With Spring in full bloom here in Nashville, my passion for cycling can finally flourish. After doing a mini-tune up and finding all my gear, it was time to fine tune my body and knock off some of the cobwebs after a winter of being sedentary. So for my first few rides, I’ve turned to my default route – the 10-mile loop. With the past few routes that I’ve posted, such as the Duck River Rendezvous, I thought it might be fun to document some of everyday rides. The 10-Mile loop is a ride a discovered after moving into our home a few years ago. I was looking for a loop that could give me a decent mileage and also provide a little challenge along the way. After riding and driving around one week, I stumbled upon this route and it’s been my go to route ever since. Being just at 10 miles, it’s easy to accomplish in an hour, but you’ll definitely get a workout along the way. There are several steep hills along the route which offer a challenge for those looking for hills. The first climb is a fairly small, low grade that’s a little deceptive. It starts just after the school and continues around the corner of Blue Hole onto Pettus. It’s not a hard hill per se, but when your legs haven’t had a chance to warm up, it can be a bit of a bear. There’s also a couple of friendly dogs that sometimes give chase to help crank up your adrenaline at this point too. Once you turn left onto Old Hickory, there’s a nice downhill to provide a pay off for your climb, but once at the bottom, there’s a slight grade all the way to a nice “pop” of a hill after the turn onto Clubertson. You definitely come out of the saddle for this small climb, but once on top, you’re greeted with a nice twisty descent that snakes down to Mill Creek. This is one of the best parts of the route. The road hugs Mill Creek and in the mornings it’s not uncommon to find ducks and other small birds welcoming the morning with a brisk bath. There’s only one small “pop” of a hill on this road, so it makes for a nice leisurely ride all the way till you get to Nolensville road. Up until this point, all the roads that we’ve been on have been small country roads with very little traffic. Nolensville road is a highway and thus offers a good deal of traffic. However, for the stretch of this ride, there is a very nice shoulder that is about the width of two bicycles. So for those riders that are a little traffic shy, you’ll have plenty of room in which to feel comfortable. The road itself only has one hill right as you turn onto Nolensville, the rest is downhill, or flat all the way to the county line where I usually take a small break before turning left onto Pettus. At this point, you’re probably thinking, “But weren’t we just
ON Pettus?” The way Old Hickory and Pettus intertwine, it can be a bit confusing, but we’re now at the point where Pettus terminates. Looking at a map will perhaps shed some more light, but regardless of what the road is called, you’ll probably change it’s name to a four-letter word after attempting this climb. 🙂 The climb up Pettus is a bit of a bear. In fact, I would say that it’s above a “rolling hill” and could even be classified as somewhat mountainous. It’s not that you’re climbing a mountain mind you, it’s just the grade and scale of the climb is more akin to what you would find in a mountainous region. What adds insult to injury is that when you think you’ve reached the top, it actually fades upwards and you find that you’re only halfway up to the top. For those that stop at the halfway point, you’ll be greeted with a spectacular view of the eastern edge of Williamson county. Once at the top, it’s time for the payoff and what a payoff it is! There’s about a mile of downhill, that doesn’t require a single pedal stroke until the next intersection. There a no dogs to spook you and you’ll usually be doing around 35 miles an hour so cars don’t present much of a problem either. Once at the intersection, you turn left onto Old Hickory for a brief spell before the road changes back to Pettus. During this stretch, there’s just one small rise, but before we can call it a day, there’s one more challenge left on Pettus road. Once Old Hickory turns and Pettus rejoins us, there’s a nice hill that will heat up your legs after the cool descent you just enjoyed. That’s the bad news, the good news is that you’re almost done with your climbing and the fastest downhill is just around the bend. You’ll have a nice decent over your most recent climb and your momentum should carry you up the next climb. Then, as you round the next bend, get into a tuck and hold on tight and you scream down the next hill. Riding solo, I’ve reached 40 mph and most recently with Holly on the tandem, we hit 47 mph! Sailing down Pettus, your descent will speed you on down the road and back across the creek requiring hardly any effort on your part. Just as you’re approaching Blue Hole again, there’s a small hill that continues thorough the turn. You’re now in the home stretch and after a few rolls, you’ll have one more hill before you can turn into the subdivision. With the ride almost over, it’s easy to relax and regale at all the cycling you’ve just done, but if you’re coming to my house, you now have your biggest obstacle – my street. The big climb on Pettus is longer, but the hill on my street is steeper. Since it comes at the end of the ride, it can be a real humbling experience trying to climb it. If you have a “granny gear” you’ll want to use it unless you’re in excellent climbing shape and can hustle up it. There have been rides that were nice and cool and I haven’t sweat a drop until I reached my street. Once at the top, I’m usually drenched from the climb. Once you’re on top though, it’s just a short stretch until you’re at my house. If it’s morning, then bacon and eggs await with fresh French Press coffee, or espresso. If it’s afternoon, then a nice cold beer, or soft drink is just sitting in the fridge, but the best part is if it’s a hot day. If it’s hot, then we usually hop in the pool and relax on a float letting the strain of the ride drift away. So there you have it. That’s my 10-Mile loop and a little bit of what you can expect on the ride. If you’re ever in town, give me a ring and maybe we can take her for a spin!
10-Mile Loop Ride Map (88k)