat vs Nashville I regret the heat then. But it is what it is and I'm ok with this. I have to choose my own battles and heat is one of them.

    We had planned to ride a bike path in Memphis (evening as it would be "cooler" so we checked it out prior to get there to find parking and see what it would look like) but a tourist guide told us not to park in an area where the path starts because it is a rough (not safe) one. We saw it before he even told us. So no cycling there.

    But we did enjoy visiting touristic things like Graceland, Sun Studio, Beale Street, etc. in those 2 cities and we're happy and had a grand time.

    In Nashville we did the Natchez Trace and I did very well vs 2 years ago. It was still hot and little shade so we did not do a long ride but was happy to ride on it again. We were able to do twice part of the Music City Bikeway. And I was able to do all hills without walking them up. So training this past winter/spring paid off.

    We did go back by car on the Natchez in the Nashville area (since we can't visit every scenic stops with the motorhome due to parking issues) and took our dogs along so they had some "exercises" done as well.

    This is a picture in one of the trails we walked. It has a nice waterfall.
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    We stopped to look at the Tobacco Farm. How Tobacco was dried in the 1900s.
    The plant and how it is hung to dry. It takes 6 weeks to dry. I wonder what it looks like when turned into cigarettes. I don’t smoke but wonder also what it would taste like vs the commercial ones.
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    A 2-mile loop trail beside the Natchez showing you how it was in the good old days. Starts not so bad but part of it is really rough. No bikes allowed. But it gives you an idea of how things were back then.
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    We could not help but stop for a quick bite at the famous Loveless Café.


    More on next post as I’m not allowed more than 5 pics per post.
    Helene
    Riding a 2014 Specialized Amira LS4 Expert - aka The Zebra!
    2015 Specialized Crux e5 - aka Bora Bora bike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    764
    Once weather cooled down, I was able to cycle into Nashville. We did part of the Music City Bikeway.
    This is me on Broadway.
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    The first day was a Saturday and it stressed me a lot as there was way too much traffic and noise and of course took the wrong “path” and ended up with lots of hills. Hard for a 1st real big ride! It was a Saturday and they had some type of events going on (food/wine tasting and some dragon boat racing). We went back on the Monday and it was almost dead. You’d never known it is a busy city. We had all the streets to ourselves, almost.

    Some of the bridges on the Bikeway – no vehicules allowed.
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    We did get lost both times on this path when into Nashville as we lost the “sign”. No matter how we read the map it never worked out. So we stopped a cop and he told us where to pick it up and true, it is not visible that much. And to us, it was like a sidewalk so we did not take it then. But it is the path. Takes you into a more industrial/home sector and we did not like what we saw and turned around. It was taking us further away from downtown. The funniest thing the cop asked us where we were from and knew about our ex-mayor issues (corruption) before we even said his name. He knew about our cops wearing “pyjama” pants, etc. to contest their contract renewal (long story behind it). He did questioned us a lot (where we got our bikes, where we work and do, etc). At some point I was wondering if we’d move on to cycling. Haha
    Helene
    Riding a 2014 Specialized Amira LS4 Expert - aka The Zebra!
    2015 Specialized Crux e5 - aka Bora Bora bike

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    764
    Of course we were there to visit with friends so we took a walk with some of our dogs (friend and mine). We went to walk dogs at the Stones River National Battlefield park. Beautiful but busy path on a Sunday. Pics are from different places.

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    At one of the Natchez stops I saw so many “blue” butterflies. They were in the parking by the dozens. I was in “ahhhs” over those. Such beautiful species. We mostly get the "orange" or brown type ones in Montreal.
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    So overall, a very fun trip, 5 cycling rides, outing with friends to walk and eat local stuff, and good sightseeing visits. We’ll have to get back there again (2nd time already) as too much to do and see. But our highlights has been the Music City Bikeway and night music in downtown Nashville. An orgy of music, just like we love to listen to (but not when cycling in overly busy streets. Haha) We did so much during those 3 weeks that I can’t “remember” it all and it comes back when we look at all those pictures. And we go “oh yeah…we’ve seen or did that too” haha
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    Helene
    Riding a 2014 Specialized Amira LS4 Expert - aka The Zebra!
    2015 Specialized Crux e5 - aka Bora Bora bike

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    Looks like fun! Maybe when you go back for another visit you could schedule it during a cooler time of year so the heat won't be an obstacle.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    764
    I wished we could go later but that is the latest possible, and even. Works is overly busy from Sept to May. So I have to work with work projects. Next year I am targeting Colorado or Minnesota. We'll see. Still too far off to plan.
    Helene
    Riding a 2014 Specialized Amira LS4 Expert - aka The Zebra!
    2015 Specialized Crux e5 - aka Bora Bora bike

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    West Tennessee & Ashe Cty NC
    Posts
    21
    Helene,
    Sorry you encountered our heat! It can be brutal so we ride early in mornings. As for the Memphis bike trails - downtown can get a little sketchy if you are unfamiliar with areas; but, if you were to drive east to Shelby Farms, or the Wolf River Conservancy trails, there are safe places to park and you can ride lovely trails integrated with Shelby Farms (under reno). 2016 will bring a new revamped lake at Shelby Farms, and additional miles along both the Memphis Greenline trail and the Wolf River Conservancy trails into Germantown and Collierville. We hope to be able to complete 35-40 miles in a round trip on the trails.
    AngelontheRoad

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,226
    that's a great read of a trip helene....good moments on and off a bike ftw
    luv'ed the herd of white furry snowballs and the nashville music scene must be great!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by AngelontheRoad View Post
    2016 will bring a new revamped lake at Shelby Farms, and additional miles along both the Memphis Greenline trail and the Wolf River Conservancy trails into Germantown and Collierville. We hope to be able to complete 35-40 miles in a round trip on the trails.
    AngelontheRoad
    it's always good to read about the extension of or new trails being done
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    764
    Quote Originally Posted by AngelontheRoad View Post
    Helene,
    Sorry you encountered our heat! It can be brutal so we ride early in mornings. As for the Memphis bike trails - downtown can get a little sketchy if you are unfamiliar with areas; but, if you were to drive east to Shelby Farms, or the Wolf River Conservancy trails, there are safe places to park and you can ride lovely trails integrated with Shelby Farms (under reno). 2016 will bring a new revamped lake at Shelby Farms, and additional miles along both the Memphis Greenline trail and the Wolf River Conservancy trails into Germantown and Collierville. We hope to be able to complete 35-40 miles in a round trip on the trails.
    AngelontheRoad
    Ah... this is where we ended up (Shelby) and it is a mega construction project. It will be very beautiful once all is done, that's for sure. He took the time to explain to us which paths to take, which ones to avoid, and that we were right in not parking at the end of that bike path (many miles away from this park). We did walk the path a little bit and thought coming back before darkness set in but we were camping a bit far away and by the time we'd get our bikes, gear, etc it would have been dark too soon. But you can bet if we ever go in that area again we want to do that whole bike path. It will be beautiful.

    In Memphis we opted for the backbeat tour for the fun of singing in the bus, etc. It was a crazy and fun tour. Worth the money. We had seen Memphis a few years ago but lots we had no time for so this time we took more time. Was a bit cut short with a mega storm but we were able to enjoy our stay. Since we are truly not familiar with Memphis and heard to stay away from some areas as it may be "tougher", it did not help visiting so we mostly stayed in the Graceland area. What can I say..we chicken out easily. hihi We were there for 3 nights (so 2 days) and 2 nights in Tupelo. Did not leave us a lot to do all we wanted but we're happy with what we saw and where we ate.
    Helene
    Riding a 2014 Specialized Amira LS4 Expert - aka The Zebra!
    2015 Specialized Crux e5 - aka Bora Bora bike

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    S. Dak.
    Posts
    488
    Helene so enjoyed reading your adventure tale to the South. I've never been to that part of the US, but would love the history, music and new routes to bike. So much to see and it is hard to schedule around the optimal seasons.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    764
    You definitively have to visit the that part of US. You will love it. All the people we met were truly nice to us, even those who looked "scarier". The cop we talked to in Nashville looked like a big teddy bear. But I would not like to be in conflict with him. He would have been able to hang me on a nail on the wall no sweat with his size. hihi

    The music orgy is totally awesome in Nashville. One door to the next on Broadway (and around) is like a mini vegas with the lights, the loud stuff...but no fuzz or fancinest. We spent many nights going from bar to bar just to listen to bands. No cover charge, no need to drink (I don't drink).

    Memphis Beale Street was so much fun. More into blues music but we had a blast dancing/singing (hey...we're good back vocals even if we are no Celine Dion. Who cared! haha).

    A Natchez Trace ride (either by car or cycling) is something every one should have on their bucket list. We drove in motorhome from Tupelo to Nashville and saw so much beauty (wild life or nature). Every mile you had to look for something. Many scenic stops (which we did not as not easy with big rig and car in tow) but we did ride 100km then back from Nashville to spot the best cycling spot for me to return to.

    Tupelo is small and we had enough of a day there to visit stuff on Elvis' first years and the history behind where he then lived and places he attended, etc.

    But Nashville is my 2nd city I loved the most visiting. My first love remains Colorado. Which I am trying to figure if we go back next August/September for cycling. Just would need to find something not too steep/hilly as my knees would not do good on mega hills all the time. Loved Colorado Springs and maybe would try back to go to the Great Sand Dunes, etc...


    Then there is also Minnesota as we have friends who want to see us again. ahhhh vacation...why does work always need to be in the way of fun. hihi

    ahhhh so many places and things to do just in North America. I'll never have enough of this life so I'll have to come back into a better and improved me to do more. haha
    Helene
    Riding a 2014 Specialized Amira LS4 Expert - aka The Zebra!
    2015 Specialized Crux e5 - aka Bora Bora bike

 

 

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