I have a confession to make: I love riding bikes of all types. My husband and I enjoy road cycling, mountain biking and beach cruising. We have cycled in many places including Italy, Colorado and California, but some of the best biking is right here in our area. One of my goals is to get more kids interested in biking, and here are some great ways to get started.
Be a good example: always wear a helmet when cycling, even for short distances. If your child is interested in off road trails (aka mountain biking), elbow and knee pads are a good idea.
Be visible: if you’re going to ride near motorists, choose bright colors and use headlights and tail lights to make yourself standout to drivers.
Choose safe places to ride: Knoxville has an amazing network of greenways (112 miles!) that are a safe haven from motorists. Find the one closest to you here.
In Oak Ridge, the Melton Lake Greenway is a great choice… it has 5.7 miles of paved lakefront greenway trails. Click here for information.
During the summer months, the Cades Cove Loop road in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is closed to automobile traffic on Wednesday and Saturday mornings until 10:00. While not exactly flat, its very doable for kids of all ages, and they’ll likely spot turkey and deer along the way.
If your child is more adventurous, Knoxville also has the Urban Wilderness, a 50 mile network of multi-use trails in wooded areas. A great starter trail for kids is the Sycamore Loop (1.2 miles) at Baker Creek Preserve that is mostly flat. At Forks of the River, Wyatt’s Way leads to Dozer and the Will Skelton Greenway, which during the month of July features large fields of sunflowers.
For older kids looking for more mountain biking, the TVA managed Loyston Point Recreation Area has 12.7 miles of multi-use trails that are suitable for kids.
For more information on biking in and around Knoxville check out ibikeknox.com and outdoorknoxville.com