Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cruising the Greenline

Being a former country boy, I sometimes miss the feeling of a nice walk in the woods. I miss getting away from the traffic, rows of houses and constant commerce. While it can be difficult to get away from all of the aforementioned things without an elaborate plan and at least a few hours to burn, it can be done. The Shelby Farms Greenline is one such way to escape the city for a little while.

The Greenline is a pedestrian trail converted from an abandoned rail line that opened last fall and luckily runs right through our neighborhood, High Point Terrace. Crystel and I bought beach cruisers last year, and for some reason, I never ventured out onto the Greeline until a few weeks ago. One sunny evening after a long day of work, I was faced with the dilemma of whether to hit the gym or get some outdoors activity. Suffering from a mild case of shin splints, I didn’t really want to run, so I decided to try out the Greenline on my bike.

Beginning of the Greenline, actually near the end of my ride since I start at around mile 6.

This is where the Greenline is the closest to Sam Cooper.

As I turned onto the Greenline at High Point Terrace, I wasn’t all that excited. It was mostly like driving down the street, except I was looking at the backs of houses, and the cars were replaced with bikes. The further I got away from home, the more that changed though. As soon as I crossed Interstate 240 and I was no longer riding beside Sam Cooper, I began to forget that I was in the middle of Memphis.

Traffic jam on 240 at rush hour.

From the Shelby Farms Greenline Wolf River Bridge.

Crossing the Wolf River was a highlight of my journey, and the wooden bridge is a nice touch. For stretches of the Greenline, you get to be immersed in the woods without being bombarded with the mark we have made on our planet. No cars, houses, stores, etc. Eventually you end up at Shelby Farms, which is only one of the largest urban parks in America. The mostly natural state of Shelby Farms lends itself perfectly to escaping the city. As you ride through a field upon entering the park, the only signs of Memphis are some a few cars across the field and Clark Tower looming in the distance. There’s even a pond where you can get in a little fishing right after you cross the field. Once you get into Shelby Farms, the possibilities for outdoor relaxation are abundant.

Clark Tower

Am I still in Memphis?

I'm bringing my trusty Zebco next time!


We are so lucky that our city leadership has provided us this great way to get out of the house, have some fun and get some exercise. I’m looking forward to exploring some more of our city’s bike trails in the near future.

My trusty beach cruiser on the Wolf River Greenline bridge (this one is nicer than the one on the Shelby Farms Greenline).

Me and my Nutcase helmet.

Have you ridden the Greenline yet? What about the other bike trails? Any suggestions for getting around Memphis safely on a bike (routes)?

1 comment:

  1. Former country boy? You know that part of you doesn't just let you go....