Measure your distance in smiles, not miles. There is no better example of this then a good old fashioned family ride. It doesn't need to be a high mileage road ride or a technical trail or big mountain mileage on a bike of the fat tire variety to bring out the kid in all of us. This is a picture of a multi-generational ride on a family friendly multi-use path over Easter weekend. Grandparents, kids, and grand kids out for a spin together along a beautiful river in the mountains. The Gatlinburg Trail is short in the mileage department at just under 2-miles one way, but it is an opportunity to get out on your bike and spin the pedals near a beautiful river on family friendly terrain.
You will see plenty of people and a lot of dogs as well, so speed isn't an option nor the focus here. This is a place to embrace your inner zen and take breaks often, listen to the sounds of the river, look for trout hunting food, and just soak in the beauty of your environment. Sure it's just a hop, skip and a jump from the tourist zone that is Gatlinburg, and it terminates at an equally busy Sugarlands Visitor Center, but there is some beautiful scenery sandwiched in between. It's also an opportunity to ride a bike in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, who can pass that up? If you're come in from the Maryville/Townsend side, access isn't bad from Wear's Valley coming in via Line Springs Road which hits Metcalf Bottoms.
Go ride. Talk to all of the folks out walking, pet their dogs. Put your feet in the river and maybe skip some rocks. Take plenty of pictures. Let the time drift by while you soak up the memories with your family. It's the biking version of stop and smell the roses I suppose.
~More miles, more smiles
Rider or is it writer?
My name is Adam Harris. I'm a lifelong cyclist. I love bikes. All types of bikes. I hope I can relay the joy that cycling provides me through glimpses into my thoughts and some of my mini adventures.