A common question I get as a cyclist is, "Where should I ride?"
The most succinct answer is ride anywhere you want. Spending time on a bike is a fantastic way to appreciate the world since we are more closely connected to it. But you probably want some specific ideas, so here you go:
Our greenway is about 15 miles of pavement that winds through the city with Wear's Creek. As an adult, you probably like the fact that it is car-free and easy to ride. Look at it through a child's eyes though — there is a creek to play in! If you take children, make sure you take time to stop and let them have an adventure.
Another flat route without cars, my favorite aspect of the Katy is the connection to nature — deer, rabbits, flowers, turtles, caves, the Missouri River, etc. It's easy to spend all day exploring if you pay attention to what's around the trail. Parent tip: Children love fresh mulberries from the many trees in early summer.
For those of us who like to play in the dirt, check out the pump track in North Jeff. A pump track is a series of dirt mounds (rollers) and turns (berms) to ride over. Ours has a really cool red-roofed deck to watch the action. It also has lights now so you can ride at night! Leave time to see the Master Gardener's exhibit and ride down to the river and look at the Capitol too, as both are close.
Mountain bike trails
An under-appreciated gem and my favorite place to ride, we have fantastic trails at Binder Park and just off the greenway at W. Edgewood. Be patient as these can be a challenge for any cyclist. Check with a local bike shop if unsure about your gear because equipment really matters here. These trails are built and maintained by volunteers so stay off when muddy.
Another fantastic place to ride is on the roads of Jefferson City. As cars are present, please learn your responsibilities as a cyclist. It will increase your safety and keep the motorists happy. No matter where you ride, the most important thing is just to ride.
See you out there!
Bill Plank has been in charge of Business Development at Naught-Naught Insurance Agency since 2015. As a risk management professional, he advises physical activity to encourage good health with cycling being his exercise of choice. Passionate about making Jefferson City even better, he serves as the Chamber chairman, a parks commissioner, United Way volunteer and youth soccer coach.
The byline on this column was edited Aug. 21 to correct the name of the columnists.