Photo by Trisha Ping

A Guide to Biking in Nashville, TN

Nashville may be known as Music City, USA, but over the past few years it has also been building a reputation as one of the more bike-friendly cities in the South. With the completion of the Music City Bikeway in 2011, Nashville added more than 26 miles (42 km) of bike-friendly roads, trails, and greenways to the Metro area. The launch of the Nashville division of B-cycle bike share in 2012 was an instant hit with tourists and residents alike.

Historic neon signs line Lower Broadway, Nashville's famous entertainment district.   Photo by Trisha Ping

Historic neon signs line Lower Broadway, Nashville’s famous entertainment district.
Photo by Trisha Ping

MEETS

No visit to Nashville would be complete without a stop on Broadway. Locals know that Robert’s Western World is the best of the bunch, with talented rockabilly swing and old standard acts that will get you dancing.

Once downtown, do not miss biking or walking over the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge. It offers terrific views of the city.

For an even more local experience, head south through the Gulch to admire this revitalized former railroad terminal now packed with condos, restaurants, and music venues. Be sure to visit the Station Inn and catch some music if the time is right, or stop in at Yazoo Brewing Company on Division for a pint of locally brewed beer.

Bicycle parking outside the 12South Taproom in the heart of Nashville’s 12South neighborhood. Photo by Trisha Ping

Bicycle parking outside the 12South Taproom in the heart of Nashville’s 12South neighborhood.
Photo by Trisha Ping

EATS

Want to eat like the locals do? Head to a Meat and Three at Arnold’s on 8th Avenue South, or try Nashville’s specialty, hot chicken, at Prince’s, Bolton’s, or Hattie B.’s.

The Nashville skyline as seen from the pedestrian bridge crossing the Cumberland River. The green space near the river often features live music and is one of the best places to watch the Fourth of July fireworks display, the largest in the South. Photo by Trisha Ping

The Nashville skyline as seen from the pedestrian bridge crossing the Cumberland River. The green space near the river often features live music and is one of the best places to watch the Fourth of July fireworks display, the largest in the South.
Photo by Trisha Ping

STREETS (rental)

Nashville offers B-cycle bike share with multiple stations in the downtown area. You can get a 24-hour pass for $5 or a 7-day membership for $10; then the first hour of each one-way trip is free. If you want to combine biking and tourism, check out Green Fleet Bikes in Edgehill Village, which offers bike tours to the very best local attractions, such as Marathon Village.

Nashville's Broadway is filled with bright lights and colors, although they're not exactly like the ones in New York City! Paradise Park Trailer Resort is the sort of place you don't find north of the Mason-Dixon line. Try the tater tots. Photo by Trisha Ping

Nashville’s Broadway is filled with bright lights and colors, although they’re not exactly like the ones in New York City! Paradise Park Trailer Resort is the sort of place you don’t find north of the Mason-Dixon line. Try the tater tots.
Photo by Trisha Ping

SLEEPS

The Hilton downtown is central and convenient. True luxury-seekers will book the historic Hermitage Hotel, whose Oak Room Bar is nothing short of glorious and whose men’s onyx and lime-green Art Deco restroom has been used to film more than one music video. Budget travelers should check out the Holiday Inn Express on Broadway, which is within walking distance of many downtown attractions.


Trisha Ping has lived in Nashville for 12 years, but still has not learned to line dance. She commutes by bike to her job as an editor and co-writes the bicycling blog Let’s Go Ride a Bike. letsgorideabike.com