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  1. #1
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    coming to Tennessee!

    I will be visiting friends in Franklin TN next week. looking for local bike rental and trail info for the area. I am 60 yrs old, a beg/int rider on my local trails (Orange County, CA), ride a Giant Trans X 1. I like to ride about 10 to 15 miles with 800 to 1000 feet elevation change which takes me about 1 to 1.5 hours. I like going uphill almost as much as down.

  2. #2
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    Welcome to the forum!

    Checkout Singletracks (.com) to see what trail systems are popular.

    I haven't ridden near Nashville.

    If you end up near Chattanooga, try riding Enterprise South. You might even want to try some of Raccoon Mtn. I'd suggest avoiding White Oak though..

  3. #3
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    I know Percy Warner Park has some trails and it looks to be about 15 mi away from Franklin. Haven't ridden those, so can't give you any intel on them. A couple years ago I rode Montgomery Bell State Park about 35 mi away and it was good other than I rode after a rash of tornadoes went through the area and there were a ton of trees down. It would definitely be worth the drive.

    No idea on the rental bike.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the tips, Slee_Stack. I will investigate...

  5. #5
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    I appreciate your response, bikensand. i'll check them out. riding through a bunch of downed trees does not sound like a fun ride, but it sounds like you could tell it would have been fun with out the damage from the tornado. where is the shot of you on the ladder taken?

  6. #6
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    Home trails in Pensacola, FL.

    I would expect that the trees were cleaned up quickly after. I was just there literally within the same week as the tornadoes so they didn't have a chance to break out the chainsaws yet

  7. #7
    cowbell
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    Rentals will likely be your problem. The only place I know for CERTAIN that rents bikes, is Riverside up in Clarksville, so, that's a pretty good hike from Franklin. Next problem would be that from there, you're an hour away from any good trails. Rotary park is all Clarksville has at the moment, and it's a mess, the county has it torn up with projects putting in lights, and half the trails are currently all but inaccessible due to an ADA project the county insists on finishing BEFORE they let us build a re-route to get bike traffic to that end of the park around the ADA trail. So, that said...

    Percy Warner, as mentioned, has some bike trails. But make sure you get the right trails, the parking lot is next to Cheekwood. Ride on the wrong trails, and you could get a hefty fine. The system is set up with a trunk trail, off of which is an XC loop, a beginners loop (toybox hill, quite fun actually) a couple of flow trails, and one technical climb up to a big jumpy flow trail, and a rather "downhillish" black trail with gap to structure jumps, etc. If it's open, it's a good option. About 9 miles of trail.

    If your in Franklin, Chickasaw Trace is another good option for you, location wise. Unfortunately, I've never ridden there, so that's all I can tell you about it.

    Montgomery bell - I did 10 miles out there yesterday. There's a good variety of stuff here, my favorite trails, for a bit of contrast, are the white trail and the blue trail, particularly back blue. The trails are well marked, and generally well kept up. I only ran across one down tree yesterday after our recent storms. I reported it to the guys who tend to MB, and I expect they'll clear it this weekend. You've got about 26 miles of trail out there.

    Lock 4. Never was a place so much debated. This is going to be a good drive from Franklin. But, in my humble opinion, it's the most fun trail system in middle TN right now. Elevation is almost non-existent. It results mostly in short punchy climbs, followed by long shallow, flowing descents. It's not very technical. There's really nothing to recommend this trail system as a mountain bike trail system. Heck, I take my kids out there. But I can go out there with the guys and have fun too. For whatever reason, it's just ...fun. But it's not that great a mountain biking trail system. Flat, not so technical. Yeah.

    There are a lot of other options - Shutes Branch has some rock, and some flow. Hamilton Creek is apparently all rocks, except for the roots. Cane Ridge is a two mile loop - just phase one of a three phase project. It's fun, but it's just a 2 mile loop. Still, when in the neighborhood, I've been known to do 3 or 4 laps at increasing speeds...

    Just a thought on bike rentals. You might check with MOAB bike shop. If they don't rent, they may know someone who does.

  8. #8
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    I found a place to rent a bike, $75/day at Mac's Harpeth Bikes. seems expensive, but only response so far. they are in franklin at 1110 Hillsboro Road. anyone had experience with them? I am new to using forums like this one, but I thought there would be more response. should I put in more info?

  9. #9
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    thanks for your response Cotharyus. sounds like I should avoid Clarksville. you mentioned avoid riding on the wrong trails or you might get fined. is that only in Percy Warner or is that something to look out for all over this region? are most riding areas wet now due to recent weather? I don't do well in mud, etc. I'm used to riding more sandy, dry conditions. Maybe I am expecting too much? I have seen Lock 4 mentioned in several articles. it may be a way of sampling some easy trails and move on from there with that knowledge base... Is there a site like Geoladders out there? Geoladders has a great description of all the trails in an area. here is their link for an example Geoladders -- Mountain Biking Routes

  10. #10
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    answered my own question on Geoladders! it does have a Tennessee link! I will spend some time there...

  11. #11
    cowbell
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    The fine situation should only be Percy Warner. As long as you start out from the MTB trail head, and stay on the trails (don't try to short cut anything) you can't possibly end up on the wrong trails. But just randomly selecting a place in the warner parks to ride because there are trails will net you a fine. Up until the new system was built last year, bikes had been banned from park trails since '92.

    Most of the trails around here are in pretty good shape. For the official local status of most trails, check out Sorba Mid TN Trails

  12. #12
    white boy extraordinaire
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    why would you avoid white oak? just curious
    "Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!"

    -the Dude

  13. #13
    cowbell
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmweldon View Post
    why would you avoid white oak? just curious
    Having seen no mention of "white oak" in this post, I assume you're asking me since there's a white oak loop at rotary?

  14. #14
    white boy extraordinaire
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    actually, user slee_stack said to avoid White oak in Chattanooga, I was curious why since it is a pretty popular system.
    "Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!"

    -the Dude

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmweldon View Post
    actually, user slee_stack said to avoid White oak in Chattanooga, I was curious why since it is a pretty popular system.
    Popular for Beginners? Keep in mind the OP.

    OP specifically said he is a beginner/int rider and looking for 800-1000ft of elevation change over 10+ miles. Considering this, White Oak would not be a good choice. Its best trail is Ridge Ride which is not suitable to a Beg/Int rider. The steepish grades would also likely be intimidating as well.

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